Lasers are useful for removing unwanted hair from the face, leg, arm, underarm and other areas.
Precision. Lasers can selectively target dark, coarse hairs while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged.
Speed. Each pulse of the laser takes a fraction of a second and can treat many hairs at the same time. Small areas in minute, and large areas, such as the back or legs, may take up to an hour.
Predictability. Most patients have permanent hair loss after an average of three to seven sessions.
Laser hair removal is more than just ''zapping'' unwanted hair. It is a medical procedure that requires training to perform and carries potential risks.
If you are planning on undergoing laser hair removal, you should limit plucking, waxing, and electrolysis for six weeks before treatment, because the laser targets the hairs' roots.
You should also avoid sun exposure for six weeks before and after treatment. Sun exposure makes laser hair removal less effective and makes complications after treatment more likely.
Just before the procedure, your hair that will be undergoing treatment will be trimmed to a few millimeters above the skin surface. The laser equipment will be adjusted according to the color, thickness, and location of your hair being treated as well as your skin color.
When the procedure is completed, you may be given ice packs, anti-inflammatory creams or lotions, or cold water to ease any discomfort. You may schedule your next treatment four to six weeks later. You'll get treatments until hair stops growing.
For a day or two afterward, the treated area of your skin will look and feel like it's sunburned. Cool compresses and moisturizers may help.
Over the next month, your treated hair will fall out. Wear sunscreen for the following month.
Blisters are rare but are more likely in people with darker complexions. Other potential side effects are swelling, redness, and scarring. Permanent scarring or changes in skin color are rare.