Laser hair removal is the most popular medical procedure for removing undesired hair permanently.
Although everyone gets lured by the idea of waxing and shaving-free life, they fail to acknowledge that the laser hair removal process, like any other thing in this world, has its consequences too. They are all not that bad and severe, but anyone thinking of getting it done must know about them.
Here are some of the facts you need to know before getting laser treatments.
10 Facts That You Should Know Before Laser Hair Removal
Getting permanently rid of unwanted body hair is the most coveted asset for every woman. It gives them the confidence to enjoy life on their terms without worrying about whether they should raise their arms or not.
But here are some facts you should know about the laser hair removal process before getting it done.
1. Laser treatment might take time but guarantees permanent hair removal
Laser treatment does not give an immediate observable result. It will take at least two to three weeks after the first treatment before you start observing a difference. And approximately 8-12 laser treatments to see the full result.
Laser hair removal takes multiple sessions to root out hair from the anagen stage, as it is the only point where the hair follicle remains attached to the bulb. So laser hair removal works on the anagen stage to disrupt the future growth completely.
This treatment gets to the root of the issue, literally, and once you get done with all of its sessions, you will never have to worry about unwanted hair growth. It is a lengthy but sure-shot process that ultimately pays off.
2. Consider shaving the treatment area before going for Laser Hair Removal
Body hair on the treatment area can cause damage to the surface of the skin from the burnt hairs. These burnt hairs also interrupt the laser treatment as when laser targets the skin needed to be treated, hair on the surface burns to leave the hair shaft below intact. This increases the number of sessions you will have to go through.
So, it is prescribed to shave the area 24 hours before the treatment. The same goes for makeup.
It would be best to ensure that the area where you want laser hair removal is free from any makeup or other beauty products. Sun cream, lotion, or deodorant, need to be wiped out before the procedure starts.
It is prescribed to stop using fake tanning products 3-4 weeks before the procedure. Your skin needs to be thoroughly exfoliated to avoid any side effects.
3. Other hair removal methods should be avoided
Plucking, waxing, bleaching, and electrolysis should be avoided six weeks before the laser hair removal treatment.
For the success of the laser hair treatment, it is necessary to preserve the hair root and pigment. But waxing, plucking, or bleaching your hair disrupts that motive, leaving nothing for the laser to aim for. It can’t be said for sure then that the re-growth of hair will not happen.
In many cases like this, hair regrows, altering the whole purpose of laser hair removal. So dermatologists suggest shaving your hair instead of waxing it in the weeks before the procedure. This assures an effective result.
4. Blood-thinning medications should be avoided before the procedure
A dermatologist always suggests avoiding using blood-thinning medications six weeks prior to the laser hair removal procedure.
Blood-thinners like Retinol can have adverse side effects on your skin. It can cause your skin to become extremely sensitive to lasers. And then having that highly concentrated light focus on your skin can be excruciating and irritating.
So, blood-thinners should be avoided to get the treatment done with as slight irritation and pain as possible. You might want to contact your dermatologist weeks before to ensure which medications are a big “no” for this treatment.
5. It might sound like a painful process, but it is not that bad
Waxing is painful. Most of us are quite familiar with the pain of pulling the hair follicle out of its bud. So, imagine how much it will pain when a laser light enters through the pigment of your hair and damages the hair follicle along with its bud. A lot, right?
Wrong. Most you will experience in laser hair removal treatment is a quick, sharp pain. You will be surprised to know that this pain is almost nothing compared to the pain from waxing. Some of the patients describe this pain as snapping a rubber band on your skin.
The pain is a little sharper along the area, where are thinner skin types. Like along the nose, temples, and chin. It can also be a little painful if your body temperature is higher than usual.
6. Avoid sun exposure before and after treatment
It doesn’t matter your skin color; it is always suggested to avoid sun exposure 1-2 weeks before the treatment. And also some weeks after it.
Frequent exposure to sunlight before treatment can make your skin extra sensitive to light energy. And it is used in the laser hair removal process. This can pose a threat to your skin of ending up with burns, hyperpigmentation, and even scarring.
If you are in a dire situation that needs going out, apply sunscreen to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays.
And after treatment, treated skin will be extra sensitive and need time to heal before being exposed to UV rays. Even after the treated skin is adequately healed, you should always use sunscreen before going out for a while if you don’t want burns and irritable rashes on the treated area.
Also, don’t use a tanning bed or sun lamp for indoor tanning.
7. It is a fast process
Contrary to what you think, the laser hair removal process is long and swift.
It will take just 20 minutes for a full face appointment. And one appointment or underarms take less than a minute.
So, you can see you don’t have to spend hours sitting on a chair with a rubber band being snapped at your skin repeatedly.
8. Consider skin lightening
Your skin color is a crucial factor that decides the effectiveness of the laser hair removal process. Performing laser treatment on darker skin tones is more complex than performing it on light skin.
This is because, during the process, laser light enters our skin through pigment and damages the hair follicles to prevent future hair growth in the area. Still, there is a pigmentation in dark skin, melanin pigmentation, that absorbs some of the laser’s energy, which can also inflict damage to the skin.
So it presents a challenge to the dermatologist performing the treatment to inflict minimum damage to the skin while inflicting maximum damage to the hair follicles, which is ineffective.
That’s why it is prescribed to use some skin lightening bleaches or other beauty products on darker skin tones before the laser hair removal process to get as much effective result as possible.
9. Consider switching up your beauty regime and other products
The laser hair removal process on your upper lip, legs, or other parts of your body makes it extremely sensitive. In some people, it takes several months to heal correctly, and between that time, it is advised to the patients to stay away from some beauty products.
Along with glycolic acid, scrubs, and retinol cream, topical beauty products are also prohibited for the patients.
You can apply some moisturizers, but make sure that it does not contain any chemical or perfume. A better option is to forego the moisturizer entirely and apply aloe Vera gel on it. This home remedy will help you with the itching on your skin without any side effects.
10. Laser hair removal process can trigger hair growth in some cases
Although it’s not a daily occurrence, the laser hair removal process can trigger hair growth in some cases.
Some of the particular hair types face this issue. But you don’t have to worry, and your dermatologist will inform you if your hair is one of that kind.
In rare cases, it leads to growth or regrowth of hair in the area adjacent to the treated area. It can happen anywhere in the face or body.
Common Side Effects of Laser Hair Removal Process
Although this process is pretty safe and effective for most people. In rare cases, patients also have to face some side effects. Some of the most common side effects are:
- Slight redness, swelling, and irritation in the treated skin.
- Some might observe pigmentation changes. People with light skin tend to see darker pigmentation change, and those with dark skin tend to see lighter pigmentation change.
- Crusting can also occur on the treated skin.
- Although scars are not a common side effect, they can occur if an error is made in the dermatological surgery.
- There is also a risk of blisters and burns if the dermatologic surgery is not performed correctly.
These are the facts that you should know before going for a laser hair removal process. It is a very safe and effective process, but it can cause issues if the patient does not have the proper knowledge about this cosmetic dermatology medical procedure.
So, get geared up with the medical information you need and permanently remove unwanted hair.
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