Facts about Laser Hair Removal at home
It would be beneficial to know about the different methods of aftercare and precautions that are required for laser hair removal at home. This will ensure the procedure not only gives the desired results but is also safe. The best results are achieved, and also there will be o side effects.
The main reason that people do it is for aesthetic purposes. People have still adorned such hairless skin since ancient times. It is also used to treat medical treatments like hirsutism, hypertrichosis, PCOS, etc.
How and where is laser done?
Laser hair treatment can be done on all body parts where there is hair growth. It can be done on the arms, face, upper lips, legs, back, abdomen, etc.
For better response, the laser is advised in the growing phases of the hair. The hair shaft characteristics, the color of the hair, and the skin play significant attributes in the effectiveness of laser hair therapy. There are different intensity and kinds of lasers used for the removal of hair, and it depends on-
- Determining the cause of hirsutism/ hypertrichosis.
- Observing the skin color type.
- Observing the color of the hair. Dark thicker hair is easier targets compared to finer hair.
How does laser work?
The melanin of the hair absorbs the laser light beam. So it works on the hair root. It doesn't harm the surrounding tissues or skin. Thus it damages the hair roots and reduces hair growth. The devices used for an at home laser hair removal also utilize the same principle.
What is the duration of the treatment? Does the treatment period differ from person to person?
The usual gap between each session is about 4 to 6 weeks. It may vary as per the area treated. In early sessions, which is about 6 to 8 sessions long, there will be a visible reduction in hair growth. Depending upon the growth of the hair and the availability of the client, there can be follow up sessions between every few months. The follow-up sessions also depend and vary from person to person. There is no way to determine the hair growth circle of an individual, and it depends on the person's physiology that differs for everybody. Everyone’s body reacts differently.
What to expect after taking the treatment?
To get the benefits of long term epilation, 6 to 10 laser sessions are required. A marked reduction of 10 to 20% can be seen after a single treatment session for most laser systems. Three treatments can reduce hair growth by 30- 60% and repeated treatments after that can reduce the hair growth up to 80- 90%. The results also depend upon the post-treatment follow up sessions that can last up to 24 to 36 months.
What happens during laser hair removal?
Before the treatment starts, the area has to be cleaned thoroughly to remove any product residue. Some patients depending upon their sensitivity, can receive a numbing gel. Numbing gel is beneficial when a small area has to be treated. If the skin is susceptible or the patient is not comfortable with any amount of prickly sensations that are associated with the treatment, then a numbing gel is handy. It takes about 30 to 60 minutes for the numbing gel to work.
The laser treatments generally take place in a room where it is expressly set up with all the essentials for the treatment to commence. Everyone in the room has to wear protective eye gear to protect their eyes from the laser. When the procedure begins, the skin is held tight and taut. Many patients associate the feeling of warm pinpricks with the treatment.
The laser removes the hair by vaporizing it. As the small plumes of smoke are caused by it, the sulfur-like smell is sensed by the patients. The at-home laser hair removal might not give off such strong aftermaths, although. The duration of the treatment depends upon the size of the area that has to be treated. For example, the upper lip can take a few minutes. Larger areas like the legs and back can take more than an hour.
Is there downtime?
The laser hair treatment doesn't require any downtime. The immediate after-effects of laser hair removal are some redness and soreness. Despite this, the patients can just as quickly get about doing their regular work almost immediately after the procedure. It’s like any other hair removal procures only with a more technological inclination.
When will I see the results after having laser hair removal?
Most patients see the results almost immediately after the treatment. The results although will vary significantly from patient to patient. The results will be affected by the color of the skin, type of laser used, and the area treated. The patients can expect up to 10 to 20% reduction in hair after the initial treatment. The minimum of treatment sessions required by the patients is up to 2 to 6. Most patients experience no hair growth in the treated area for several months and even years. When the hair eventually grows back, it’s either very less and sparse or too fine and lighter to be noticeable.
How long will the results of laser hair removal last?
Most patients don't experience hair growth in the treated areas for up to years. But it depends on the number of treatment sessions they have attended as well. Most patients do have to go for a touch up now and then. Here the laser hair removal at home devices is useful.
When is it safe to have another laser treatment for hair removal?
This varies from patient to patient. To see the desired results of almost complete hairlessness, the patients have to commit for several sessions that can be done between 4 to 6 weeks. But it will be better to discuss it thoroughly with the concerned technician who can give a better judgment on how many and how often the sessions must be conducted.
Pros of laser treatment
- The lasers used are FDA approved. So the procedures are safe
- The results are semi-permanent
- There is no real pain and its hassle-free
- It not only reduces hair growth but also reduces the chances of ingrown hair
- There is also no issue of skin pigmentation to be experienced as its generally seen during the waxing
Precautions to take before Laser Hair Removal
The body parts where the hair removal has to be done must not be subjected to tanning. Before at least 4 to 6 weeks of the treatment, tanning must be avoided. This can have an impact on the effectiveness of the procedure. This also means to prevent self- tanning sprays and creams as well.
Minimum three weeks before the procedure, the treatment of the area shouldn’t be plucked or bleached. For the success of the laser hair removal treatment, the preservation of the roots and the pigment of the air is crucial. If the hair is bleached, plucked, or waxed before the procedure, then there is a risk that the hair will not have been able to go through the regrowth phase by the time the treatment has to be done. If this happens, then there will be nothing for the laser to aim for on the skin.
There should be no product residue like or oil present on the body. So the area to be treated must be washed thoroughly. Most dermatologists advise on cleaning the body well before undergoing the procedure. This will ensure that the best results are achieved.
For smooth and better response, the area must be moisturized thoroughly after the treatment and even sometimes before the procedure depending upon the part of the body which is being treated.
Things to know before doing laser
- Avoiding sun or UV exposure for a minimum of seven days post- and pre-treatment is the best way to minimize the risk of side effects.
- At least two weeks before the treatment, tans and sunburns must be avoided.
- Seven days before the treatment, sunless tanning products must be avoided.
- The technician in charge must be provided with an up to date medical history of the patient. This will ensure that the procedure done is effective and safe.
- Pregnant clients are advised to wait until the pregnancy term is completed as the process is not recommended for pregnant women and people under heavy medications.
- Clients with tattoos are one of the most difficult ones. Treatment over tattoos is very tricky. Sometimes the procedure cannot be done at all.
- If someone has epilepsy, the treatment cannot be provided.
- SideSide effects are uncommon but may include; Hypopigmentation (loss of skin pigmentation), Hyperpigmentation (darkening of skin), mild to moderate burns or blisters, temporary redness, permanent skin discoloration, follicular edema (little pink/red “puffiness and small bumps like "goosebumps") itching in the treated area, swelling , rashes, bruising, hives, and lack of desired results.
- The area to be treated must be cleanly shaven. The clients who are unshaven might have to be rescheduled.
- UV exposure must be avoided at least seven days before the treatment.
- Clients who are suffering from sunburn or tan must avoid any additional skin damage and wait up to a minimum of two weeks to get the treatment.
- Any sunless tanning products must be avoided seven days before the treatment. It is also recommended that any residual products must be removed by exfoliating the area thoroughly.
- All products, skincare or makeup, must be removed before the treatment. Numbing cream is applicable is applied 30 to 40 minutes before the treatment.
- For the treatment of the skin on the face, the clients need to rinse and wash their faces thoroughly at the clinic.
- Minimum two weeks before the treatment of chemical peels and other laser procedures must be avoided as well.
- Before seven days of the treatment, Differin, hydroquinone retinol/retinoid, alpha-hydroxyl, and beta hydroxyl products (AHA/BHA) and Tazorac.
- Before the treatment, clients with any abnormal moles or spots and lesions must undergo medical procedures and deal with it first.
- Clients must stop chemical epilation, tweezing, and waxing three weeks before treatment.
- It is recommended to take an anti-viral medication like Valtrex if you are prone to cold sores before your treatment. People with active cold sores are not advised to be treated.
- Clients who are prescribed on Accutane or other similar products within the last six months shouldn’t have laser hair removal treatments.
- Clients are recommended not to perform any physical activity thatwould increase body temperature and blood pressure within 2 hours after and before treatments.
If someone has dermal fillers or Botoxin the area to be treated, then they must wait for at least 14 days both after and before the injection to receive treatments.
- It is recommended that the personal physician of the client be consultedbefore if the client is on long term use of antibiotics. As antibiotics can increase photosensitivity, the medications need to be stopped at least seven days before the treatment.
- Boots are not recommended to be worn immediately after leg treatments.
If by chance, any blisters occur, then it should not be punctured. If the skin is by some means broken, then an antibiotic ointment must be applied until it’s healed.
For post-treatment discomfort, Tylenol is used
For at least seven days post-treatment, extended UV exposure must be avoided.
Over the counter medications are also recommended for post-treatment discomfort. Restorative Gel, ice packs, or aloe Vera and cool towels can be used to alleviate discomfort due to heat.
A broad-spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 30 or higher is crucial to be used after and before laser treatments. It is recommended ongoing for maintenance as well.
If any side effects, such asprolonged redness or swelling, hypo- or hyper-pigmentation, a histamine reaction, or blistering is noticed, then discuss it with the technician.
The treated areas must be exfoliated to minimize the risk of ingrown hairs.
Whether someone opts for laser hair removal at home or via any professional, the results will be far better than any other hair removing treatment out there. Just follow the precautions, and the treatment will always please you.