Laser hair removal is done to remove unwanted body hairs from various parts of the body. It is a medical procedure where laser (intense and pulsating beam of light) is used for removal of unwanted and excess hair. During this procedure laser beam passes through individual hair follicle and damage the hair follicles by producing intense heat, thereby damaging/removing hairs. Damage of hair follicle inhibit future growth of hair in that hair follicle and cause hair removal. However, the hair removal or damage of hair follicle by laser light cannot guarantee that the hair removal is permanent, although hair growth is slowed down for sure. For sustained benefit of hair removal, the procedure may have to be repeated.
Why laser hair removal is done?
Laser hair removal is done to remove unwanted hairs from various body parts such as, underarm (axilla), legs, upper lips and chin (especially females, because some females tend to have hair in upper lip like mustache and chin like beard in males), bikini line etc. However, laser hair removal can be used in any part of the body to remove unwanted hairs except in eyelids and surrounding areas, because it may lead to eye injury/damage.
How effective is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal is one of the most effective way of hair removal. This is particularly effective for those having lighter skin color and dark hair. Because, laser beams target pigment melanin present. However, modern techniques have made it possible to be used successfully in people with dark skin. Laser hair removal is not very effective in removing hairs among whites with lighter hairs (blondes).
What are possible risks involved in laser hair removal?
Like any other medical procedure laser hair removal also have certain side effects. This procedure also cannot guarantee permanent hair removal and in many individuals for sustained effect, the procedure may have to be repeated several times. However, the hair growth is slowed down and the new hair that grows after laser hair removal is finer and lighter in color. Possible side effects of laser hair removal are,
- Pigment change may result in skin becoming lighter or darker than the original. However, it is generally temporary and the original skin color comes back after some time. Skin color change is common among dark skin people.
- Skin irritation leading to swelling, redness and other discomfort can occur in many individuals. These symptoms usually go away in few hours to one day.
- Rarely laser hair removal may lead to blistering (due to excess heat), scarring or other changes in skin.
- Hair may start greying earlier after laser hair removal.
- The surrounding areas of treated area may start growing more hairs, also the treated area may start growing more hairs after some time.
Image courtesy of [Ambro] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net