Laser Hair Removal

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Laser hair removal has been a staple on the American Society of Plastic Surgeons Top 10 list of most popular minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures for years. It’s no mystery why so many women (and men) utilize the procedure. It drastically reduces the need to shave, eliminates those irritating nicks and cuts, razor burn and shaving bumps, and leaves your skin smoother for longer periods of time.

Laser hair removal works by concentrating a focused beam of light at the hair follicle. The light is absorbed by the melanin, or color pigment, in the hair, which damages the follicle, causing the hair shaft to fall out and retarding the growth of new hair. The most common side effects of laser hair removal are slight skin irritation and changes in skin pigmentation (typically temporary), per the Mayo Clinic. In some rare cases blistering, scarring and crusting have occurred, particularly when the procedure is performed by inexperienced or untrained persons. For that reason, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a board-certified dermatologist to perform laser treatments.

One thing to keep in mind if you’re considering going the laser route for hair removal: this is not a once-and-done procedure. It typically takes three to six treatments to achieve hairlessness, and while the results are typically long-lasting, they are usually not permanent. New hair, although finer, will likely grow back and you may need ‘maintenance’ treatments to perpetuate your desired smooth look.