Unwanted body hair can prevent you from wearing your favorite dresses and shorts. Waxing, plucking, and shaving come with their set of limitations. They are painful, time consuming, and do not give a permanent solution.
Are you looking for an effective way out from this?
If yes, then laser hair removal is what you should consider. This permanent hair removal solution can set you free from excess body hair. No more painful waxing session and no more razor bumps.
Laser treatment uses a beam of concentrated light to remove unwanted hair from the body. The light energy gets converted into heat and is absorbed by the melanin in the hair. This heat damages the hair follicles and inhibits the future hair growth.
Laser hair removal has many benefits as compared to other methods and if done appropriately, it can give very efficient results over time. If you decide to opt for this method of hair removal then it is crucial to prepare for it in advance.
In this article, we shall guide you on how to prepare for a laser treatment to get the best results. So let’s get started.
Visit an Expert Dermatologist
Though laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure it can be taken as a medical procedure. Thus, you need to visit an expert and certified dermatologist for the same. An experienced professional will be able to guide you appropriately and help you through the procedure safely.
You can start by doing your research online to find out the best clinics and best dermatologist. You need to consult a dermatologist to discuss the treatment, know how it works, and to check if you are a suitable candidate for the procedure.
The dermatologist will take into consideration several aspects of your life, medical history, and so on and then decide if you can go ahead with it.
During the consultation, you can get all your doubts cleared and have all your questions answered. You can ask how many sessions will you require, how long will it take to see the results, and what tools are going to be used?
Most importantly, discuss the pricing in the initial stage itself to know how much it is going to cost you and if the treatment will fit your budget.
Things to do before laser treatment
Once you get a nod from the expert, it’s now time to prepare yourself for the laser. Let us consider the things that one should do before the laser treatment
No Plucking and No Waxing
Since laser hair removal works by targeting the follicles at the root, it is essential to stop plucking and waxing 4-6 weeks prior to the treatment. These hair removal methods can interfere with the laser treatment and affect the result.
Thus, if you want to get the best out of laser hair removal then experts are of the opinion that one should not undergo these hair removal methods.
Shave the Treatment Area
A day before your treatment, experts suggest that you shave or trim the area that is going to be treated. By removing the hair from the surface of the skin, you can prevent skin damage resulting from hair burns.
As opposed to waxing and plucking, shaving does not disturb the hair shaft below the skin. This does not affect the laser treatment and hence, you can use this method to remove the hair before commencing the treatment.
No Sun Exposure
Exposing the skin to the sun before laser treatment can cause several side effects. It can lead to discoloration of the skin and also cause blisters and pain during the treatment. It is best to avoid going out in the sun at least 2 to 4 weeks prior to your laser appointment.
Say no to Bleach
Since laser works by targeting the pigment of the hair at the roots any alteration in the pigment color can make the treatment difficult. Since bleaching alters the pigment and makes the hair lighter, it is recommended to stop bleaching 4-6 weeks prior.
No Makeup and Creams
Before you walk-in for the treatment make sure your skin has no traces of makeup, lotion, cream, etc. Simply rinse with soap and water and render your skin free of any topical application.
Certain medications can interfere with the laser treatment. It is best to let the expert know if you are consuming any blood thinners, pain relievers, etc. He may recommend you to stop the medications several days before the appointment.
Prepare Yourself Mentally
Laser hair removal is not a completely painless procedure. Expect some discomfort and pain during the session and prepare yourself mentally. Take time to think over and only go ahead when you are prepared and absolutely sure about it.
What to expect during the treatment?
Laser hair removal is a permanent and safe solution. During the treatment the hair follicles beneath the skin are targeted using high laser which removes the hair precisely. Since the hair follicle has higher melanin it absorbs the light, leaving the skin unharmed.
A complete laser treatment is spread over many weeks depending upon the area that you want to treat. During the treatment, your doctor may make use of a cooling device or a cooling gel to reduce the risk of side effects and protect your skin.
As the laser light passes through the skin, you will experience a slight discomfort like pricking of a pin. For protection purpose, you will be required to put on protective eyewear during the procedure.
What are the Benefits of Laser Treatment?
Laser hair removal causes the least pain when compared to other hair removal methods. Many people who have undergone the treatment compare it to the snapping of a rubber band against the skin.
Precision is another benefit of this treatment. With laser hair removal you can target as less hair as you want. You can choose to treat small areas on the body like upper lips, underarms, nose, etc. too.
Long Term Solution
For all those who want a long term solution to unwanted hair on the body, laser treatment is the answer. Though you are required to take multiple sittings the results are long –lasting and you will notice a reduction in the hair growth over time.
Prevents the Ingrowth of Hair
If pesky hairs trouble you by curling back or becoming ingrown, then laser treatment is the best solution. By destroying the hair follicles at the root it prevents the hair ingrowth. Thus, you have clear and smooth skin.
Don’t need to Endure Hair Regrowth
Unlike the other hair removal methods that require you to endure hair regrowth in between sessions, laser is different. With this treatment to your rescue, you can enjoy hair-free, smooth skin at all times.
Is there a risk associated with the treatment?
Laser treatment is regarded as a safe hair removal method. No health risks are associated with this treatment as long as a certified and trained professional does it for you. However, some temporary side effects of this treatment are experienced by many.
Redness, Swelling, Discomfort, and Irritation
These are some of the most common side effects of a laser hair treatment. As a result of the laser beam your skin can experience redness and irritation for a short duration.
However, your dermatologist may opt for topical anesthesia to minimize these effects and keep you comfortable. Some people may also notice a mild swelling around the hair follicles which subsides over time.
Right after the treatment one may have a feeling of slight discomfort which again goes away after a short duration.
Area specific risk
Laser treatment is not recommended on all parts of the body due to the risk of adverse effects. For instance, the area around the eye is not regarded as safe for laser treatment due to the risk of eye injury. Even a small mistake can do huge damage to the eye.
Some people may notice pigment change in the treated skin. The skin may turn lighter or darker after the treatment. This side effect is mostly experienced by those who fail to avoid sun exposure before the laser appointment.
Some rare, but possible risks of laser hair removal include crusting, scarring, blistering, etc. These side effects can occur if the technician or dermatologist is inexperienced or does not carry out the procedure correctly.
The result of a laser hair removal procedure is not immediate. The hair will not fall out on the spot but will take over a few weeks to shed. After the first treatment, you may see a 10% to 25% reduction in the hair. Repeated treatments are essential to curb the hair growth when the follicles are in the new-growth stage.
The results of laser hair treatment are difficult to predict and varies from person to person. Some people enjoy hair free skin for several months and some of them for even years. However, the hairs that regrow are light and barely noticeable.
Post Laser Care
Now that your first laser treatment is complete, there are certain instructions that you need to follow to take care of your post laser skin. Following the care regime will ease out the discomfort and help your skin to rejuvenate.
Say No to Sun
Make sure you don’t expose your skin to too much sunlight as it can lead to further irritation. Avoid going out in the sun or indulging in sunbathing for the first few weeks. It is also recommended to use a sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) whenever you step out in the sun.
No Hair Removal Treatments
Stay away from waxing and plucking as these methods of hair removal can damage the skin and hair follicles. Though it is recommended to avoid these methods, you can consider shaving within 24 hours of the treatment.
Opt for Cold Showers
After getting the laser treatment avoid hot showers and instead go for cold ones. Hot showers can cause blistering in some cases. Hence, it is best to avoid hot bath for atleast 48 hours post laser treatment. Also avoid hot tubs, saunas, and heating pads.
Exfoliation is Important
To prevent hair in-growth you should exfoliate the skin for the next 3-4 weeks. You can use a mild scrub wash and apply over the treated area. Applying it in circular motions on the skin will speed up the shedding process and prepare your skin for the next treatment.
Avoid Topical Beauty Products
The first few days are delicate for the treated skin. Hence, applying any topical beauty product should be avoided strictly. These products can further irritate the skin and delay the healing process. Thus, products like deodorants, body washes, and make up must be avoided for the first 24 hours.
Follow the Instructions
Lastly, follow all the instructions that your dermatologist has provided. If he has prescribed any over the counter medicine for redness and irritation of the skin consume them to reduce the side effects. All other post treatment care instructions that the professional provides must be adhered to for best results.
If you notice blisters do not puncture them. You can opt to use antibiotic ointment on the broken skin as it will bring lot of relief and heal the skin quickly.
Laser hair removal is a fruit of technology that can give you long-lasting results and much needed freedom from unwanted hair. Preparing yourself for the treatment can help your skin to react better to the treatment and bring out the best results.
If you are tired of tweezing, waxing, and shaving, then this long term solution is for you. You can save lot of time and money and feel comfortable in your own skin.
When taking the decision to undergo laser hair removal it is crucial to weigh the benefits and risks of the treatment for individuals. By consulting a trained and professional dermatologist you can minimize the risks and get efficient results. Also, by following the pre and post treatment protocols one can get the best out of the laser treatment.
Table of Contents
- Visit an Expert Dermatologist
- Things to do before laser treatment
- What to expect during the treatment?
- What are the Benefits of Laser Treatment?
- Is there a risk associated with the treatment?
- The Result
- Post Laser Care
- The Takeaway