Laser hair removal is a non-invasive procedure in which a laser is used to reduce the growth of body hair. It is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures that people undergo to get rid of unwanted hair.
In this procedure, a concentrated beam of light is targeted at the melanin (a type of pigment) in your hair. The light converts into heat and damages the sacks in the hair follicle that produces hair, thus inhibiting or delaying hair growth.
You can get laser hair removal done on any part of your body. The main target areas of laser hair removal are:
- Upper lip
- Bikini line
You have to undergo the procedure under a trained expert or a dermatologist. When done under the supervision of a doctor, this procedure is safe for most people. One of its main benefits is that it helps remove unwanted hair from a body part without damaging the skin. This process is fast (depending on the area being treated). However, some people may experience a few side effects
Risks Associated With Laser Hair Remover
You may experience some minor side effects of laser hair removal such as:
- Skin Redness And Irritation
Redness and skin irritation are very common side effects of laser hair removal. They are even more common if you are getting it done on a relatively sensitive area of your body. You might notice redness and minor skin irritation, along with swelling.
These effects are similar to the ones you usually notice after waxing or any other type of hair removal procedure. The irritation goes away within an hour of the procedure. You can apply an ice pack to speed up the recovery.
- Change In Skin Pigment
- You may also notice changes in your skin tone after the procedure. If you have a light skin tone, you might notice dark spots on your skin. If you have a dark complexion, you might notice lighter spots on your skin. These changes are temporary. But if you feel they look too severe, talk to your doctor immediately.
You may also experience some serious side effects of laser hair removal. Though they are rare, it is important that you know when to seek medical help.
Rare Side Effects Of Laser Hair Removal
Change in skin texture:
This is a possibility if you got tanned recently.
If you tend to get scars easily, you might also experience scarring from laser hair removal.
Excessive hair growth:
This is extremely rare, but there is a possibility that you might experience excessive hair growth in the treated area.
You might get blisters if you expose your skin to the sun too soon after the procedure.
Since the potential risks of laser hair removal are quite serious, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends going to only certified dermatologists to get it done .
One thing you need to remember is that
laser hair removal does not remove hair permanently.
It only delays hair growth for a period. This is because the laser treatment is done when your hair is in the growth phase, called anagen. Initially, you will need to undergo multiple sessions to remove hair completely because not all hairs may be in the active growth phase.
Later, you can go for maintenance treatments to target stubborn areas or get rid of strays or regrown hair or hair that has just come out of the dormant phase and entered the active growth phase.
Laser hair removal is more than just getting rid of hair from your body. It is a medical procedure for which you need to prepare yourself. There are a few things you need to consider before you decide to take the plunge.
How To Prepare For Laser Hair Removal
If you have made up your mind to undergo laser hair removal, prepare yourself before fixing an appointment. Here’s a checklist:
- Avoid waxing and/or plucking hair from the area where the procedure will be done.
- Avoid sun exposure as much as possible for at least six weeks before the procedure. (you will also need to avoid it for six weeks after the procedure).
- Avoid using products that might irritate your skin.
- Avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs that might increase the risk of bleeding.
- If you have a skin infection, rash, or cold sore, avoid undergoing the procedure.
- Avoid undergoing laser hair removal if you are pregnant. Laser therapy is not safe during pregnancy.
Laser hair removal is performed by a licensed esthetician.