Unwanted Hairs Treatment with Lasers
Laser Treatment for Unwanted Hairs
LASER is short form of a light having unique characteristics which makes it suitable for medical and surgical applications. These characteristics make laser so powerful that it can target a particular molecule in our body in a highly selective fashion without affecting surrounding structures. The property of certain lasers to target pigment and destroy structures carrying pigment like hair follicles forms the basic principle of laser mediated hair reduction. The hair follicles thus treated either become weak or get completely destroyed which adversely affects their growth and they tend to shed off.
Since all hairs do not carry a critical amount of pigment, hence all of them are not damaged to the same extent. Therefore, Laser hair treatment can at best decrease the number of hairs complete elimination of hairs is an ideal but unlikely outcome.
Principles of Laser Hair Reduction
· Laser hair reduction is a safe procedure having been performed globally in millions of subjects
· Each hair follows a particular life cycle which has several phases. The laser can target a hair in a particular phase. Since hairs are never in one phase, but are in different phases of growth. That explains why laser does not have a homogeneous impact on all hairs.
· A light complexion of skin and darker hairs are most suitable for laser hair reduction.
Until recent past, there was a paucity of options to help subjects get rid of unwanted hairs leading to psychological issues like frustration and disappointment with the use of expensive and inconvenient alternative procedures.
Laser hair removal can be carried out on any area of the body except over and around eyelids. The procedure is most commonly done for the face, legs, underarms, back, chest, upper limbs, shoulders, bikini line, and even groins.
Serial sittings at properly spaced intervals yield superior results. Areas with faster hair growth may be treated after an interval of four weeks while some other areas with slow hair growth might require sessions at intervals of 12-18 weeks. Some patients might be advised a maintenance schedule to prevent growing hairs reaching a significant level.
Some of the advantages of laser hair reduction are:
· Affects only the hairs
· Can cover large areas in minutes
· Results are durable
· High safety profile
· Possible to perform procedure in the doctor’s office
Some of the disadvantages of laser hair reduction are:
· There is a need for skin preparation in advance
· Less pigmented hairs are not as much improved as the dark hairs
· Some patients might experience side effects though these are temporary
Procedure and Precautions
It is always preferable to meet your doctor and seek clarifications of all your doubts.
A doctor supervised procedure can make a huge difference to your comfort level and final results.
A medical history is mandatory in all cases and certain tests might be requested before you are subjected to laser treatment.
You are likely to go through following stages in laser hair reduction process:
· Advice about avoidance of sun exposure starting six weeks before treatment
· Advice about using skin complexion lightening medication
· No other hair removal method should be used at least one month prior to start of treatment
· Local anesthesia might be used before laser session
· Protective goggles are used by the operator as well as the subject
· Cooling is done while the procedure is being performed
· Treatment results in minor discomfort which is generally well tolerated
· After the session, redness and swelling might persist for several hours
· Sun screening before and after the sessions is mandatory
· One should not expect any immediate post treatment change in the hairs. The hairs shed off over the next days or weeks
· The outcome may not be identical in all cases
Some of the other risks associated with the procedure are changes in skin color, infection, blistering, crusting, scarring and changes in skin texture. The risks are minimized when you are treated by a skilled dermatologist, rather than any other operator.
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Dr Vinay Kumar
Senior Consultant Dermatologist
+91-93 199 299 00