Lasers are a new modality for rapid, gentle removal of unwanted hair. Lasers are not for everyone, and their proper use requires great expertise. Consumers contemplating laser hair removal requires education to properly evaluate if and where to have laser hair removal performed. Many competing technologies exist. Several are already outmoded, and others offer particular advantages for certain patient populations. This is designed to help consumers decide if they are proper candidates for laser hair removal and to answer the most relevant questions concerning this important new advance.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Am I a candidate for Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is not for everyone. The absolute requirement is that one’s hair must be darker than the surrounding skin. Additionally very darkly pigmented people are not ideal candidates.
Q. Efficacy of Laser Hair Removal.
The “permanence” of laser hair removal is often called into question. In practice, no laser destroys all the hair follicles. Some follicles are destroyed, others are miniaturized some are shocked into prolonged dormancy. Multiple treatments are needed for best results, an interval between first treatment is usually 6-8 weeks.
Q. About Permanent Hair reduction by Laser.
Waxing, shaving, and plucking all produce hair removal which is temporary. Lasers have clearly documented that there is permanent hair reduction after each treatment. More treatments lead to greater degrees of permanent hair reduction. For any given patient results cannot be precisely predicted. Results can be variable, even with the best lasers.
Q. Laser hair Removal requires multiple treatments?
Although one laser session can produce long-term hair removal, as a rule multiple treatment sessions are necessary to obtain optimal results. In large part this is due to the fact that laser hair removal is most effective for hair which is in the growth phase. Since hair grows in cycles, not all of the hairs are in growth at any given time. Dark hair absorbs more energy and is easier to treat. Coarse dark hair responds the best to laser treatment. Light hair is more difficult to treat.
Q. What areas can be treated?
Any area, except adjacent to the eye, where there is excess hair. The most common areas requested are the face, upper lip, neck, chest, peri-areolar, underarms, back, abdomen, bikini line, and legs.
Q. Side effects and complications.
Redness is relatively common following laser hair removal, especially with the shorter wavelength lasers used at high energy, and usually resolve within minutes to hours. Superficial blistering may occur, especially in patients with darker or tanned skin.
Q. Laser Hair Removal for Indian skin.
The best results are obtained when the hair to be treated is considerably darker than the surrounding skin. Also coarse hair is easier to remove. Fine, light hair in people is difficult to remove.
Q. Tanning and Laser Hair Removal.
Laser hair removal should not be performed on tanned skin.
Q. Who should not have a Laser hair removal?
Patients with a recently acquired dark tan. People of color with fine, light hair. Anyone who cannot afford multiple sessions (one treatment is rarely adequate). Patients who are pregnant.
Q. Diet and Laser hair removal.
Diet is generally unrelated, except for Beta-Carotene, which interferes with the treatment. Beta Carotene, found in carrots, vitamin A supplements, squash, and other vegetables, is deposited in the skin, producing a subtle orange or yellow color in the skin.
Q. Preoperative preparations to be performed.
Hair should not be plucked or waxed before treatment. Bleaching of the hair should not be done after you started taking the laser hair removal treatment, as it is less effective on those hairs
Q. Postoperative care to be kept in mind.
Mild burning sensations and redness can be treated with ice packs and oral pain medication. In cases where blistering occurs, topical antibiotic cream and a non-adherent dressing can be applied. Sun exposure should be avoided, sun block should be used. Moisturizing lotions and makeup may be applied the next day. During the weeks treatment, damaged hair follicles and shafts are extruded or shed, and may be misinterpreted as early re growth of hair. This is especially noticeable in areas with thick, coarse hair.