Have you ever thought about how much time you spend on shaving? What starts as a simple shower can become a lengthy affair. Particularly if you have dark, coarse hair, keeping up with shaving, waxing, or plucking can be exhausting. Of course, the summer months are usually worse for keeping unwanted hair in check. But that doesn’t mean that body hair isn’t an issue in the winter. If you’ve ever dreamed of a shave-free summer, and have considered laser hair removal, spring may not be the best time to start your treatment plan. Starting in the winter is actually ideal, so you can be sure you’re getting the best care and give yourself enough time for results.
The Facts About Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is a safe and effective procedure that works to permanently destroy hair growth in the treated area. This procedure can be performed on nearly every area of the body (though not on the eyebrows), and is very safe. Laser hair removal works by using the laser’s light to heat the hair follicle, causing it to become damaged and inactive permanently. The treatments are somewhat uncomfortable (many patients describe the sensation as similar to a series of snaps from a rubber band), but most patients find the procedure quite tolerable.
Laser hair removal is not a one-session solution to unwanted hair. Patients will need to plan ahead and anticipate a multi-session treatment plan, spaced over a few months. This is because the laser is able to destroy hair only at a specific growth stage. Hair goes through three stages of hair growth, and not all hair follicles are on the same schedule. In order to inhibit hair growth in all follicles, at least three treatments are needed to get optimal results. Depending on the patient’s hair color and thickness, as well as skin color, patients may need up to six treatments for good results. Each session is spaced 3-6 weeks apart. Because of this, the treatment process takes some patience and should be started well in advance of a desired completion date.
Safe for Different Skin Types
Lasers are somewhat notorious for being dangerous to use on darker skin, as they can sometimes cause the skin to darken in a complication known as hyperpigmentation. However, new hair removal lasers, such as the Lightsheer™ laser are safe for all skin types and emit energy that damages the hair follicle, but not the skin. If you are concerned about potential pigment problems, be sure to discuss these concerns with prospective providers.
Post-Treatment Restrictions and Recovery
Though there is no downtime associated with laser hair removal, there are some things patients need to be aware of post-treatment. First, for several days after each session, the area will feel and look sunburned. Soothing moisturizers can help with the discomfort. Rarely, some blistering may occur. Hair will begin to fall out gradually following treatment. It is extremely important that patients protect their lasered skin from the sun for at least a month following each treatment to help prevent problems like sunburn and hyperpigmentation. If you are planning to move forward with laser hair removal, be sure to follow all of your doctor’s instructions for post-treatment care.
Choosing an Expert
The best thing you can do to help ensure a good outcome from laser hair removal is to choose an expert provider and prepare as well as you can for the procedure itself and aftercare of the skin. Good results from laser hair removal are permanent—but so are bad results. Be sure to seek help from a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in laser treatments and follow all aftercare restrictions closely, as aftercare is essential to optimal outcomes.
If you’re looking for a knowledgeable and experienced plastic surgeon in Dearborn, or Birmingham, MI, come meet with our experts at Masri Clinic for Laser & Cosmetic Surgery. Our doctors have extensive experience in laser hair removal and can help you plan your treatment. If you’d like to move forward with treatments, call 866-487-3223 to schedule a free consultation at either location and discuss your prospective procedures with a qualified professional.