Laser hair removal is basically the process of removing unwanted hair through exposure to intense pulses of light, which literally destroy the hair stem. It was first done experimentally for more than twenty years but then became commercially available in 1996 and 1995. It was associated with the treatment of Melasma, which is a skin pigmentation condition resulting from hormonal changes in women after menopause. Women usually undergo laser treatments to reduce their redness caused by this condition. There are several benefits of laser hair removal that one should know about before undergoing the procedure.
One of the benefits of laser hair removal is that it eliminates all the pigment i.e. melanin. The pigment in the follicles is responsible for the color of the hair as white hair would be completely absent without pigment. As we age, our body produces less melanin leading to a lighter skin tone. Hence laser treatments helps us to match the shade of our hair to our darker skin.
Another benefit of laser hair removal treatments is the prevention of hair loss. Even though lasers are able to reduce hair growth on treated areas, still there is a chance of developing new hair at the treated areas. To increase the chances of not losing any hair on treated areas, consult your dermatologist about the proper use of the lasers. Only your dermatologist can advise you on the right laser hair removal treatments that will suit your skin type and hair regrowth pattern.
Normally, laser hair removal treatments give some local discomfort or reddening on treated areas. It is usually temporary and only happens during the first few sessions. The discomfort is caused by the intense pulsing light that are used to target the melanin in the hair follicles. It is caused by the heat produced by the lasers during the treatment.
One possible side effects of these treatments is skin irritation and reddening. If the skin irritation and reddening occur to a greater extent than what is expected, it is advisable to report to a dermatologist immediately. These side effects are mild and easily dealt with. This is because the treatments greatly reduce the amount of discomfort felt by the patient and the dermatologist.
There are three types of laser hair removal systems available for use: iPL systems, Nd: YAG lasers and Diode laser systems. iPL systems work on the principle of heating each individual hair follicle to the temperature range targeted for hair growth. iPL systems are also known to give lower pulse duration. Nd: YAG lasers use a unique technology that utilizes the excimer laser.
Of the two most commonly used, the real difference between iPL and laser is that IPL and laser use different light sources. IPL uses a broad-pulsed light source while laser uses a monochromatic, coherent light source. Both treatments are permanent and target melanin within hair-follicles. Laser treatment is more precise and will only affect the hair follicles. Professional laser treatment is possible for dark skin tones. These treatments can be very effective and quick. The frequency and amount of energy used will determine the effectiveness of treatment. Treatment’s effectiveness is dependent on the light source used, whether it be a laser beam or an intense pulsed flash light.
An advantage of iPL is that is less painful than other procedures. However, some patients may feel slightly uncomfortable due to the numbing effect of the numbing gel. Usually, numbing agents such as creams or topical vasoconstrictors are used for this procedure. These can be found at most drug stores and can be purchased over-the-counter.
There may be redness and swelling after laser hair removal treatments; this usually resolves itself within several days. Redness and swelling are typically caused by minor skin irritation and inflammation, which are reduced with time. This redness and swelling are usually temporary and do not pose a problem. It can be left untreated if there is no serious skin irritation.
In some cases, laser hair reduction may cause pigment changes or hyperpigmentation. This occurs when the laser alters the pigment of the skin. There are times when the procedure can produce a combination of results, causing the unwanted hair to be either lightened or darkened. For this reason, it is important to get the most accurate result possible, especially if you have dark skin.