Laser hair removal is an extremely popular cosmetic procedure. High intensity light is shone onto hair follicles, preventing them from growing new hairs for months. Here is what to expect when getting the procedure done.
A good doctor will always check whether a patient is suitable for a procedure before signing them up for laser hair removal. Some people – such as those who have a history of skin cancer diagnosis – should not go ahead with laser treatments. Do not doctor shop for a surgeon that will perform the procedure without conducting the necessary medical checks.
It is important to prepare correctly for your surgery. It is not recommended to wax hairs before surgery. This is because waxing can rip out the hair that indicates follicles. Surgeons need to be able to identify follicles in order to damage them with the laser. Shaving is, however, highly recommended. Try and shave stubble as short as possible so that there is not protrusion. Protruding stubble can burn during the procedure and cause discomfort. Just before a procedure, the medical team will provide you with eye protection. Lasers are incredibly dangerous if shone directly into an eye, so eye protection is completely essential.
Because laser hair removal can be quite uncomfortable for some people, the best laser hair removal doctors will offer their patients some topical anesthetic to rub onto the area which is being subjected to the treatment. Patients getting treatment on particularly sensitive areas such as the bikini line and underarms should certainly ask their doctor for a topical anesthetic before the procedure starts. Patients getting treatment on the forehead or lower arms tend not to need any kind of pain relief.
During the procedure itself, a laser will be intermittently shone at your hairs. The procedure works by focusing the high intensity beam of light at the follicles in your skin. Follicles are tube shaped sacs that produce hair. The light produced by the laser is converted into heat energy when it hits flesh, which damages the follicles and prevents them from producing hair for a relatively long period of time. The process is essentially designed to burn your follicles to the extent that they cannot produce hair. Laser hair removal is safe, but the procedure can be uncomfortable for some people.
Many people report some discomfort after a procedure – usually amounting to nothing more than a very mild sunburn. Regardless of the severity of discomfort, it is important not to expose the area that has been treated to excessive heat or sunlight for a month or so. It will take hairs a few days – up to a week – to shed after the surgery. After your hairs have shed, you will be able to see the result of the procedure. Don’t panic if the result is not instantaneous. Laser hair removal does not permanently prevent hair from growing but is more of a semi-permanent surgical option than waxing or shaving.