Laser Hair Removal: A Primer

Unwanted hair can cause self esteem issues for people of all ages and genders, and for years the only options to deal with removal were painful, inconvenient and temporary. Thankfully, laser hair removal has made intense pain and inconvenience unnecessary.

Laser Hair Removal is Convenient and Involves Minimal Pain

First, it’s important to emphasize that it is not painless. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration prohibits providers of these services from making claims to the contrary. If you see an advertisement that claims to offer pain-free laser hair removal, run the other way.

That said, the pain is very minimal, especially compared to procedures like waxing, which rip the hair out at the root. Instead of this traumatic tearing, laser removal involves actually dissolving the root of the hair. The pain involved in this approach is very minimal, and can usually be treated with a topical antiseptic.

As for convenience, laser hair removal treatment results last much longer than other techniques. Where shaving only removes surface hair, allowing hair to begin to reappear as soon as the next day for some, and while the results of waxing may only last a few weeks, laser removal is a long-term solution.

Of course, in order to accomplish this, most patients need several laser treatments, but the trade off is that the reduction in new hair growth is greatly reduced for the long-term.

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Laser hair removal technology is simple but ingenious, and a primary example of how advancements in science continue to make life more satisfying. Of course, the process uses laser, but more importantly, the lasers are tuned very specifically.

Essentially, the lasers used to remove hair are targeted toward darker pigment, which appears at the roots of the hair. The lasers seek out areas with this pigment specifically, and disintegrate them.

The benefits of these targeted lasers are twofold: The hair follicles themselves can be easily located for treatment, and the surrounding cells are protected. Only the melanin is touched by lasers, so the skin, which has a lighter pigment, does not get damaged.

The Least Pain with the Most Benefit

Again, laser hair removal will involve some pain. During the procedure itself, the pain can be described as sharp, being felt at about the same level as a rubber band snap or a small bug bite. Following the laser hair removal procedure, some patients experience soreness in the skin surrounding the area, but it is easily treatable with topical ointments.

Also, realize that hair growth is minimized, but may not be eliminated completely without further treatments. However, unlike shaving and waxing where the hair returns fully in a short time, or bleaching which is also temporary and only provides mild superficial benefits, laser hair removal gives satisfying long-term results that hold up on close inspection.

If you are considering laser hair removal, be sure to seek out a qualified, board-certified aesthetician – ideally one who operates within a medical facility such as a plastic surgery practice. Choosing the right provider helps assure that you will get satisfying, long-term results.

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