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Laser Hair Removal 101

Aug 26, 2008
Getting rid of unwanted body hair has always been a process that must be repeated over and over. Whether a razor or hair removal cream is used, the same treatment must be used every week or two in order to maintain the desired results. There is also an issue of razor stubble that can itch or cause irritation to the skin underneath, as the hair grows in once again. The good news is that there are now treatments available that will remove hair for a much longer period of time, and they are much safer, more convenient and less costly than they used to be.

The advent of laser hair removal has allowed many to enjoy the convenience of permanent or semi-permanent hair removal from numerous areas of the body. This procedure may be offered in a number of clinical and salon settings, but it is always best to seek out this treatment from an experienced dermatologist. While this process is relatively safe, the slight risks of skin damage during treatment are reduced even further when a competent doctor handles the procedure.

How it Works

Lasers are used for many different types of surgical procedures today, allowing doctors to perform a variety of cosmetic and other treatments with little discomfort and downtime afterward. A laser treatment uses a pulsating, single beam of light that can penetrate the skin to perform a myriad of functions. In the case of laser hair removal, the laser beam targets the melanin, or dark pigment, in the hair. When the beam meets the hair follicle underneath the skin's surface, the follicle is effectively destroyed so that no more hair can grow. This procedure can be used for many areas of the body where unwanted hair shows up including armpits, legs, face and bikini line. Other areas can also be addressed through this method.

Laser hair removal is rarely completed in a single treatment. The typical protocol is to schedule three to five sessions at four to eight week intervals. A series of treatments will help to ensure that the removal of the hair is more permanent. However, even after a set of treatments is completed, periodic maintenance is often recommended. Maintenance sessions may only be required once a year and some people may be able to wait even longer than that.

There are some risks involved with laser hair removal, and it should not be performed on anyone with a rash in the area or who has recently undergone acne treatment. Because the laser can burn the skin, it is important to find a doctor who is experienced in this process. This ensures that the treatment will effectively destroy the hair follicles underneath the skin's surface without damaging the skin in the surrounding area. Laser treatments tend to work best on those with dark hair color and lighter skin tones. It is not particularly effective on people with extremely blonde or grey hair.

Laser hair removal can be a good choice for those who are tired of shaving or using other methods at home to remove unwanted hair. The process has a high success rate and a low risk factor, making it a good choice for nearly anyone.
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