Laser Hair Removal - Cosmetic Treatments Guide

Laser hair removal is a popular treatment that is used to remove unwanted body hair over prolonged periods of time. Hair can be removed from several parts of the body and then can remain hair free for up to several weeks at a time. This treatment is most effective on people with dark body hair and pale skin but can be used by anyone. The removal of body hair via laser is more effective than other procedures such as waxing and shaving as it is more long lasting. There is the option of electrolysis for hair removal is also available but many people find this treatment too painful to continue to have it done to remove each individual hair. Instead laser treatment takes less time to be completed and is considerably less painful.

How does laser treatment work?

At the initial consultation the surgeon will go through the procedure in detail and outline the aftercare. The treatment is suitable for most people but if you have a skin disorder, are taking medications such as Retin-A, are pregnant, have a pacemaker or metal in the area of the body where the treatment is to take place then you will be excluded from having this treatment.

The procedure is an outpatient operation so it does not require a stay in hospital. The duration of the procedure will depend on the amount of hair that you are having removed and the area of the body where the hair is being removed but it is likely that it will take between one and four hours. It may be that the expected results will not be achieved in the first session and so further treatment might be required.

In the first step of the procedure a lotion is applied to the area where the hair is being removed to numb this part of the body. During the procedure a high powered laser will aim an intense ray of light that removes the hair follicles. In contrast to electrolysis the laser can cover a larger area of the body and remove whole sections of hair at once rather than individually.

After the treatment your skin may feel a bit swollen and sensitive but any discomfort should subside shortly. You should be able to return to your everyday activities straight away but it is recommended that you avoid any tanning or waxing for a while. You will normally have a follow-up visit after the treatment to assess its success and decide whether further treatment is necessary. Further laser treatment should not be used until the hair has had time to regenerate.

No treatment is without risk and it is possible that you may develop hyperpigmentation which is where the skin becomes discoloured. Other possible side effects include burns, infections and allergic reactions but these can easily be treated by medication. Such complications only tend to last for a short period of time.