Are you tired of the vicious cycle of shaving and waxing? If this is you, you may be happy to know that you can now enjoy an extended period of hair-free skin, thanks to laser hair removal – a medical procedure that harnesses the power of laser energy to destroy hair follicles. Before visiting Brittney Gast RN, BSN, for a laser hair removal appointment, it is best to know the procedure and what it entails.
What happens during laser hair removal?
First, your provider cleanses the area to be treated. Your specialists may use numbing cream if the treatment place is small and sensitive. Usually, numbing cream takes about 30 minutes to an hour to work. Therefore, topical anesthesia will be applied to the skin an hour before the procedure. Before treatment, you wear protective eyewear to shield your eyes from the laser light. To perform the procedure, your provider holds your skin taut and presses a handheld laser instrument to your skin. Some tools have a cooling device on the tip to lessen the risk of side effects.
The laser pulses don’t cause pain during treatment, but you may experience some warm pricks. Many patients liken the feeling to that of a rubber band being snapped against the skin. The duration of treatment varies depending on the size of the area being treated. Small areas like the upper lip take minutes, while large areas like the back or legs may last more than an hour.
What to expect after laser hair removal
The treated area may be reddish and swollen after the procedure, but this often fades away within a few hours. Applying ice to the treated area can help minimize any discomfort. Your provider might apply a steroid cream to the affected area in case of a skin reaction immediately after treatment. After laser hair removal, you should avoid exposing the treated area to sunlight. You should also avoid tanning beds, use a broad-spectrum SPF30 sunscreen daily and follow your dermatologist’s aftercare instructions.
Is there downtime?
No, patients don’t require any downtime after laser hair removal. The treated skin will be red and swollen immediately after treatment, but most people resume their everyday activities despite this.
How safe is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal is relatively safe, but it can be dangerous in inexperienced hands. Have your treatment performed by a medical doctor skilled in using lasers and who has knowledge about the skin. Working with nonmedical personnel puts you at risk of burns, scars, and permanent skin color changes. Choose a board-certified dermatologist and be wary of salons and spas that allow nonmedical personnel to perform laser hair removal.
Possible side effects
After laser hair removal, expect your skin to be swollen and red; this usually improves within one to three days. Other side effects are rare when the procedure is performed by a dermatologist or under a dermatologist’s supervision. These side effects include cold sores outbreaks, blistering, infections, scarring, and skin lightening or darkening.
Schedule an appointment with your provider at Natural Obsession Aesthetics for laser hair removal to enjoy long periods of smooth, hair-free skin.