Many people are now taking advantage of recent technological advances that make it possible to permanently reduce unsightly hair. As more people choose to use these services, the price naturally starts to come down, meaning that permanent hair removal is now also an affordable option.
Some of the key advantages to laser hair removal include the fact that the treatment is quick, with no downtime, and can be provided in a targeted fashion. In other words, it can be done in a lunch break, and the patient can return to work with no fear of side effects. The laser is also so precise that only the area of skin that needs to be treated can be targeted, leaving other skin unaffected.
This is great for treating facial hair, for example, where there may be a slight reddening of the skin, though it is much less noticeable when confined to one small area. Oh, and by the way – this isn’t just for women! Men, too, are choosing to take advantage of the technology to remove facial hair and do away with the daily shaving ritual, whilst also benefitting from smooth skin with no razor bumps. Men also opt for laser hair removal on areas of the body like the back and chest.
What is Laser Hair Removal?
In a nutshell, a low energy laser beam is applied to the skin. It passes through the skin and down the length of the hair to the follicle at the base. Hair follicles in the so-called “active growth phase” absorb the laser’s energy and become de-activated, unable to grow any more. Once the follicle is dead, it will no longer grow hair, making the result pretty much permanent.
The devices used are designed to reduce both pain and heat sensations. Dr. Vitenas uses something called the CoolGlide treatment, which performs exactly as the name suggests! The whole body can be treated, but there are some areas that will be subject to special aftercare as the hair actually provides a level of protection that, once removed, needs to be catered for.
Skin Care Advice For After Laser Hair Removal
Top of the list is sunscreen – even if you have the treatment in the fall or spring time – as your skin will be a little more sensitive than usual to sunlight after the treatment. It will also help to sooth the skin, and is essential for summer sun exposure until the skin gets used to it newfound nakedness!
A cool, numbing cream just after the treatment will also help reduce irritation that can be caused by the treatment. This is typically no worse than razor burn rash caused by shaving, but it can be unpleasant and there are a variety of skin creams that can help.
Finally, and least likely, there is a small chance that your skin may develop what looks like a small boil. This is easily treated in the vast majority of cases, and a simple phone call to the doctor is usually enough to choose an appropriate course of action.
Just How Permanent is the Treatment?
Over time, the hair dies and falls out, and this can take a few weeks. In addition, to treat all the follicles in a specific area, several treatments are required. Follicles might not be in a growth state at the time the treatment is received, or they might not be ‘hit’ by the laser. In order to get them all, repeat treatments on the same area are used.
However, there are two points to note:
- You can shave between treatments, which helps to keep the area smooth;
- Once the hair has died and fallen out, it won’t grow back!
Now, there are some caveats. The treatment depends on pigment in the hair to attract the laser. Therefore, lighter shades of hair (white, for example) and stronger skin tones that have a pigmentation level close to the hair being treated will respond less well.
At the time of the consultation the patient will be informed as to the expected results, and it’s worth noting that in 90% of cases hair removal is both successful and permanent.
To learn more about any aspect of cosmetic and plastic surgery including laser hair removal, chemical peels, liposuction and other surgical procedures, contact Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery of Houston, Texas, at (281) 484-0088.