LASER HAIR REMOVAL
Laser hair reduction treatment or laser hair reduction procedure is also known as laser-assisted hair removal, light-assisted hair removal, light-assisted long-term hair reduction and photodepilation. Hair removal and hair reduction are the most common cosmetology procedures performed all over the world. It is a safe and effective procedure which gives excellent results in a patient, if performed by a trained dermatologist/ trained assistant using the proper parameters in an individualized manner.
Proper evaluation, preoperative and postoperative care are essential for giving excellent cosmetic results.
Laser - e.g. Diode, Nd-Yag, Ruby, Alexandrite or Intense-Pulse Light [IPL] - are used for hair removal. Each system has its own advantages and disadvantages. Multiple sessions are required to achieve good cosmetic results. Laser parameters vary with area, type of hair and the machine used. Future maintenance treatments may be needed for permanent hair reduction.
WHAT IS LASER HAIR REMOVAL?
Laser hair removal treatment procedure is a convenient, non-invasive method for permanently reducing or removing unwanted facial or body hair. Laser hair removal treatment process leaves the skin looking smoother and silkier than waxing, electrolysis, or razors and is a gentle technique that can treat larger areas effectively with minimal discomfort and with no downtime. Today, laser hair removal is one of the most common aesthetic procedures performed. One of the key laser hair removal benefits is improvement in self-confidence and unwanted hair removal.
The lasers designed for hair removal can be used on most parts of the body. Many lasers effectively treat large areas. Laser hair removal can treat the:
- Face, especially the upper lip, chin and side locks
- Full hands
- Full legs
- Beard shaping
- Shoulders, etc.
In cases of extreme hair growth also, laser hair reduction treatment is applicable. Laser hair reduction procedure is similar to laser hair removal process.
WHAT ARE THE INDICATIONS FOR LASER HAIR REMOVAL [CONDITIONS IN WHICH IT IS USEFUL]?
WHAT ARE THE PRE-PROCEDURE PRECAUTIONS FOR LASER HAIR REMOVAL?
- Removal of unwanted hair [because of cosmetic disfigurement]
- Hypertrichosis: increased hair growth that is not androgen dependent [e.g. congenital, drugs like phenytoin and diseases like thyroid disorders.]
- Hirsuitism -- in this condition, hair grows in women, on androgen dependent areas of the body - e.g. upper lip, chin, chest etc.]
- Hair can be removed for medical purposes, e.g. Pseudofolliculitis Barbae, Sycosis Barbae, Pilonidal Sinus etc.
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR LASER HAIR REMOVAL OR METHOD OF LASER HAIR REDUCTION?
- Patient should avoid bleaching, plucking, waxing, electrolysis in the treatment areas once she/he decides to start with laser hair reduction treatment.
- Sun avoidance if laser hair removal is planned on sun exposed sites and a sunscreen should be used.
- An ideal patient for laser hair removal would be one with realistic expectations, with fairer skin, coarse-thick and dark hair, and normal endocrine hormone levels.
Area to be treated should be free from make-up. Laser hair removal is usually well tolerated by most of the patients, but topical anaesthesia may be required in some patients, especially if the patient is uncomfortable. A topical anaesthetic cream may be applied one hour prior to the procedure.
Hair of the area to be treated is shaved or trimmed before the laser hair removal surgery. Eyes of the patient are covered with protective goggles. Area is cooled with ice cubes or chilled jelly. Hand piece of the laser system is placed perpendicular to the skin surface and procedure is performed with individualized parameters. After the laser hair removal techniqueis complete, ice packs are applied followed by sunscreen application.
Below, we’ve provided four common laser hair removal types:
WHAT IS THE POST-PROCEDURE CARE?
- Ruby Laser
- Alexandrite Laser
- Diode Laser
- Nd:YAG Laser
- Not only lasers, IPL (Intense pulse light) can also be used for permanent hair reducation
For laser hair removal effectiveness, the following post-procedure care should be implemented:
- Sun exposure should be avoided and sunscreen lotion should be applied as instructed by the dermatologist.
- If tiny spots are noticed, patient should report to the doctor, for proper management.
- The damaged hair is often shed in the first few days of treatment and it is not a sign of hair growth.
- A topical antibiotic cream/ mild topical steroid cream may be given as per the requirement. All the instructions must be followed carefully for good cosmetic results.
- One should fix the appointment for next treatment, which is when re-growth occurs, on an average 6 to 8 weeks, depending on the location of hair.