By Dr. Sheela Nataraj, Dermatology
If you are not comfortable using conventional methods of removing unwanted hair, laser hair removal might be an option worth exploring. It is a procedure which works on the principle of beaming highly concentrated light on the hair which in turn, affects the hair follicles. The pigment present in the hair follicles absorb the light which in turn, removes the hair.
Advantages of using laser hair removal include:
1. Speed: Each pulse of the laser is capable of treating multiple strands of hair at the same time. Smaller areas can be treated within few minutes and the larger areas might take an hour.
2. Precision: Lasers are capable of targeting select dark, coarse hair while rendering the surrounding skin undamaged.
3. Predictability: Permanent hair removal can be expected after 3-7 sessions.
Prior to the procedure, the hair would be trimmed to a few millimetres above the surface of the skin. Adjustment of the laser equipment would be done according to the location, color and thickness of the hair as well as the skin color.
During the procedure, you would be provided with eye protection and gel to protect the outer layers of the skin.
Then the pulse of light would be beamed on to the selected area and then observed for several minutes for negative reactions and to ensure whether the best settings were used.
After completion of the treatment, you would be provided with inflammatory creams, lotions, ice packs or cold water which would help in relieving the discomfort. The treated part of your skin is likely to resemble a sunburn after a day or two. Moisturisers and cool compresses would also help. Treatments should continue till the hair stops growing permanently.