Author: Briana Thornton

In the Know: Is Laser Hair Removal Bad for My Skin?

In the Know: Is Laser Hair Removal Bad for My Skin?

If performed by a qualified and experienced practitioner, laser hair removal is not bad for your skin. In the wrong hands, however, it can be dangerous.

Laser hair removal is a cosmetic treatment that uses laser therapy. While non-invasive and safe, laser therapy can damage the skin if misused. It works by pulsing laser light energy into individual hair follicles, which is absorbed by the pigment in the shaft of the hair. The light energy turns to heat and destroys hair roots.

Session time varies depending on the size of the area being treated. Facial areas can take as little as five to 10 minutes to treat while larger body areas, such as the legs, arms, and back can take roughly an hour.

Selecting a Qualified Laser Hair Removal Practitioner

The requirements to operate laser therapy vary from state to state, but most require practitioners to be licensed. Proper training and licensure are important because, if misused, laser therapy can damage the skin. It can cause serious burns, especially if misused on sensitive areas, such as the face and bikini area.

In Virginia, laser hair removal must be performed by a properly trained individual and under the direction and supervision of a licensed doctor, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner.

Reducing Possible Side Effects

As is the case with any cosmetic medical procedure, there are potential risks. Laser hair removal is safe and effective, but complete hair removal is not guaranteed.

Hair follicles are only susceptible to laser therapy during the first stage of the hair growth cycle. Multiple treatments are needed to achieve maximum results as the hairs in a target area will grow at different rates. Some may experience hair regrowth within six months of treatment due to hormonal changes or dormant follicles starting to grow, but re-growth is usually finer and lighter than before.

Possible side effects of laser hair removal include:

  • Minor skin irritation
  • Redness
  • Tenderness
  • Pigmentation changes

Side effects, if experienced, are temporary. However, if misused, laser therapy can cause eye injury and serious burns to the skin. The best way to reduce possible side effects is to only receive treatment from a licensed medical professional.

At DermacareHR, our staff is licensed and highly trained. In fact, most of our practitioners are physician assistants or nurse practitioners.

Does Laser Hair Removal Cause Cancer?

The lasers used to target hair follicles produce a small amount of radiation. The idea that laser hair removal causes cancer is an unfounded myth. To date, no evidence has shown that the minimal amount of radiation produced by laser therapy contributes to or causes skin cancer.

Give Your Skin a Leg Up

While laser hair removal can be performed yearround, the fall and winter months provide a better healing time for your skin. We spend more time indoors during these months, which keeps the treated area out of the sun. It’s vital to avoid UV rays as much as possible after treatment.

When performed correctly, laser hair removal is safe and effective. It can save you time, money, and best of all, boost your confidence. It’s one of the many ways you can love the skin you’re in even more.

Laser Hair Removal

Your Comprehensive Guide to Laser Hair Removal

Shaving, waxing, tweezing – it’s all timeconsuming. If you’re ready for smooth, hairless skin with less effort, then laser hair removal may be the perfect solutions.

What makes it so perfect? Consider some basic benefits of laser hair removal:

It’s (Nearly) Painless

Waxing and tweezing are far from pain-free and can leave unwanted bruising in sensitive areas. Shaving may seem like a painless option, but it can cause painful bumps and razor burn. Laser hair removal is considered by most patients to be painless. It can cause slight tingling, stinging, and some post-session soreness, but the discomfort is short-lived and can be addressed during treatment with topical anesthesia.

It’s Cost Effective

How much money do you spend on hair removal products? Waxing and shaving supplies add up fast, especially if you use them often. It is estimated that shaving and waxing cost anywhere from $10,000 to $23,000 over a lifetime and consumes anywhere from 482 to 1,402 hours. In contrast, laser hair removal costs roughly $3,000 over a lifetime and consumes around 12 hours of time.

It Generates Real Results

How many hair removal products promising hair growth reduction have you tried? How many have worked? Numerous products claim to reduce hair growth, but most are a waste of time and money for limited to no results.

These are just three of the top benefits highlighting why laser hair removal is a great option for achieving smooth, hairless skin. But how does it work, and what do you need to know about it?

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Laser hair removal is a simple, non-invasive treatment. Hair naturally grows in three stages. During the first, it is susceptible to light energy. Light energy from the laser is absorbed into the pigment of the hair follicles. For follicles in the first stage of growth, it can damage the root. Once the root is damaged, the hair will no longer grow.

Not all lasers are the same. Some are more effective for different skin types:

  • A Diode laser is suitable for light and dark skin types.
  • An Alexandrite laser is fast and best for treating large body area.
  • The Nd: YAG laser is good for all skin types, including tanned skin; however, it can be less effective when treating light or fine hair.

How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Take?

Session time depends on the size of the area being treated. Facial hair can take as little as five to 10 minutes to treat. Body areas, such as the legs, arms, and back, take up to roughly an hour.

How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Last?

Achieving maximum results takes multiple sessions, and here’s why:

When hair follicles reach the second and third stages of growth, they are immune to light energy.

Unfortunately, hair follicles don’t all reach the same growth stage at the same time. Usually, only 20% of follicles are first stage at any time. Any follicles in stages two or three during your session will be immune to the treatment. Multiple sessions help ensure these follicles are exposed to the laser while in their first stage of growth. With each treatment session, you will notice even more hair growth reduction.

DermacareHR is staffed by laser hair removal experts. For new patients, we recommend a series of five treatments for maximum results. Any “stubborn” hair follicles that aren’t in the first growth stage during these sessions can be removed via touchup sessions. Touchups are often as minimal as once in six months.

The hair growth reduction you achieve with laser hair removal will be as close to permanent as possible since every hair root successfully treated will no longer produce hair. Over time, new hair can grow in previously treated areas due to hormonal changes or dormant hair bulbs becoming active.

Prime Candidates

People with dark hair are excellent candidates for laser hair removal because the light energy from the laser is best absorbed by pigment or color. Thick and coarse hairs also respond to treatment.

While dark, thick, and coarse hairs respond well to treatment, these hair types can take a little longer to achieve maximum results.

Are There Any Risks with Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal is a safe and effective hair removal solution. No long-term health risks have been linked to the procedure, and most people consider it to be the best and most painless hair removal option.

Some minor side effects can occur. It’s best to have a small patch of skin tested to see how the skin reacts to treatment before having a large area treated. During a session, a stinging or tingling sensation may occur. For sensitive areas, topical anesthesia can be applied.

After treatment, you may experience some redness and tenderness in the affected area. Many patients liken it to a light sunburn.

Discuss Medication During Your Consultation

If you’re taking any prescription medications, be sure to discuss these during your pre-treatment consultation. Medications that are photosensitive will need to be stopped a minimum of one week before treatment.

Photosensitive medications include antibiotics. If you’re taking any for an infection or to treat acne, be sure to discuss them with your laser hair removal expert before treatment.

For Best Results

Our laser hair removal experts have a few tips to pass on to help you achieve maximum results:

  1. You need to be at every session. The biggest mistake made by patients is skipping a treatment.
  2. You can shave before treatment, but avoid bleaching, waxing, or tweezing for one month prior. In between sessions, shave but avoid waxing, threading, tweezing, and bleaching. (One to two days of growth before a session is fine.)
  3. Don’t cancel because of your period. If you’re menstruating and your bikini area is being treated, don’t skip or postpone the next session – just use a tampon.
  4. Safeguard your skin after treatment. We strongly recommend avoiding sun exposure to the treated area, and our skincare experts can help you with the best sunscreen choices for safeguarding your skin post-treatment.
  5. Finally, be sure to choose an experienced practitioner.

Are you ready to achieve smooth, hairless skin and stop worrying about unwanted hairs? Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!

Veteran-owned medical spa serving Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Chesapeake
Call Today For A Free Consultation & Skin Analysis: 757-547-7546

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