Removing unwanted hair has never been easier than through the use of laser hair removal. A laser hair removal procedure involves the use of a highly concentrated light beam to remove unwanted hairs on any part of the body. The energy from the light beam goes through the skin to target a pigment called melanin, which is found in high concentrations in the hair follicles. The follicles absorb the light energy and are destroyed in the process.
Intense pulse light treatment or IPL works on the same principle as laser hair removal. The light produced by an IPL device targets the hair follicles much like a laser does. Even though IPL and laser hair removal have some similarities, the latter is still a bit more efficient because lasers fire a lot quicker and can target more than one hair at once.
Who is a good candidate for laser hair removal? The procedure is recommended for women who have unwanted hair on the facial area, underarm area, legs and bikini line. The procedure is particularly effective for those patients with dark hair and fair skin. Men who suffer from beard rash, as well as those who have thick hair on their chest or backs, can also benefit from laser hair removal.
As with any cosmetic surgery procedure, there is a risk of side effects. In the case of laser hair removal, side effects can include blistering, crusting, scarring and some skin discoloration. Scarring results from blisters that were left untreated. These side effects happen when the laser energy is too intense or if the patient has photosensitive or tanned skin. People with dark skin are more at risk for these side effects.
Following the procedure, patients are advised to use icepacks and take anti-inflammatory medications to help relieve any discomfort that could result from the treatment. Laser hair removal normally requires more than one session. The interval for each session is usually around six weeks. Maintenance sessions every six months are also necessary.
More information about the benefits of laser hair removal can be found in this informative article by Dr. Juan Brou.