Overview of Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is a medical technique to remove hair using laser light. In this method, light emitted by the laser is absorbed by the melanin in the hair. Melanin is a pigment that provides color to hair, skin, and eyes. Dark skinned people have more melanin.
Light absorbed by melanin is converted to heat, which damages the hair follicle. The hair follicle is a tube-shaped sac in the skin which produces hair. When a hair follicle is damaged, hair growth is delayed or inhibited.
This technique does not usually result in permanent hair loss. It effectively delays hair growth, and for initial hair removal, multiple sessions are required.
Laser hair removal is a technique to remove unwanted hair from anywhere in the body except eyelids and area surrounding area.
Melanin pigment is the reason for the dark color of hair and skin, and more is the melanin, darker is the color. This is why this technique is more effective in people with light-colored skin and dark hair. Because there is more Melanin in hair and less in the skin, and it is melanin, which absorbs light and causes damage to the hair follicle.
Body hair is an entirely reasonable thing, and it presents some benefits too like, protection and maintaining body temperature, etc. but some people don’t like it, and they keep removing it again and again. The laser hair removal process is a better option for them. It is a treatment of choice and is used for cosmetic purposes.
Removing hair by waxing, plucking, shaving, etc. is painful, and the result does not last long. These methods also have some harmful effects on the skin. As compared to these methods, the laser hair removal technique is safe and long-lasting.
Laser hair removal can be done on the full body. It is generally used for the hairline, eyebrows, upper and lower lip, chin, face, neck, nape, shoulders, back, underarms, abdomen, buttock, pubic hair, bikini line, thigh, legs, hands, etc.
Indications for Laser Hair Removal
Anyone can get laser hair removal who wants to get rid of unwanted hair. Although body hairs are beneficial, some people find them problematic and want to get rid of them.
A person wants to get a laser treatment in the following conditions:
Excess body hair: Some people have excess body hair due to genetic factors, which causes some problems like itching, acne, skin infections, etc.
Removing hair by shaving or waxing or any other method does not help much as the hair grows back soon. Doctors generally suggest laser hair removal to get rid of problems caused due to excess hair.
When A Person Is Conscious About His/Her Looks: Some people are not comfortable with their natural look.
Generally, people (especially women) don’t want to keep body hair. They want to have a clear and smooth body, and for that, they keep removing hair by waxing, plucking, or other methods. But this does not give a long-lasting result. In such a case, nowadays, a person can go for laser hair removal.
Facial Hair In Women: Some hormonal imbalance and problems like hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can cause the growth of facial hair in women.
Usually, methods like plucking and waxing are used for facial hair removal but, for the long-lasting result or permanent hair removal doctors suggest them laser hair removal.
People with dark hair color: This method to remove hair is less effective for people who have hair colors that absorb less light, e.g., grey, red, blond, and white. So it is advised to people with dark hair color.
Process of Laser Hair Removal
Laser Hair Removal is a simple technique but involves months of preparations and precautions. A person who wants to go through this procedure can’t get it done in one single sitting. It might require at least 2-6 sessions.
Treatment of a small area might take a few minutes, while that of a large city may take more than an hour.
The whole process involves the following steps.
Step 1: Preparations
In the initial consultation, a doctor gives some instructions to prepare for the process like to stay out of the sun, use anti tanning creams, avoid other hair removal methods, avoid blood-thinning medications and just before the day of laser treatment doctor ask to trim or shave the area of treatment.
Step 2: Shaving The Area Of Treatment
Before the procedure of laser treatment, the area to be treated is cleaned and shaved properly.
Hairs are trimmed or shaved so that they are not extended on the surface. This is done to save skin from the damage that can be caused by heat produced in hairs at the surface of the skin.
Step 3: Applying Ice Pack And Gel
After shaving, an ice pack or gel is applied on the skin surface for cooling the skin so that it remains safe from any damage caused by the heat of the laser.
It can either be done with cooling gel, an ice pack, or a cooling device that can also be attached at the tip of the instrument.
The gel is applied on the skin surface so that the instrument moves quickly during the process.
Step 4: Activating Laser
A handheld laser instrument is pressed on the skin surface. When a laser is activated, it passes through the skin to the hair follicle.
Hair follicle absorbs light, and heat is generated, which damages the hair follicle and inhibits its growth.
Step 5: Treating Discomfort
After laser treatment, ice is applied to the treated area to reduce any discomfort caused by the heat of the laser.
If there is any skin reaction immediately after laser treatment, steroid creams are applied to the affected area.
Precautions of Laser Hair Removal
After laser treatment, you must follow these precautions
- After laser treatment or between treatment sessions, avoid exposure to sunlight.
- Daily use a good sunscreen with a broad spectrum.
Complications of Laser Hair Removal
This technique also has some minor difficulties, which are as follows:
Damage To Skin: The risk of damage to the skin by laser is higher in people with little contrast in hair and skin color. Dark-colored skin has more melanin pigment, and hence, the skin will also absorb light, and there is a chance of some damage to skin cells.
But advanced laser hair removal technique has overcome this limitation and made it an option for people with dark skin too.
Redness And Swelling: Hairs removed with a laser may cause redness and swelling as it generates heat to damage hair follicles. Generally, it remains for the first few hours after treatment.
Itching: Some people may feel itching in the treated area.
Crusting: In some cases, a person might experience crusting in the affected area. It can be prevented by taking care of the treated area or by applying moisturizer on it.
Change In Skin Colour: Some people might see a slight change in skin color after treatment. It can become slightly darker or lighter.
Dark-colored skin tends to become lighter and vice versa. This change in color fade away over time, and skin becomes normal.
- Skin Infection: Damaging hair follicles with the laser has the risk of infection. If an infection arises, a person should contact a dermatologist and should not apply any antibiotic cream without the consultation of a doctor.
- Blister Formation: There is a rare chance of blister formation, but it can appear if the process is not done accurately.