What many might not know is that the name LASER does not come from nowhere – it stands for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation” what perfectly encompasses what a laser treatment has to offer. At first it might sound confusing however after reading this article it certainly won’t anymore!
Understanding How Laser Hair Removal Works
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During the cosmetic treatment, a dermatologist operates on a hand-held device which emits concentrated light of a single, unchanging wavelength onto the target area. In this case, the target area is of course unwanted hair of any chosen body part. When the light particles reach the hair bulb, they get absorbed by hair pigment and transformed into heat.(1) The heat, on the other hand, destabilizes the cohesive forces in the hair bulb so that a hair can fall out. Furthermore, it is not anyhow damaging to the surrounding healthy tissue. Please also note that the targeted structure here is hair pigment – for this reason, laser won’t work on white or gray hair.
It has been calculated that with each session there is an approximately 20% improvement so with the 6th treatment a significant hair growth reduction should be noticed.(2) It is impossible to achieve an immediate complete reduction since hair follicles go through cycles of activity and rest while the light works only on the active ones. Laser makes the body hair grow thinner, slower and scarcer.(3) Furthermore, it reduces the irritation and bumps from regular razor shaving – for the skin it is gentler and for the wallet it is way more cost – effective.
Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt?
Whether laser hurts or not, it really depends on one’s personal pain threshold and sensitivity. Relatively it does not cause pain, for most patients a tingling or stinging sensation will be experienced though.(3) To provide the most possible comfort during the procedure, a cooling and numbing gel or lotion is applied before the therapy starts. Moreover, there are laser devices which simultaneously cool the skin while they remove the hair at the same time.
Preparing for Laser Hair Removal
A dermatologist should come up with a personalized advice, however in general it is suggested not to perform any waxing or tweezing for at least 2 weeks before getting a laser hair removal. Razor and chemical shaving are allowed though.
How long is recovery time?
For most patients there is no recovery time and they can return to their regular activities right after the treatment. (4)
Are there any side effects of laser hair removal?
Every medical procedure does entail some specific side effects nonetheless they do happen rarely. The most common immediate side effect is getting mild redness or swelling in the treated area which should subside within a few days. The other unwanted repercussions include skin irritation, burning and pain.