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January 10 2018


6 Things to Know About Laser Hair Removal

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If a patient wants to stop waxing, shaving, and plucking once and for all, they should consider laser hair removal. This cosmetic dermatology treatment can give men and women the fuzz-free look they want, but there are important things to consider first. Below are several things to know about laser hair removal.

Avoid Tanning

Getting a tan immediately before a treatment can diminish the results and it may cause skin discoloration. Patients should stop using tanning beds, creams, and sprays well before the first session, and they should also stop before subsequent sessions. When tanning is avoided, patients can prevent serious skin irritation.

A Bit of Hair is Necessary

Laser hair removal treatments work by delivering light energy to hair follicles under the surface of the skin. The pigment in the hair absorbs the energy, thereby destroying the follicle and preventing subsequent hair growth. For the process to work, the follicle must be intact. That’s why patients should avoid tweezing, waxing, and removal creams for up to six weeks before the first treatment. However, shaving a couple of days before a treatment won’t affect the follicle and it can prevent excessive pain.

It May Be Uncomfortable

While some laser hair removal devices have cooling technology, others can be slightly painful. Patients should do their own research to find treatments that will be comfortable. If the underarms, bikini area, or other sensitive parts are to be treated, ask the provider about using a topical anesthetic to reduce discomfort.

Not Every Laser Works for Everyone

Not all lasers work on all hair colors and skin tones. If someone has pale skin and coarse, dark hair, they have little to worry about. However, those with darker complexions should seek cosmetic dermatology treatment from providers who use diode laser devices, which are safe for a range of skin tones.

Patients May Need to Change Their Skin Care Routines

After laser hair removal, patients should avoid fragranced skin care products, acne treatments, and topical creams. Nurture the skin with a soothing moisturizer and a calming cream after each session, and be sure to use a sunscreen of at least SPF 30. Finally, avoid hot baths and showers for 24 hours after each treatment.

Stick to the Plan for the Best Results

It’s important for patients to closely follow the treatment plan for best results. These plans are customized according to the area to be treated, the patient’s skin tone, and the coarseness/color of their hair. A certified provider can put together a treatment plan that works for any patient.

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