Laser hair removal- Its Facts, Cost, and side effects


LASER HAIR REMOVAL

Laser hair removal treatment is one of the newest treatment techniques to permanently eliminate extra or unnecessary hair on any part of your body. It has become the most preferred treatment method over time. Permanent hair removal treatment is now widely used in Pakistan. It is performed by professional Dermatologists all over Pakistan and other parts of the world. It has very promising results but to get satisfactory results, you just have to be patient as it requires many sessions. Do you know how much laser removal is? 

Laser Hair Removal- Method

It is a treatment technique that helps you get rid of extra and unwanted hair. This is done by the use of a machine including IPL, Diode, Ruby, Alexandrite, and Nd: YAG. All of these are used all over the world. The ones available in Pakistan, for now, are IPL and Diode.

hair removal

During this medical procedure, a thick layer of an ultrasonic gel is applied on the skin of the area, where the laser is to be performed to prevent the risk of burns. And doing this steps of facial removal the eyes are covered with glasses. The eyes of the individual are covered tightly because the sharp light from the laser can be dangerous for the eyes. After that the procedure is started which is done by the use of a concentrated beam of light (laser).

Our hair carries a pigment called Melanin. The high-intensity concentrated beam of laser absorbs that pigment which helps target the hair that needs to be destroyed. The more pigmented the hair is, the more effective the laser will be. The concentrated beam of light from the laser probe is then converted into the heat energy that targets and damages the hair follicles (responsible for producing hair), which in turn delays or permanently (with time to time maintenance) inhibits unwanted hair growth.

The hair removal method is very effective and is preferred by millions of people out there. It doesn’t promise permanent hair-free results. It does prolong the duration of hair growth but to keep it that way. You have to keep getting laser sessions from time to time to maintain it. It works best on people with a light complexion and dark hair but could be used on almost all skin types.

WHY IS THIS TREATMENT DONE AND WIDELY APPROACHED?

As discussed above, this modern treatment technique called laser hair removal. It is used to remove unwanted hair from different parts of your body including the face. (chin, forehead, upper lips, cheeks, jawline), arms, legs, armpits, neck, and bikini line, labia and perineal areas (Brazilian laser hair removal), etc. To be more precise, the laser removal treatment can be performed on any part of the body. Except eyelids and the area around it, and it is also contraindicated on the skin with tattoos. This service is not yet available at home hair removal with Laser. 

The satisfactory results from the hair removal treatment are highly dependent on the type and color of the hair as well as skin. This means if the hair color is dark and pigmented, the beam of the light will target the pigment more rather than absorbing the pigment of the skin. It is only to destroy the hair follicle without any damage to the skin. The best combination on which this treatment works the best is dark hair and light skin.

RISKS OF HAIR REMOVAL with Laser:

People who have very little difference between their skin and hair color, meaning if their skin is as dark as the color of the hair to be targeted, it would put them at greater risk of damage to the skin because the beam might absorb the skin pigment and damage it. However, technology has evolved and has made laser removal treatment much easier and effective on people with darker skin tones. It is not effective on hair that is not pigmented and does not absorb light properly like gray, white, red, etc. Specialists are working on it to make it effective on light hair.

There could be some risks or side effects of this treatment, depending on the type of skin, hair color, treatment protocol, and how well you are following the pre-treatment and post-treatment care. In our country, Brazilian laser hair removal is very popular among girls. The most frequently observed and reported side effects of all hair removal types are;

  • Skin Irritability:

Skin issues such as irritation, discomfort, redness, swelling, burning sensation, etc. are usually typical and temporary and disappear within a few hours. If the redness or irritation stays for a day or two, it may be a burn from the laser beam. 

  • Changes In Pigment:

The area where the permanent hair removal is done usually darkens or lightens the affected skin. The pigment changes could be temporary or permanent and usually result from exposure of the treated skin to the sun right before or after the treatment is done. Or in people with darker skin tone.

  • Other Side Effects:

There are some other side effects to the hair removal treatment but are typically not very common. These side effects could be scarring, crusting blistering, or significant changes in the texture of the skin that could be a result of laser burn. It could also turn the treated hair gray making it less pigmented and can cause excessive hair growth in the surrounding areas. 

Laser removal is highly contraindicated for eyelids and areas around it because it can cause significant damage or injury to the eyes.

TREATMENT PROTOCOL: HOW TO PREPARE?

HOW TO PREPARE TREATMENT PROTOCOL FOR LASER TREATMENT

The first and most important thing to look for before approaching the treatment is to find a professional like a certified dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon to get the treatment done in the best possible way. If the staff like nurses or assistant physicians is doing the procedure, make sure they are licensed and doing it under the supervision of a professional. Always go for a hospital or clinic setup to get this treatment done and make sure to avoid salons, spas, and other nonmedical setups.

Book A Doctor’s Appointment For Consultation:

The protocol recommended before opting for the laser hair removal treatment is to book a doctor’s appointment to get a consultation on whether this treatment is suitable and appropriate for your condition or skin type or not. The doctor will look into the following details before approving you for the treatment;

  • The doctor will look into your past medical and family history to find out if you had any other skin-related diseases/scars or not. If yes, then what medications you have been using previously. Also, what hair removal treatment method have you used in the past? 
  • This meeting will be knowledgeable for you as the doctor will tell you transparently about the treatment’s side effects/risk factors and how good or bad the treatment outcomes will be according to their condition and skin type/color.
  • Your doctor will also take a before and after shot of your hair on that specific area to compare the outcomes of the laser hair removal treatment on that area to what it was like before.
  • You will also get to know about the procedure and cost of this treatment from your doctor. The removal treatment is usually expensive and not affordable for everyone.

Instructions Given By The Doctor Before The Procedure: 

Your doctor will also give you some particular and important instructions to follow before and after the laser hair removal treatment. It is important to follow them to eliminate the potential skin problems so you can get the best possible results. The instructions that the doctor asks you to follow include;

  1. AVOID GOING OUT IN THE SUN:

The first most important thing your doctor will ask you to do is to avoid going out in the sun before and after the treatment, and you are expected to follow it strictly so the skin condition is not affected. If you are going out in the sun, make sure to apply a good quality sunscreen, like broad-spectrum SPF30 sunscreen.

  1. AVOID USING LOCAL SKIN LIGHTENING CREAMS/PRODUCTS:

It is best not to use any local products on your skin without your doctor’s prescription as they are very harmful to your skin and can result in a darker skin tone. If you get a tan from going out in the sun, the doctor will prescribe you some skin lightening/bleaching creams to fix it.

  1. DON’T GO FOR OTHER HAIR REMOVAL TREATMENT TECHNIQUES:

Hair removal methods that pull the hair out of the follicle like waxing, plucking, electrolysis, etc. are not recommended at all because they may affect or damage the follicle which will modify the results of the hair removal treatment.

  1. QUIT USING BLOOD-THINNING MEDICINES:

Consult with your doctor properly and tell them about all the medications you have been using previously. Discuss which ones to use and which ones to quit. Your doctor will ask you specifically to stop using blood-thinning medications such as Aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs at least some days before the procedure.

  1. TRIM OR SHAVE THE TREATMENT AREA A DAY BEFORE THE PROCEDURE:

To get the best results and permanent laser hair removal, the person is asked to trim or shave their hair a day before the treatment so the hair beneath the skin is intact in the follicle and the laser beam can detect and destroy it more efficiently.

WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANT THINGS YOU CAN EXPECT FROM LASER HAIR REMOVAL TREATMENT?

The duration of the treatment depends on the area the treatment is being done. Generally, the laser hair removal treatment requires two to six sessions. But the number of treatments could increase depending upon the area. For instance, hair grows very quickly on upper lips and other such areas so the number of sessions will increase accordingly, usually repeated after the interval of four to eight weeks. Similarly, if the hair growth is slow, the treatment interval will increase to 12 to 16 weeks.

Price of laser hair removal

Area of bodyLow costHigh cost
Bikini area$350$500
Lower legs$600$850
Back$600$900

The cost of the laser hair removal treatment is also dependent upon the area to be treated. If the area is large, it will be more expensive, and if it’s small, it will cost a little less. But the cost also depends upon the number of sessions being done. Sometimes smaller areas like upper lips require more sessions so that could double up the cost. Similarly larger areas with slow hair growth require fewer sessions which can even out the cost. And it have different prices of hair removal life facial hair removal and a different price than leg hair removal.

Before starting the procedure, the assistant needs to put on special goggles to prevent the risk of any damage to the eyes. The assistant then applies ultrasonic anesthetic gel that is used to numb the skin so that the person does not feel any pain or discomfort.

Things Done Before The Procedure:

The doctor will start the procedure by placing the head of the laser probe on the treatment area. Start will press the head of the tool onto the area to be treated by hand. It’s different for each device, but generally, a gel is applied on the skin which gives a cooling effect and provides a thick layer. That prevents the skin from scarring, burning, or feeling irritation.

As soon as the doctor activates the laser hair removal device, it will generate a beam of light that will absorb the pigment and target the hair deep down. Which will in turn damage or destroy the hair follicle inhibiting the hair growth temporarily or permanently. During the procedure, you will feel some heat on the skin that is generated by the laser beam. And also a pinprick sensation which is normal as your hair is burning inside. To soothe the heating sensation, the probe or the gel will act as a cooling aid to the skin.

The time of the treatment depends upon the size of the area being treated. The smaller the area, the less time it will take to treat it. Similarly, the larger the area being treated, the more time it will take to treat it.

Things Done After The Procedure:

The most common presentation right after the treatment is completed is the redness and swelling of the skin. That might stay for a few hours and will go down on its own so there’s nothing to worry about. 

To get rid of the irritation, redness, or swelling. It is recommended to ice your skin to make all these side effects go away. The doctor also applies a steroid cream if there is skin irritability or a reaction right after the treatment.

It is recommended not to go in the sun frequently after and in between the sessions. Tanning is also contraindicated for this treatment. It is best to apply broad-spectrum SPF30 sunscreen regularly when going out in the sun.

HOME LASERS:

Do you know how long does laser hair removal lasts? Home laser is a technique by which you can perform home laser hair removal treatment on yourself at a low price. There are several handy devices available for this purpose that have promising results. But there is not enough evidence on how good and effective these devices are. The ones at the doctor’s clinic are way more effective than these.

There are no proper studies until now on how safe and effective these home laser devices are. The reason why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has declared these devices to be non-medical and cosmetic. Which proves that these devices are not as safe as the professional ones available at hospitals and clinical setups.

It is not safe to use the home laser devices without experience. But if you are using them, the best way is to follow the instructions given with the device. So you can avoid the risk of injuries. 

OUTCOMES:

You will not note a significant change in the beginning and the hair will not fall off right away. It might take some days or a week for them to fall off naturally after the treatment, and very little change seen initially, but after some sessions, the growth will keep decreasing and eventually stop. It is best to go for your session timely at the start of the growth cycle as the laser targets the follicle best at that stage.

There are different results seen on different people having laser removal treatment. It depends on the skin type, hair, and complexion. Some people have to continue treatment for years and even then the hair doesn’t go permanently but becomes light, thin, and fine. While some people get the treatment for several months and get desired outcomes. This treatment requires long-term maintenance.


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