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Gone are the days of having to constantly shave, pluck or wax unwanted hair from your body. We all know how very time consuming these things are, not to mention the pain you have to endure when you pluck or wax your unwanted hair.
Today, we have several options we can choose from before we can bid goodbye to such undesirable body hair. One of the more popular hair removal procedures is Laser hair removal - this medical procedure uses laser, a concentrated beam of light to get rid of unwanted hair.
Completely getting rid of undesirable hair in certain areas of your body can be quite rewarding and it can certainly boost your self-esteem. Laser hair removal eventually eliminates the need for plucking, shaving or waxing. The common body area where this treatment procedure is done includes armpits, bikini line, upper lip, and legs. Although this treatment procedure is possible in almost all parts of the body, the eyelid area is one exemption.
In choosing the right doctor for your procedure, you have to take note of the following:
Before your actual treatment procedure, you have to schedule a consultation with your chosen doctor. During your consultation, costs, expected results, and possible risks will be discussed with you. Furthermore, your doctor will also review your medical history and determine whether this procedure is the appropriate treatment for you. You may also be advised to do the following before your scheduled day:
During the procedure, your doctor will press a hand-held laser instrument to the skin area where your unwanted hair is. The laser equipment will be adjusted according to the color, thickness, and location of your hair as well as your skin color. Depending on the laser used, you will be asked to wear eye protection to protect your eyes from the laser beam. A cooling gel or a special cooling device will also be used to protect the outer layers of your skin and lessen the risk of side effects. Your doctor might also apply topical anesthetic to your skin to reduce your discomfort.
Your doctor will then activate the laser; the beam will pass through your skin and to your hair follicles. The heat from the laser beam will now damage the hair follicles; as a result, it will prevent hair growth. You might feel a slight discomfort like a warm pinprick but it will be soothed by the cooling gel or device.
Laser hair removal is done in small areas of your body like your upper lip usually lasts for only a few minutes. In larger areas such as your back, it might take an hour or more. After your procedure has been completed, you will be given ice packs, anti-inflammatory cream or cold water to ease your discomfort. You can go home right after you have undergone the treatment. Furthermore, stitches are not required in this procedure.
For the first two days, it may seem like the treated area was sunburned. Applying a cool compress and moisturizer will help you with your discomfort. If your face was treated, you will not be allowed to wear makeup if your skin is blistering.
It usually takes 2 to 3 weeks to see any difference. You may schedule your next treatment after 4 or 6 weeks. Note that you need to continuously undergo the treatment until your hair stops growing; this may take 8 to 12 treatments before acquiring full results.
The heat from the laser will stay in your skin for 24 hours so you need to avoid the gym, sauna, or even taking a hot shower. Doing so will increase the risk of bacteria multiplying and giving you spots. Strictly avoiding the sun before and after your procedure is essential, it is also recommended for you to avoid chemical peels for 2 weeks after your procedure.
Over 90% of laser hair removal patients have been reported to have permanent hair loss after an average of 3 to 6 sessions. The treatment, however, is not recommended for eyelids, eyebrows or its surrounding areas due to the possibility of severe eye injury.
On a very rare occasion, this treatment may also cause blistering, crusting, scarring or changes in your skin texture. Graying of treated hair or excessive hair growth on darker skin may also occur as side effects. The most common side effects are skin irritation and pigment changes. All these risks of side effects will vary on your skin type, hair color, treatment plan and your adherence to pre-treatment and post-treatment care.
Not everyone is a good candidate for laser hair removal, especially if you have darker skin or fairer hair. But the good news is that there are alternatives to this procedure:
Electrolysis - This is actually the closest procedure for laser hair removal. Instead of making use of intensive light, a radio frequency will be used to destroy your hair follicle. You may be required to undergo at least 15 to 30 sessions to achieve your ideal result.
Other forms of alternatives are the traditional plucking, shaving and hair waxing.
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