Laser hair removal is one method used to eliminate unwanted hair growth. This can be an effective option for people who do not wish to use standard processes such as plucking, shaving, or waxing. Many of these at-home treatments can be both time consuming and ineffective. Before committing to this more involved procedure, learn about what it exactly entitles.

How It Works

Laser hair removal involves guiding a narrow pulse of light into a follicle. This pinpointed energy immediately finds the hair pigment. Each pulsation occurs in less than a second, and it is often possible to treat more than one strand at a time. In fact, many devices enable treatment of approximately one square inch every second.

What to Expect

Most patients report minimal discomfort with laser hair removal. Some people compare it to the twinge you might feel if someone snapped a rubber band on your skin. This process is most effective with dark and coarse growth against a fair complexion. People with different attributes can also have satisfactory results, though. Various tools are available depending on a patient's individual characteristics.

Preparation

Approximately six weeks prior to the procedure, patients should discontinue all removal techniques to allow for longer growth. This enables the device to penetrate the root for permanent removal. Many doctors also recommend that patients avoid sun exposure during the time before and after the process. The sun tends to interfere with laser hair removal, and some patients experience complications as a result of sun exposure.

The Procedure

The follicle growth will be trimmed to measure just a millimeter or two above the surface of the skin. The physician will select the tool that meets the patient's needs. The doctor may apply a special gel to the skin, or use a device to help keep the skin cool. This cooling helps ensure adequate penetration to the root. The physician will make a test application and assess the area to see how it responds. As long as the skin does not show an adverse reaction, treatment will continue.

Recovery

Patients are provided with ice packs and, in some cases, medicated creams to help control swelling while in recovery. Most people report that the skin looks and feels like a sunburn during the first day or two after treatment. As long as no blistering occurs, regular washing and makeup application should be fine.

Patients should wear sunscreen during the days and weeks after the process to prevent overexposure to damaging rays, which could cause skin discoloration. The treated growth will begin to fall out during this time.

Many people find that they get the desired results with a series of treatments; however, you should see reduced growth after the first procedure. The ability to enjoy smooth skin without regrowth can be a huge benefit of this removal process.