Laser hair removal is a safe and effective way to remove unwanted body hair. The heat from the laser destroys the hair follicle, preventing it from growing.
The laser light is attracted to the dark pigment (melanin) in your hair, so it can effectively treat your hair follicles. The treated hair that regrows tends to be lighter and finer in texture.
The laser hair removal device emits a light beam that is targeted at pigment. This energy is absorbed by the dark pigment in the hair follicle and converted to heat that damages the follicles, preventing them from growing new hair. This process is quick and effective and requires several treatment sessions to achieve permanent results.
Before your first treatment, your dermatologist will apply a topical anesthetic to the area to minimize discomfort. They will also adjust the laser according to your skin color and the thickness and density of the hair you want to remove. After the pulse of light is delivered, they will use a cooling device to protect your skin. Most patients report that laser hair removal is less painful than waxing or shaving.
During your treatment, the technician will monitor the area to make sure there is no adverse reaction. After the procedure, you may notice some redness and swelling, but this is only temporary. It is important to avoid sun exposure after your laser hair removal session as the skin will be sensitive.
You will need a series of laser treatments to effectively reduce and eliminate unwanted hair. During your consultation, our board-certified dermatologist will create a customized treatment plan that suits your unique needs and ideal aesthetic goals. You should be able to see an improvement in the appearance of your skin after just a few treatments.
You will also need to keep up with touch-up sessions every year to maintain your desired results. These maintenance sessions will help keep your skin looking healthy and smooth. This procedure will replace the need to spend countless hours shaving, plucking and waxing, which can lead to ingrown hairs and razor bumps.
What Are the Side Effects?
Laser hair removal is a safe, effective method of removing unwanted body hair. The heat from the laser destroys hair follicles, making them unable to produce new hair. It is not permanent, and most people need multiple treatments. It is important to see a doctor who is experienced with this procedure and understands your skin type. In the hands of an inexperienced practitioner, laser hair removal can cause burns, blisters, permanent skin discoloration, and scarring.
Some people experience redness and swelling after laser hair removal, which is often short lived and can be reduced by applying a cool compress to the skin. These symptoms are a result of the hair follicles being damaged, and they will resolve on their own. People who have darker skin may notice a temporary change in skin pigmentation following the procedure. These changes are a result of the laser damaging some of the pigment cells in the skin, and they will usually fade with time.
Most people find that the discomfort associated with laser hair removal is tolerable. It is often less painful than waxing or tweezing, and many compare it to the feeling of a warm pinprick. It is important to follow all pre and post treatment instructions to avoid irritation and infection. People who are taking blood thinners or have a history of sunburn should not receive laser treatment, and they should limit plucking, shaving, and waxing in the areas that will be treated until the skin heals.
Rare side effects of laser hair removal include blisters, skin crusting, and scarring. These complications are most likely to occur with at-home laser kits or if the procedure is performed by an untrained practitioner. They are also more likely if the patient exposes the treated area to sunlight too soon after the treatment.
How Long Will It Take?
A laser hair removal treatment session may last up to an hour or more. During the treatment, your skin might feel warm and tight. The sensation has been compared to having a rubber band snap against your skin. You might also notice a burning or stinging feeling as the laser light heats your unwanted hair. It can take days or weeks for the treated hair to fall out of the follicle. During this time, you might see what looks like continued hair growth, but it is not.
A qualified practitioner will ensure that the correct settings are used for your skin complexion and hair type. These settings will determine how effective the laser treatment is for you. This is why you should only undergo laser hair removal from an experienced medical professional, such as New York City dermatologist Dr. Michele Green.
She will consult with you about your goals and aesthetic vision for the skin. She will then develop a customized laser hair removal treatment plan that will help you achieve your desired results.
During laser hair removal, the pigment in your unwanted hair will absorb the light beam from the laser and it will be converted to heat, damaging the hair follicle. Once the follicle is destroyed, it will no longer grow hair. This means that multiple treatments will be necessary to target all of the follicles in your treatment area while they are in the active hair growth phase.
After the number of required treatments has been completed, you will enjoy long-lasting results. However, because the hair follicles can eventually grow back, you will need to have maintenance sessions every four to six weeks for a few years to maintain your desired results.
What Areas Can Be Treated?
Using precision laser technology, laser hair removal can safely and effectively treat unwanted hair growth on any part of the body. The treatment is very effective on the face, legs and arms, but it can also be used on more sensitive areas such as the bikini area or back. Many women and men suffer from unwanted hair growth in these areas that makes it difficult to wear a swimsuit or shorts. Laser hair removal can eliminate this problem and allow patients to enjoy a smooth, bare skin on these and other parts of the body without the need for shaving or other hair removal methods that can cause discomfort.
During the laser treatment, your practitioner will press the handheld device against your skin and trigger the laser’s light energy. This will feel like a series of quick stings that some people compare to a rubber band snapping against the skin. The session may last for a few minutes or up to an hour depending on the size of the area being treated. Your technician may apply a cooling gel to your skin to help reduce any discomfort.
After the laser treatment, your skin might look a little red and swollen. This is due to the heat from the laser causing some of the hair to burn away. The area might also smell a bit like smoke. You should avoid exposing your skin to sunlight until it heals. If the area is particularly painful, you can try applying a cold compress to your skin or taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.
Because hair grows in cycles, you will need multiple laser treatments to fully eradicate the unwanted hair. Your dermatologist will tell you when it is safe to have another laser treatment.
How Much Will It Cost?
Depending on the area you wish to treat, Laser Hair Removal can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars per session to thousands of dollars over the course of multiple treatment sessions. However, since it removes the need to continue shaving or waxing for life, it is worth the upfront investment for many people.
A consultation with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon is a great way to get an accurate price estimate for the procedure, as it can be customized to your unique needs. During your consultation, the provider will evaluate your skin tone and hair color to ensure that you can receive the best results possible. They will also provide a quote for how many treatments you may require to achieve permanent hair reduction.
In general, dark colors absorb heat better and thereby are more easily targeted by the laser. Because of this, darker-skinned individuals typically require more treatment sessions than those with lighter complexions. Nevertheless, new technologies are being developed to cater to different hair and skin types so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of laser hair removal.
Another important factor that determines how much a person will pay for their laser hair removal is the type of laser they choose to receive their treatment with. The most common type of laser used for hair removal is the diode laser. It emits a light that penetrates the skin and targets the pigment of the hair follicles, which causes them to die. The laser also kills any bacteria present in the hair follicle, which can cause infection.
Other factors that may impact the cost of laser hair removal include the spot size and fluence of the laser device being used. The spot size determines the depth of penetration in the skin and the fluence refers to the density of the laser’s energy. Higher spot sizes and more intense energy densities are needed to destroy the hair follicles that are located deep in the skin.