During the warm summer months, many people find themselves worrying about showing off hairy areas like legs, backs, or underarms. Shaving, plucking, and waxing can be downright tedious or even lead to serious irritation for those with sensitive skin. For removing unwanted hair, laser hair removal can be a better option. At U.S. Dermatology Partners Four Points in Austin, TX, Dr. Roopal Bhatt provides safe, comfortable laser hair removal. Read this blog to get the answers to some of the questions we hear most often about laser hair removal.
What is Laser Hair Removal & Does it Work?
Lasers are used in a number of professions. They can tackle problems from creating perfect 20/20 vision to ensuring you hang your painting straight. According to Dr. Bhatt, “Dermatologists use lasers on a daily basis to remove lesions, improve the appearance of scars, and remove hair. Our state-of-the-art lasers can be used on patients of all skin types to remove hair from the face and body, offering long-lasting results with minimal irritation.”
Can Anyone Get Laser Hair Removal?
In the past, laser hair removal wasn’t possible for certain skin and hair types, but advances in laser technologies mean that laser hair removal treatment is now an option for more people than ever before. Because lasers rely on lights and pigmentation to be effective, the ideal candidate for laser hair removal will have light skin and dark hair. The contrast in coloring makes it easy for the laser to target and remove the hairs. Finer textured or lighter colored hair may be more difficult to remove, and laser hair removal for those with darker skin tones can also be a challenge. While studies have not been conducted to indicate the negative impact on health during pregnancy, it is not recommended that expectant mothers receive laser hair removal.
If you are in relatively good health, no matter your hair or skin type, we can provide effective laser hair removal options. You should schedule a consultation with Dr. Bhatt or another board-certified dermatologist to explore available hair removal treatments.
Is Laser Hair Removal Safe?
Laser hair removal is safe, comfortable, and effective for almost any patient. There are no long-term health risks associated with laser hair removal, but there may be some short term side effects you should be aware of. Your dermatologist will usually test one strip before beginning the full hair removal process. Testing a small part of the skin will indicate to us in advance if you are going to have an adverse response to laser hair removal. Common side effects include redness, irritation, and itching. In some cases, the skin may become drier or change in color (darker or lighter). Less common symptoms include infection, blisters, burns, and scarring.
How Long Does the Laser Hair Removal Process Take?
Laser hair removal treatment visits normally take from five to thirty minutes, depending on the area being treated. Body hair grows and rests in cycles, and laser hair removal only works when hair is actively growing, so we recommend you come to visit us once a month for treatments. Most people achieve the results they’re looking for in four to six sessions. During each session, actively growing hair will be removed, and we’ll repeat the treatments until all hairs have been addressed. Each session of laser hair removal requires you to prepare the treatment area, receive the treatment, and care for the skin as it heals.
Before your laser hair removal treatment, you should avoid tanning or using sunless tanners. You can shave your legs, but don’t pluck, wax, or bleach the area as this can impede the efficacy of laser treatment. In some cases, we may prescribe prescription medications to reduce the risk of infection or inflammation. Make sure you take these medications as directed. We will also instruct you to shave the area to be treated one to two days before your laser hair removal session to decrease the risk of irritation and inflammation that can occur when removing longer hairs.
Laser hair removal works by targeting the pigment (coloring) of hair inside of the follicle. When the laser light is absorbed into the hair, it destroys the center of the follicle that stimulates hair regrowth. This is only possible when the hair is actively growing. Body hair goes through cycles of growth and rest, so we’ll need to treat the area every few weeks as new hairs begin to grow.
You need to avoid sun exposure throughout your treatments. Apply at least an SPF 30 sunscreen to the targeted area of the skin throughout treatment. For the first week after treatment, do not take very hot showers or baths or spend time in hot tubs and saunas as this can cause irritation. Don’t shave for at least three days after your treatment, and avoid plucking, waxing, or bleaching hair until your treatments are completed. Use ice, cool cloths, or aloe vera to soothe inflamed skin. If the skin is not irritated, inflamed, or peeling, you can apply lotion or makeup as early as the day after treatment.
Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?
Laser hair removal is long-lasting but not necessarily permanent. People typically do not see hair regrowth for months or years after completing their laser hair removal sessions. In most cases, we recommend scheduling regular touch up treatments to ensure you remain free of unwanted body hair.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Compare with Other Options?
There are many ways to remove unwanted hair, and each has its benefits. Shaving is simple and convenient, but you have to shave often to keep the area smooth. Plucking, waxing, and sugaring offer longer-lasting result than shaving, but they can be painful and irritate the skin. Results from these hair removal methods only last a few weeks. Electrolysis is a permanent hair removal solution that works by passing electricity through a needle into the hair follicle killing the root and preventing regrowth. Electrolysis can offer an effective, permanent hair removal solution. However, the treatments can be uncomfortable, and you’ll need to visit several times a week for electrolysis until treatment is completed. Additionally, electrolysis hair removal can be expensive.
Laser hair removal is comfortable and effective, offering long-lasting results. Performed under the observation of a board-certified dermatologist, laser hair removal is completely safe, and it may be a more affordable option than electrolysis or the cumulative cost of other hair removal methods.
How do I Get Started Working with U.S. Dermatology Partners?
If you’re interested in moving forward with laser hair removal, U.S. Dermatology Partners has you covered. If you live in Austin or one of the surrounding communities, don’t hesitate to give Dr. Bhatt at U.S. Dermatology Partners Four Points a call. They offer laser hair removal for all skin types in their Austin office. If you’re not near to Austin, we have locations throughout Texas and the U.S. to accommodate your dermatology needs. We have a simple, online form that gives our local dermatology team members the information they need to help you. After you fill out the online form, one of our team members will be in touch to answer your questions, discuss your treatment options, and schedule an appointment for you.
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