Want to show off smooth skin but concerned about how much hair is there? Let’s talk through some of your cosmetic laser treatment options to remove unwanted hair and feel confident in your skin this spring.
A revolutionary and increasingly popular option for removing unwanted hair is by way of laser therapy. Shaving and waxing can quickly become cumbersome and pricy. Tweezing and plucking are often painful. But cosmetic laser treatment can quickly and efficiently take care of this body hair with lasting results.
Rather than removing the layer of hair accessed on the surface of the skin or plucking hairs from their roots, this cosmetic treatment uses a laser to target the hair all the way down to its follicles. The intense heat from the laser beam targets the pigment, called melanin, permanently disabling a percentage of the hair follicles. Over time and through several treatments, all the hair follicles within a certain treatment area are targeted, deactivated, and will no longer grow hair.
Just about any place on the body can be treated with laser hair removal. Anywhere that unwanted hair is growing is typically an option for this cosmetic treatment. Common treatment areas include arms and legs, underarms, bikini, feet and toes, back, chest, and face.
Typically laser hair removal treatment is most effective for those with light skin and dark hair, since the laser beam targets the pigment in the hair. Those with darker hair and darker skin can still receive laser hair removal, but it’s not a good option for people with fair skin and light hair.
Generally, you should avoid tanning or overall sun exposure prior to laser hair removal treatments as this can interfere with the effectiveness of the laser targeting the melanin. Additionally, those taking retinol products and prescription retinoids like Retin-A (Tretinoin), Renova, Differin, or Tazorac should either not receive laser hair removal or should stop using the products or prescriptions at least one week prior to treatment.
This cosmetic laser treatment is not an instant fix. Depending on the targeted treatment area and the thickness and coarseness of the hair, it can take anywhere from four to eight sessions or potentially more. Additionally, because only a certain percentage of hair follicles can be targeted during one session, there must be roughly six to eight weeks between each session. This allows a fresh growth cycle in the hair, revealing follicles to be targeted. Therefore, it’s not advisable to begin laser hair removal treatments unless you are able to dedicate six to nine months, or possibly up to a year of appointments.
Another factor to take note of when considering cosmetic laser treatment for hair removal is that you will not be able to tweeze or wax the treatment area for the entire duration of the laser treatments. In fact, it’s recommended to stop waxing and tweezing up to one month prior to your first laser session. There must remain hair within the hair follicles in order for laser hair removal to work. If the hair is removed at its root, the laser will have nothing to target. Shaving is allowed, however, since it only removes the top of the hair above the skin’s surface, and it’s recommended 24 hours before laser treatments.
The treatments are pain-free and results are permanent, though it is recommended to receive a “maintenance” treatment session once per year.
Vanguard Dermatology is a leading provider of laser hair removal in the greater New York City area. Call today to schedule an appointment and get your skin ready for spring!