With the holidays on the horizon yet again, everyone must prepare themselves for family reunions, friend gatherings, and various festivities. All of this socializing can make some people feel self-conscious about their appearance. We’re often our harshest critics, of course, but looking our best helps us feel our best. As such, your enjoyment of the holiday season might depend on how you feel about your skin and hair. Even if your body hair won’t be visible underneath your winter clothes, you might simply feel better getting rid of it. There are several hair removal treatment options available, but few are as effective or potentially permanent as laser hair removal.
Laser and light technologies are becoming increasingly useful in the realm of cosmetic dermatology. As its name suggests, laser hair removal is the process of removing unwanted hair from the body using laser technology. Different types of lasers can be used for this purpose, but they all operate similarly. During the procedure, the patient’s skin is subjected to pulses of said laser (only the targeted areas), which only last for a fraction of a second each time. As the process goes on, the laser’s heat destroys the targeted hair follicles, hindering their ability to grow again.
When administered properly, laser hair removal can have significant and lasting effects on patients’ skin. Every individual responds differently, of course, but several participants eventually see a reduction of 80-90% of unwanted hair after repeated treatments. A minimum of three treatments (set 4-6 weeks apart) are often necessary for lasting results, though some require as many as six treatments for permanent hair removal. Fortunately, each session only takes about an hour at most to complete. Still, considering the recommended gaps in time between procedures, starting your laser hair removal journey as late as the fall or early winter won’t produce the permanent results you might desire by the holidays this year. That said, getting started around this time can set you up for smooth skin by summertime, and certainly by next year’s holiday season.
Some patients might hesitate to undergo laser hair removal, assuming it’s risky or painful. The good news is that not only are laser hair removal procedures FDA-approved -- the risk of side effects and complications is relatively low with laser hair removal. The most common side effects include mild skin irritation, temporary discomfort, and swelling during and after the procedure. Some patients might experience changes in skin pigment due to the laser’s heat, though these changes are often temporary. In rare cases, patients’ skin may blister, crust, or scar, and the procedure may lead to excessive hair growth around targeted areas. For the most part, however, patients do just fine and end up thrilled with the results over the long term.
As with all cosmetic dermatology services, a little preparation can go a long way. Indeed, there are a number of things to do and consider before receiving a laser hair removal treatment, including but not limited to:
Avoiding excessive sun exposure
Not plucking, waxing, or bleaching your skin within 4 weeks of treatment
Carefully shaving a day before treatment to allow the laser greater access to the follicles in question
Steering clear of blood thinners before the procedure
Understanding the potential risks and side effects of laser hair removal so you’re mentally prepared
It’s also important to choose a trusted, board-certified specialist to ensure you receive the very best treatment and care. Read our previous blog, “What You Should Do Before Your First Hair Removal Treatment,” to learn more.
Whether you’re looking for a way to boost your confidence for the holidays or the seasons ahead, laser hair removal is a worthwhile solution to your body hair woes. At Premier Dermatology Partners, we can direct our patients to all types of hair removal, especially Delray laser hair removal, which is one of our specialities.
To learn more about our providers and all the services we offer, contact us today.