Everything You Wanted To Know About Laser Hair Removal
Unwanted facial and body hair can have an impact on how we feel, how we interact with others, what we wear, and what we do. Shaving, plucking, bleaching and epilation using a device that pulls out multiple hairs at once are all options for concealing or removing unwanted hair. Electrolysis, which uses an electrical current to destroy individual hair follicles, and laser therapy are longer-term options. So, what exactly is laser hair removal? What can it accomplish? And what are the negative consequences? How does laser therapy work? Lasers emit a single wavelength of light in a single colour. The energy from the light is transferred to the skin and hair pigment melanin when it is directed at the skin. This causes the surrounding tissue to heat up and become damaged. However, in order to remove hair permanently while causing the least amount of damage to the surrounding tissue, the laser must be directed at specific cells. These are the hair follicle stem cells, which are located in the hair bulge. People are carefully shaved before treatment because the skin surface contains melanin, which we want to avoid damaging. Will it be effective in permanently removing hair? Laser treatment can permanently reduce hair density or permanently remove unwanted hair. Because permanent hair density reduction means that some hairs will regrow after a single course of therapy, patients will require ongoing laser treatment. Permanent hair removal means that no hairs in the treated area will regrow after a single course of therapy, and there is no need for ongoing laser therapy. The following factors influence whether hair is permanently removed or simply reduced in density: the colour and thickness of the treated hairs the colour of the patient's skin the type and quality of the laser used and the competence and training of the laser operator However, if you have grey hairs that lack melanin pigmentation, current lasers will not work. What number of treatments will I require? The number of treatments required is determined by your Fitzpatrick skin type. This categorises your skin based on its colour, sun sensitivity, and proclivity to tan. Skin that is pale or white, burns easily, and rarely tans (Fitzpatrick types 1 and 2) With 4-6 treatments every 4-6 weeks, people with dark hair can usually achieve permanent hair removal. People with fair hair will generally only achieve permanent hair reduction, and after an initial course of treatment, they may require 6-12 monthly treatments. Light brown skin that occasionally burns and gradually tans to light brown (type 3) With 6-10 treatments every 4-6 weeks, people with dark hair can usually achieve permanent hair removal. People with fair hair will usually only achieve permanent hair reduction, and after an initial course of treatment, they may require 3-6 monthly follow-up treatments. Moderate brown to dark brown skin that rarely burns and tans well (type 4 and 5) With 6-10 treatments every 4-6 weeks, people with dark hair can usually achieve permanent hair reduction. 3-6 monthly repeat treatments are usually required for maintenance. People with light-colored hair are unlikely to respond. Re-treatments must be spaced far enough apart to allow new hair growth to reach the bulge's level. What complications or side effects should I be aware of? To protect your eyes, you will be advised to wear goggles during treatment. You will also feel some discomfort during treatment, especially during the first few sessions. This is primarily due to not removing all hair in the treatment area prior to the procedure. Hairs that are not shaved absorb laser energy and heat the skin's surface. Repeat treatments at regular intervals reduce pain. After laser treatment, your skin will feel hot for 15-30 minutes. For up to 24 hours, there may be redness and swelling. Does the type of laser make a difference? The type of laser influences not only how well it works, but also your risk of side effects. Long-pulse ruby lasers, long-pulse alexandrite lasers, long-pulse diode lasers, and long-pulse Nd:YAG lasers are all suitable for hair removal. Intense pulsed light (IPL) devices are not lasers, but rather flash lamps that emit multiple wavebands of light at the same time. They function similarly to lasers, albeit less effectively, and have a much lower chance of permanently removing hair. To reduce the risk of damaging melanin-producing cells on the skin's surface, the laser used and how it is used can be tailored to your skin type. People with fair skin and dark hair can use an IPL device, an alexandrite laser, or a diode laser; those with dark skin and dark hair can use a Nd:YAG or diode laser; and those with blond or red hair can use a diode laser. Short laser pulses are used to control the spread of heat and unwanted tissue damage. The laser's energy is also adjusted: it must be strong enough to damage the bulge cells but not so strong that it causes discomfort or burns. Can I do it myself if I buy a home laser device? Home laser devices and IPL home devices range in price from $200 to $1,000. However, they do not work as well and must be used on a regular basis to maintain hair reduction. Only people with fair skin (Fitzpatrick types 1 and 2) and dark hair have their parameters set. Energy settings are limited for safety reasons. Complications may still arise in inexperienced hands. This includes skin pigmentation changes, burns, pain, and blistering. Medical grade lasers, on the other hand, must be registered with the government's regulatory agency, the Therapeutic Goods Administration. There are also national and state-based regulations governing the facility where the laser is used, as well as mandatory laser safety training and state-based qualifications and licencing for laser operators. As a result, a safe and regulated laser in the hands of a skilled dermatologist is advised. When should you see your doctor? Excess hair is not always a cause for concern. However, severe hirsuitism or excessive growth of dark and coarse hair over areas of the body where it would not normally grow or hypertrichosis excess hair growth for someone's age, sex, or race can be indicators of underlying illness. Extra androgen hormones can cause hirsutism, especially if it is accompanied by symptoms such as irregular periods or acne. Later in life, hypertrichosis can be a sign of cancer. Your dermatologist can look into these.