People spend a lot of time and money removing hair on their bodies throughout their lifetimes. Shaving, tweezing, and waxing are all popular methods that are time consuming and still leave behind hair. Which is why both men and women have geared more towards laser hair removal for a quicker approach that saves them time and money in the long run.
What Is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is one of the newest methods of hair removal that uses a device with concentrated light and small amounts of radiation to kill the hair follicles. This procedure slows the hair growth and removes the hair currently showing. While this method is not permanent, the results can last much longer than other methods such as shaving and waxing. Since it is not permanent touch-ups are usually needed once or twice a year to maintain smoothness.
Laser hair removal treatment can be performed on most areas of the body, the most common include, underarms, legs, bikini line, upper lip, chin, chest, and back. The procedure is ideal for men and women and usually takes less than an hour to complete depending on the area being zapped.
Advantages of This Method Compared To Others
There are many hair removal options for people seeking hair removal. Some are more painful than others such as waxing, tweezing, and electrolysis and others don’t work very well like creams. There are even medications people can take to inhibit hair growth in addition to another procedure known as threading. Laser hair removal has many benefits, especially when compared to other methods of hair removal. Some of these advantages include but are not limited to:
- Does not leave behind scars. Other methods such as threading and shaving can leave behind cuts or bruises if they aren’t done right. Waxing can also cause burns and other damage if improperly used.
- It’s quick. A typical laser hair removal procedure is conducted in the office and can take anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour depending on the area receiving treatment.
- It’s less painful than other methods. Other methods such as tweezing and electrolysis can be very painful for the patient and miserable every time they try to remove hair. Laser hair removal provides discomfort for a second until the hair follicle is damaged. Cooling cream or air is often used as well to eliminate the discomfort.
- Your skin is softer. Not only does laser removal get rid of all of the hair, it also doesn’t leave behind any signs of stubble for days after the treatment like waxing and shaving do. The hair that grows back is also thinner and finer than what was there before so your skin will feel much softer.
- The results last a long time. Laser hair removal is not a permanent solution, but the result does last much longer than with any other hair removal methods. Most people require 6-8 treatments with occasional touch-ups the following years and that’s it.
- You can still shave between treatments. Between your laser hair removal treatment you can still shave. This procedure does not eliminate all of the hair the first time through and needs to be redone several times in order to get all of the hair follicles in the area.
- Helps those prone to ingrown hairs. Laser hair removal is especially beneficial for those prone to razor burn and ingrown hairs. This procedure damages the hair deep into the skin and reduces the risk of ingrown hairs.
- It can be done anywhere on the body. Some hair removal methods are only useful on certain areas of the body while laser hair removal can be performed anywhere the patient would like.
The benefits are endless with laser hair removal, especially when compared to other hair removal options. It is not for everyone and a discussion with your doctor can help you decide if this treatment is right for you and your situation.
Potential Risks of Laser Hair Removal
Temporary Side Effects
Similarly to any other medical procedure, laser hair removal does have some risks. Temporary side effects are possible such as redness, swelling, and changes in skin pigmentation. These side effects usually only last for a few days before subsiding, however if they last longer the patient should see their doctor.
Severe Side Effects
There are severe side effects that can occur but are extremely rare. These may be scarring, blisters, excessive hair growth, and changes with skin texture. If the procedure is done properly and by a reputable doctor you should not experience any of these issues. No matter what kind of medical procedure you are having, even if it’s cosmetic, researching the doctor and the business is very wise.
Infertility and Cancer
It is a common myth that laser hair removal causes cancer or infertility due to the radiation that is used to damage the hair follicles. This is in fact a myth, because the amounts of radiation used during this procedure are extremely low and are not even to cause issues with fertility or cancer.
However, if you are currently pregnant or trying to get pregnant you should have a discussion with your doctor before the procedure to ensure that it is safe for you.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that laser hair removal is safe for most patients, as long as they properly prepare for their appointments and follow the instructions of the technicians. Severe side effects are very rare and minor side effects are rarely painful and only last a few days. Laser hair removal is an excellent option for hair removal and should be considered by those looking for a long lasting solution.
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