The truth about laser hair removal
Many people who are tired of using the age-old method of hair removal know how stressful, inconvenient, and time consuming they can be. But with laser hair removal, they have gotten a new hope regarding getting rid of body hair. For many people, even laser hair removal at home has been a safe way to obtain rid of unwanted body hair either permanently or for an extended period. But aside from the numerous pros of the laser hair removal procedure, there are still specific side effects that people need to make themselves aware of before embarking on the sessions. Certain myths have no basis for a foundation that needs to be debunked as well.
The safety issue for laser hair removal
Most people who have opted for the procedure have found it to be well-tolerated and safe. There has not been any such long term health risk that has been associated with the process. Still, some people have experienced specific minor side effects after the laser hair removal procedure. It is always advised that people should first test on a smaller patch of skin and sees how well the treatment suits them. Then they should embark on doing it on a larger area of skin. A discussion with the dermatologist regarding the risks involved before investing in the procedure is never a bad idea. The treatment should always be done by a well- trained professional. And even if someone is an option for laser hair removal at home, they should always look out for brands that are trustworthy and do a thorough background check.
How does laser hair removal feel?
The majority of people have attested to the fact that laser hair removal is not painful; at all. However, people might feel a prickly sensation when the procedure is ongoing. It is quite reasonable for the patients to feel so. For a couple of days after the procure has been done, the client might feel the treated skin to be tender and red. The sensation is described by many people, similar to a sunburn. Although the process itself is not painful, the surface will appear to be affected for some days. It will subside after some days. If not, then medical attention has to be acquired.
General side effects of Laser hair therapy
There are a few side effects that have been reported by the people who have undergone the procedure. Most of the side effects are temporary and minor. Almost all of them will subside automatically without any need for medical attention. However, if the condition persists, a dermatologist has to be consulted. Some of the common symptoms are:
Redness and irritation
The follicles of the targeted hairs are damaged by laser hair removal. The skin reacts to it, and many people experience irritation and redness in the affected areas due to this reason. The skin starts to feel tender and might tingle. It can also appear to swell slightly. The good news is that the symptoms are generally short-lived and will go away sooner than later. The area affected will look similar to the area that has just been plucked or waxed. Depending upon the skin's reaction to the treatment and the condition of the patient, the dermatologist or the technician can apply a topical anesthetic. After the initial response, the irritation should eventually subside. Its irritation generally goes away after a few hours. The redness and swelling may respond well to a cold bath or ice packs.
Sometimes the affected area might show signs of crusting. It is a minor issue but can be quite inconvenient. Especially people with dry skin, this can be an issue. The crusting can also lead to scarring and scabbing in some patients. The treated area should always be treated with recommended ointments or moisturizer. This can help with the crusting. And whenever going out in the sun, sunscreen application is a must. Although it’s recommended to avoid sun exposure for some days after the treatment.
Changes in skin color
Sometimes patients also face the issue of the color change of their skin. Sometimes the skin can go darker or lighter on the area treated. People with lighter skin can suffer from the treated area to go darker due to changes in pigmentation. People with darker skin might experience the treated surface go lighter. But all these changes are very temporary. They will fade after a few days, and the skin will return to its standard color and tone.
The laser hair removal procedure, as the name suggests, involves the use of lasers that are too powerful. It means that they pose a potential risk of serious eye injury. The risk is even higher if the practitioner is treating on a person's face. It is imperative that the person undergoing the treatment and the practitioner both wear protective eye equipment so that any unfortunate accident like eye injury can be prevented. Wearing safety gear is a must during the procedure.
Risk of skin infection
Just like any other cosmetic hair removal method, when the hair removals are damaged during laser therapy, there is a risk of infection. The affected area should be adequately treated, just like wounds should be treated so that it can heal. If the infection persists in the affected area, then a dermatologist must be consulted. The patient should never apply any over- the counter or OTC antibiotic creams without consulting a professional on the affected areas, especially the larger areas treated for laser hair removal, which are more prone to infection.
Risk of burns and blisters
These are some of the rare cases in which the side effects of laser hair removal have gone so far. But it only happens if the procedure is not done correctly, and the risk is higher when done by a less experienced and amateur person. Hence laser hair removal at home can be potentially dangerous if the instructions are not followed properly. However, this can be avoided if the treatment is done at a qualified and professional technician. There is a risk of blisters and burns because laser hair removal utilizes high- heat lasers. A cooling device or cream can be added to the person’s skin who is receiving the treatment. This will help in preventing the laser from damaging the skin.
Scarring should never be an issue during the laser hair removal therapy. However, if the person who is doing is not being careful, then the patient has to suffer. With most qualified technicians, it’s never an issue, however. Scars might also occur for people who have not taken care of their skin properly after the treatment. There are specific ways in which the surface should be treated post the procedure. The treatment of the treated skin should be done just like the skin is treated for sunburn. The affected area must be kept well moisturized, checked regularly for any signs of infection, and must be protected from light at all times.
Does it work?
To say that laser hair removal is the permanent solution to banishing unwanted hair growth on the body will be an overstatement. Laser hair removal does work to reduce hair growth for an extended period, sometimes even for years. But it is also true that the treatment is not a permanent hair removal procedure. During the first few months of the treatment, people will experience no hair growth and smooth skin. But after a few months, the hair will grow back.
This time the hair will grow finer, lighter, and often unnoticeable. The hair growth will reduce drastically, and the texture will also make the hair inconspicuous. Many people will have to go through multiple sessions so that they can achieve a satisfactory or more permanent solution to unwanted hair. The hair might grow back thinner or lighter with each subsequent session. After several sessions that depends on the patient’s skin, the hair might stop growing back altogether.
Many people have even reported that it took them many years to notice hair growth after they were done with their treatment. People should also know that as laser gets more attracted to dark hair rather than light hair, so it’s more effective on people with dark and coarse hair. The ideal skin for laser hair treatment is dark hair on light skin. People with reddish, blonde, or grey hairs might not see many effective changes as they would have anticipated.
Myths about laser hair removal
Laser hair removal causes cancer
There is no basis on which the rumor is that laser hair removal causes cancer is formed. The lasers are designed only to target and damage the hair follicles embedded deep within the skin. It cannot mess with the cellular composition of the skin. The lasers used in the procedure do produce a small amount of radiation but not that substantial that it can be potentially life-threatening. There is also no evidence that laser hair removal can cause skin cancer.
Laser hair removal causes infertility
No evidence supports the rumors that laser hair removal can cause infertility. The laser hair removal devices are created in such a way that they can only penetrate through the skin, not reaches the organs. Laser hair removal is safe even on the sensitive areas of the body like the groin. There is no chance that laser therapy can damage the reproductive organs.
Home kits are just as good as seeing a dermatologist
Laser hair removal at home kits is very convenient for people who want to have a laser hair removal but don't want to visit a dermatologist. These kits are very beneficial for people who are always traveling and are busy to keep up with the dermatologist’s appointments. The home kits are also excellent convenient because they can be used anywhere in your comfort. If you are subconscious with other people touching you, then it's a significant investment. But people opting for at-home kits must know that they will be not as powerful and effective as the medical-grade powerful devices used by qualified practitioners. The results from the equipment are modest, and the hair will grow finer and lighter eventually. Although the sessions have to be regulated judiciously to get the desired results.
How to choose the best device for you?
If you have decided on investing in a hair removal device, then don't just go after good reviews. Reviews can be bought in this digitalized age. You should check the facts before purchasing an appliance that you hope will take care of all your unwanted hair dilemmas.
The device should be well suited for your hair color, and skin tone as most laser work better only for dark hair, so you should ensure that your hair color can be treated well with that particular device or not.
The flash capacity determines the longevity of the device. The higher the number of flash capacity, the longer the machine will last. It refers to the laser wavelength or capacity of IPL.
The varying intensity levels should be checked and invest in something that you are sure you can handle. Don't buy something that intimidates you. Do your research properly before investing.
You can choose whether you want to invest in a battery-powered one that will be easy to use or an electric cord for durability.
Check whether the device has attachments for various body parts. It will be highly useful and convenient for treating the hard to reach body parts. There can be a different attachment for underarm, face, bikini area, and more. It is also more hygienic, as well.
A proper and dependable laser hair removal at home device can cost up to $100 or more. So you might not want to be frugal and look out for better features rather than price. However, always keep the budget in check before investing.
Laser hair removal is a safe option for hair removal if done correctly. However, people must have a full understanding of what will happen and how they should deal with it before going in for the treatment.