For most people, the idea of never having to shave again is a beautiful fantasy. Today, laser hair removal treatments are extremely effective, and are able to make that dream a reality for people who are willing to invest the time and money. Lasers are very powerful tools, however, and can be used for a number of different purposes, including the destruction of unwanted pigment in the skin. Because of this, laser skin treatments can have negative side effects for people with darker skin pigment. This does not mean, however, that people with dark skin cannot undergo any type of laser treatment. So what do you need to know about laser hair removal and dark skin?
Targeting the Hair Not the Skin
One of the main differences between laser hair removal treatments and other types of laser treatments is the focus on the hair rather than the skin. Most other treatments are designed to penetrate deep layers of skin to either encourage cell turnover and collagen production or to destroy unwanted pigment. Laser hair removal is gentler and is designed to cause damage to the hair follicles, not the skin. Low energy lasers such as a diode laser are used for this purpose, which sends a pulse that is absorbed by the hair and the follicle rather than the skin.
Customized Treatment for Different Skin Types
Aside from the fact that hair removal lasers target the hair and not the skin, laser hair removal is suitable for nearly all skin types because a skilled provider will tailor the procedure to the patient’s skin type, color, and thickness. It is important for patients with dark skin to be especially careful when choosing a doctor to perform the treatment.
Laser hair removal involves generally less discomfort and recovery than some other laser treatments, and each session is minimally invasive. The procedure itself feels like a series of snaps from a rubber band, and the area may be slightly red following treatment. The treated area must be protected from the sun between sessions to avoid complications.
Hair grows in cycles, so only some hair follicles are active at any given time. This is why multiple sessions are needed for total eradication of hair growth. The number of treatments needed can vary, but typically range from 3 to 6 treatments spaced a few weeks apart. These numbers will depend on the hair cycle, the hair being treated, and the patient’s skin type.
Treatments are gentle enough to be performed on nearly any area of the body. Currently, the only area that cannot be treated with the hair removal lasers is the eyebrow area. Larger areas will take more time per treatment and cost more, but the procedure is extremely flexible.
Getting the Results You Want
If you would like to move forward with permanent hair removal, then you will need to seek help from an experienced plastic surgeon who knows how to work with all skin types. Choosing the right surgeon will help you get the results you want and avoid preventable complications. During your consultations, be sure to bring up any concerns and specific questions, and never choose a doctor you don’t feel comfortable with or whom you think does not show adequate knowledge and expertise.
If you are looking for a board certified expert in the Dearborn or Birmingham, MI, areas, come to Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery and meet with our team of acclaimed surgeons. Our staff has over 75 years of combined experience and offers patients a range of effective treatments, including laser hair removal. To schedule your complimentary consultation, call 866-487-3223 today.