By Dr. Kanu Verma, 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 absorbs 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 reduction can be expected after 3-7 sessions.
Prior to the procedure, the selected area is cleaned and laser energy is adjusted according to hair growth and skin types. 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. The full response usually takes 6 to 8 sessions. The response rate is variables varying from person to person.
After completion of the treatment, the skin stays good. Some people may feel warmth but that is controlled with ice packs and moisturizing creams. There is no skin burns post-treatment or darkening of the skin. Treatments should continue till the hair stops growing permanently.