The Truth About Laser Hair Removal
Many people who are tired of using age-old methods of hair removal know how stressful, inconvenient, and time consuming they can be. With laser hair removal, these people have been offered a new hope regarding the removal of body hair. For many people, laser hair removal at home has been a safe way to get rid of unwanted body hair either permanently or for an extended period. Despite the numerous benefits of the laser hair removal procedure, there are still some side effects that people need to be aware of before beginning treatment. There are also some baseless myths that need to be debunked.
Safety Concerns for Laser Hair Removal
Most people who have gone through the procedure have tolerated it well and found it to be safe. There are no long-term health risks associated with the process. However, some people have experienced minor side effects after laser hair removal. It is always advised to first test the laser on a smaller patch of skin to see how the skin reacts before moving on to treat larger areas. It's never a bad idea to discuss the potential risks with a dermatologist first, either. The treatment should always be done by a well- trained professional. If you decide to use laser hair removal at home, you should do your research and look for trustworthy brands.
What does laser hair removal feel like?
The majority of people agree that laser hair removal is not painful at all. However, you might feel a prickly sensation during the procedure, which is perfectly normal. For a couple of days after the procure, the client might feel the treated skin to be tender and notice redness. Many describe it as being similar to a sunburn. Although the process itself is not painful, the skin can be visibly affected for a few days. If these effects last longer than expected, seek medical attention.
General Side Effects of Laser Hair Therapy
There are a few side effects that have been reported by people who have undergone the procedure. Most of the side effects are temporary and minor. Almost all of them will subside on their own without any need for medical attention. However, if the condition persists, a dermatologist should be consulted. Some common symptoms include:
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 as a result. 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 quickly. The area affected will look similar to an 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 gradually subside, and it normally lasts only 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 it can still be quite inconvenient. Especially for people with dry skin, this can be an issue. The crusting can also lead to scarring and scabbing in some patients. The area should always be treated with recommended ointments or moisturizer, which can help with crusting. When going out in the sun, sunscreen application is critical, although it is recommended to avoid unnecessary sun exposure for several days after the treatment.
Changes in skin color
Sometimes patients also face the issue of a color change in their skin. The skin can become darker or lighter on the area treated. People with lighter skin may have treated areas become darker, and people with darker skin may have treated areas become lighter. All of these changes are temporary. They will fade after a few days, and the skin will return to its natural color and tone.
The laser hair removal procedure, as the name suggests, involves the use of lasers that are quite powerful. It means that they pose a potential risk of serious eye injury. The risk is even higher if the practitioner is treating the skin on a person's face. It is imperative that the person undergoing the treatment and the practitioner both wear protective eye equipment to prevent injury.
Risk of skin infection
Just like any other cosmetic hair removal method, when the hairs 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 antibiotic creams without consulting a professional, especially with larger areas, which are more prone to infection with laser hair removal.
Risk of burns and blisters
It is rare for laser hair removal to have such severe side effects. It happens only if the procedure is not done correctly, and the risk is higher when the procedure is performed by a less experienced person. This means that 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 by a qualified 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 used on the treated skin to help in preventing the laser from causing damage.
Scarring should never be an issue during the laser hair removal therapy. However, if the person who is performing it is not being careful, then it is possible. With most qualified technicians, this will never be an issue. Scars might also occur in people who do not follow proper aftercare instructions. There are specific ways in which the surface should be treated following the procedure. The treatment of the affected skin should be similar to treating skin for a sunburn. The affected area must be kept well moisturized, checked regularly for any signs of infection, and protected from light at all times.
Does it work?
It's an overstatement to call laser hair removal a permanent solution for ridding the body of unwanted hair. 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 completely permanent. During the first few months of the treatment, people will experience no hair growth and smooth skin, but eventually, the hair will grow back.
This time the hair will grow finer and lighter, and it is 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. The hair might grow back thinner or lighter with each subsequent session. After several sessions, depending on the patient’s skin, the hair might stop growing back altogether.
Many people have reported that they did not notice hair regrowth until many years after their treatment. People should also know that since the laser is more attracted to dark hair than light hair, it’s more effective on people with dark and coarse hair. The ideal combination for effective laser hair treatment is dark hair on light skin. People with reddish, blonde, or grey hairs might not see as much of a change as they would have anticipated.
Myths About Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal causes cancer
The rumor that laser hair removal can cause cancer is completely unfounded. The lasers are designed only to target and damage the hair follicles embedded deep within the skin. It cannot affect the cellular composition of the skin. The lasers used in the procedure do produce a small amount of radiation, but it is not a substantial or dangerous amount. There is also no scientific 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 lasers used in the process only penetrate the skin, so they cannot reach the organs. Laser hair removal is safe even on the sensitive areas of the body like the groin. There is no risk of damaging reproductive organs with laser hair removal.
Home kits are just as good as seeing a dermatologist
Laser hair removal at home kits are very convenient for people who want to have laser hair removal but don't want to visit a dermatologist. These kits are beneficial for people who are always traveling and find themselves too busy to keep up with the dermatologist’s appointments. The home kits are also convenient because they can be used anywhere. If you are uncomfortable with other people touching you, then home treatment can offer stress-free laser hair removal. However, people opting for at-home kits must know that they will be not as powerful or effective as the medical-grade 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 to invest in a hair removal device, don't rely entirely on reviews when making your selection. Product reviews are often bought by the seller. You should check the facts and do your research before buying a device for a delicate procedure like this.
The device should be well suited for your hair color and skin tone, as many lasers work better for dark hair. You should ensure that your hair color can be treated well with that particular device.
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 you should 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 device that will be easy to use or one with an electric cord for durability.
Check whether the device has attachments for various body parts. It will be highly useful and convenient for treating hard-to-reach areas. There may be different attachments for the underarms, face, bikini area, and more. Having separate attachments is also more hygienic.
A dependable laser hair removal at home device can cost $100 or more, so you might want to look for quality over affordability. However, it's also not wise to spend more than you can afford.
Laser hair removal is a safe option for hair removal if done correctly, but people must have a full understanding of what will happen and how they should deal with it before going in for the treatment.