Clinical Skin Treatments – Laser Hair Removal

close up of the back of a woman's legs as she receives laser hair removal treatment

When you think of clinical skincare treatments, laser hair removal may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, it is one of the more popular procedures performed in skincare clinics today. Over time, laser treatment can save you a lot of the inconvenience associated with trying to get rid of unwanted body hair by yourself. There are many reasons to consider using it as an alternative to shaving, waxing or other traditional hair removal methods.

Laser Hair Removal Defined And Explained

Laser hair removal has a somewhat misleading name. The object of the treatment is to remove the hair eventually, but it does not do so immediately. The laser treatment works by targeting melanin present in each hair. Melanin is the substance responsible for colouring hair and skin. The combination of heat and the specific light wavelength of the laser is able to weaken the hair by affecting the melanin. It can also weaken the root of the hair, also known as a bulb or follicle.

When considering how laser hair removal works, you must look at each hair as if it is a plant. There is a large portion of the “plant” that grows below the “soil” and is not touched by certain processes. For example, shaving cuts each hair much like mowing grass, but mowing grass does not eliminate the portion of the grass under the soil. The purpose of laser equipment for hair removal is to treat all of each hair. That eliminates the rapid regrowth that occurs when the hairs are simply “mowed” down with a razor blade. By treating every full hair, the eventual result is more long-term hair loss.

The Effectiveness Of Laser Hair Removal Procedures

There are two basic things you need to know about the effectiveness of laser hair removal. The first is the effects are rarely permanent. A few hairs may disappear forever, but most will come back. The question is, when will they return? That answer is different for everyone and depends largely on the part of your body involved. However, the effects can last as little as a few weeks or as long as one or more months.

The second thing to understand about the effectiveness of laser hair removal is your skin type and hair colour can both play a large role in your level of success. The laser is best at treating darker hair against a background of lighter coloured skin. Additionally, if your skin is particularly oily, you may be at a higher risk for blisters or burns after laser treatment. Often, oily skin and dark skin pigmentation go hand-in-hand.

Potential Side Effects And Risks Of Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal does have several additional risks besides burns and blisters. However, most of those risks are low, including the burn and blister risks. The most common side effects of the treatment are temporary redness or temporary changes in the colour of your skin in the area where the procedure is performed. Your skin may also swell or become sensitive to touch or to the sun for a short time after treatment.

A more serious side effect that may occur is scarring. The general texture of your skin can also change. However, such side effects are quite unlikely. They primarily occur when the wrong type of laser device is used. Selecting a reputable clinic in which to have the procedure should eliminate such risks.

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