The Calabasas Dermatologist’s Guide to Laser Hair Removal
For 10 years, board-certified dermatologists in Calabasas have used laser hair removal to remove unwanted hair from their patients’ face, armpits, bikini line, forearms and legs. This effective, affordable and safe hair removal method provides results that last longer than electrolysis, plucking, shaving or waxing.
Laser Hair Removal Candidates
Although some lasers work successfully for dark-skinned people who have dark hair, it is easier to treat light-skinned people who have dark hair. Laser hair removal may not be the right choice for people who have fine blonde hair, gray hair or certain hormonal disorders.
The Hair Removal Procedure
During a procedure, the dermatologist uses a laser that delivers a targeted beam of light to the hair bulb and melanin, which is the pigment that gives the hair its color. Some patients may experience mild discomfort during the procedure. To ease any discomfort, the doctor can give the patient a numbing cream to apply before the laser hair removal treatment.
Since hair goes through resting and growing phases, the patient will need to return to the dermatology practice for approximately five additional treatments, depending on the area targeted. Laser hair removal is not a permanent solution to unwanted hair. Therefore, patients will need up to four touch-up sessions per year.
Preparing for Treatment
Tanning before a laser hair removal treatment increases the likelihood of blistering, so patients should refrain from using any type of tanning method for two weeks prior to treatment. Patients should also avoid bleaching, electrolysis, depilatories and plucking for two weeks before treatment. However, patients may shave until a couple of days before the procedure.
Patients should not use makeup or lotion on the day of treatment, and they must inform their laser hair removal provider if they are currently taking any medication, including antibiotics. Those who are scheduled to receive hair removal on the bikini line should not wear dark-colored underwear to prevent laser-light absorption. Patients who are pregnant should not undergo laser hair removal treatment.
Common Side Effects
It is common for patients to feel a burning sensation, which can persist up to two hours after treatment. Some patients may notice a temporary pigment change in treated areas that lasts for as long as six months. Other common side effects are superficial blistering and swelling at the treatment site. In rare cases, patients may see bruising up to 10 days after laser hair removal. Scarring is not common; this side effect can usually be prevented by following all post-procedure care instructions.