Laser treatment is a very effective and safer hair removal method.

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Home >> Permanent Methods >> Laser hair removal
Laser hair removal
Introduction
The laser hair removal therapy - first conducted on an experimental basis some 20 years ago - became commercially available in the mid 1990s. In addition to passing laser beams, some epilators also use a xenon flash lamp that emits full-spectrum intense pulsed light (IPL).

Laser is used in a variety of cosmetic surgery procedures. Apart from hair removal, it finds use in the treatment of facial and leg veins and age spots. In hair removal treatments the laser energy is transformed into heat. This disables the follicle and leaves the surrounding skin unchanged, thus arresting hair growth.

How it works
Hair removal laser surgery involves localized damage. This is caused by passing laser beams through the dark matter that is responsible for hair growth. Thus only the affected portion is heated, leaving the rest of the skin untouched. The therapy works on the simple principle that light is absorbed by dark objects. The chromophore, or the dark target matter, can be either natural or artificial.

The procedure adopted in hair removal laser surgery varies depending on the individual undergoing it. The laser beam is passed through a small hand-held instrument, and the patient is provided with safety eyewear. Even so, some people might experience a mild degree of discomfort while undergoing treatment. The discomfort threshold of course varies according to the patient's constitution and endurance level. Some might even need to be administered local anesthesia. The duration of the treatment would depend on factors such as the size or number of areas being treated, and a session could last for just a few minutes or take hours. The area treated by laser may slightly redden in some cases, but all patients can resume normal everyday activities immediately after undergoing hair removal laser surgery.

However, while the number of sessions required for laser hair removal treatment varies from patient to patient, it must always take into account their gender and the problem area. The average run is three to six sessions, though some body parts require prolonged treatment. The intervals between the sessions can also vary, depending on the area that is being treated. When removing moustaches and chin hair an interval of 6 to 8 weeks is usual.

Advantages
Hair removal laser surgery is a long-lasting treatment for unwanted hair growth. Till it arrived on the scene those looking for permanent cures went for electrolytic treatment. But electrolysis, besides being time consuming, works well only over small areas. This is because the electrolytic method removes the hair individually. Other methods of hair removal, such as shaving, and applying eflornithine creams and chemical depilatories provide only temporary relief. Hair removal laser surgery is not only long lasting, it is also a far safer method. The laser beam removes unwanted hair without damaging the skin's delicate pores and structures. It is also faster than electrolysis - treatment of some problem areas taking no more than 45 minutes!

Side effects
There are no major side effects of hair removal laser surgery. Most patients take the treatment well, though some might report a mild discomfort or stinging sensation. There are of course cases where local anesthesia or a pain killer may need to be used while treating certain sensitive areas.

In any case side effects, such as blistering, soft scabbing and redness, disappear quickly within a few days. All that might happen is that some skin patches may appear slightly lighter or darker after treatment. But not to worry! A good physician always informs the patient about the likely side effects that s/he could suffer. He is also likely to ask you to avoid sun exposure for two to four weeks, both before and after laser treatment. Doing this greatly minimizes the risk of complication.

Laser hair removal costs
Hair removal laser surgery is costlier than other methods. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons the average price for laser treatment in the US is $ 229.

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