Tired of constantly plucking your chin hairs? Sick of waxing and bleaching your upper lip? Laser treatments are increasing in popularity and effectiveness for hair removal in people of varying skin tones. Take some time to learn about how laser treatments are a safe and effective alternative for removing your facial hair. Consider the procedure of laser treatment, the qualities of a good candidate for laser treatment, the recovery time, and the expected results so you can decide if laser therapy is the best option for you.
Laser therapy uses a concentrated beam of light to heat up hair follicles under your skin, destroying the targeted hair and damaging the follicles so they go temporarily dormant and stop producing hair for a time. Laser treatments typically do not result in complete permanent hair loss, but multiple treatments can reduce the amount of hair that grows back and cause the hair that does grow back to be lighter and finer. The Mayo Health Clinic says that you will probably need 2-6 treatments at 4-6 week intervals in areas where hair grows back quickly, like on the upper lip. You will probably also want to schedule some follow-up maintenance appointments to ensure that the damaged hair follicles stay dormant.
The lasers target the pigment in your hair -- Since darker pigments absorb more light, lasers work best to eliminate darker hair. They are not very effective for white, red, or blonde hair. You will also get better results if you have both darker hair and lighter skin. The contrast between your skin and hair allows the laser to better target and damage the hair follicle. Also there is a greater risk for damaged skin if you have darker skin that could absorb the laser light, although the Mayo Health Clinic reports that advances in laser technology are resulting in lasers that can more safely treat people with darker skin.
While you can find good home laser hair removal devices, you will experience the best results from a dermatological clinic. At a dermatologist’s office, the treatment for a laser treatment for small areas, like your chin or upper lip, are quick, taking only a few minutes. Your appointment will start with the provider applying a numbing gel if the area being treated is sensitive. You will also be giving eye shields to protect your eyes from the powerful laser light. Once the numbing gel has taken full effect, the laser beam will be focused on your skin. You will probably experience mild discomfort, feeling like pin pricks or a rubber band being snapped on your skin. The vaporizing of the hairs will cause small plumes of smoke and a sulfur smell. There is no downtime to laser treatments. Once the treatment is complete, you will be able to return to your daily activities. Your skin will probably be red and slightly swollen, but this won’t inhibit you continuing your day as you normally would. You can apply ice to your skin to help reduce the swelling and cool the irritated skin.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that in 2018, the average cost of laser hair removal was $285. There are many factors that will influence the cost of your treatment, including the geographic area of where your dermatologist is located, the size of the area you are having treated, the type of procedure being used and the experience of your practitioner.
The American Academy of Dermatology says that you can expect a 10-25% reduction in hair after the first treatment. They report that the color of your skin, the thickness and color of your hair, the area being treated, and the type of laser used affect the results you will see. How long does laser hair removal last? With multiple treatments, you can expect the treated area to remain hair free for months or years.
Because of the power of the lasers, it’s important that you get your laser treatment done by a board-certified and experienced doctor. You can find such practitioners at Vanguard Dermatology in the greater New York City area, an excellent provider of cosmetic dermatology services. Call Vanguard today to schedule a consultation and start your hair removal treatment plan.