A medical procedure that uses an intense, pulsating beam of light to remove unwanted
hair is what is commonly referred to as laser hair removal. This beam of light is known
as laser which passes through the skin to reach individual hair follicles. The intense
heat produced by the laser is expected to prevent hair regrowth by directly damaging
the hair follicle.
The usual target areas for removal of unwanted hair are the legs, upper lip, bikini line,
chin, and the armpit. The highest success rates for this procedure involve people
having light skin and dark hair. It should be noted that the laser beam targets the
pigment or melanin in the hair thus dark-skinned people are not considered good
candidates for the procedure.
The procedure does not guarantee permanent hair removal although regrowth is
expected to consist of lighter and finer hair. Resistance to the treatment is common
thus necessitating repeated treatment. Possible side effects include skin irritation and
temporary pigment changes. Rare cases of blistering, change of skin texture, and
scarring after the procedure have been reported.
Laser hair removal is best performed by a certified dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon or
at the very least, a physician’s assistant acting under the direct supervision of a licensed
doctor. It can take a few minutes to several hours to finish depending on the area being
treated. Results vary for each individual but everyone who decides to go through the
procedure is required to avoid sun exposure and other hair removal methods such as
plucking and waxing, prior to treatment.
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