At Hillandale Primary Care and Laser Care, we have put together a Laser Hair Removal Series to answer all of your questions. Here are some of the blogs addressing questions you may be interested in getting the answers before you sign up for an appointment to remove unwanted hair on your body.
- Is it Safe?
- How to Prepare?
- What Are the Benefits?
In this blog, here is information about how to prepare for laser hair removal. Read more to find out.
Talk with your doctor
Before laser hair removal, it is a good idea to discuss it with your doctor to determine if this is an appropriate treatment option for you. Your doctor will likely do the following:
- Review your medical history, including medication use, history of skin disorders or scarring, and past hair removal procedures
- Discuss what laser hair removal can and can’t do for you, the risks, benefits, and expectations
- Discuss a treatment plan and the related costs, which is usually an out-of-pocket expense.
How to prepare
Here are some specific instructions to prepare for laser hair removal.
- Staying out of the sun. Follow your laser hair removal professional’s advice for avoiding sun exposure, usually up to six weeks before treatment, and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily.
- Lightening your skin. Avoid any sunless skin creams that darken your skin. Your laser professional may ask you to stop bleaching six weeks prior to your laser hair removal treatment for your hair to grow back in their natural color or they might prescribe a skin bleaching cream if you have a recent tan or darker skin.
- Avoiding other hair removal methods. Plucking, waxing, and electrolysis can disturb the hair follicle and should be avoided at least four weeks before treatment.
- Shaving treatment area. Shaving and / or trimming is often recommended prior to your laser treatment. It can remove hair above the skin that can result in surface skin damage from burnt hairs, but it leaves the hair shaft intact below the surface.
- Avoid Makeup or Creams. The ingredients in beauty products can sometimes affect the results of laser hair removal and should be removed prior to each of your treatments. This includes deodorant, makeup, lotions, ointments, and anything else applied topically to the area. Simply use soap and water to cleanse the skin that will be treated. If makeup remover is used, be sure to rinse the area with water afterward.
- Check your medications. Ask your laser professional about what oral and topical medications, such as aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs, to avoid before the procedure. Some medications can intervene with your laser treatments, making them less effective. Other medications can make the skin sensitive and more likely to burn or blister. You should especially inform your laser technician if you are on antibiotics, birth control, acne, and photosensitizing medications. You won’t have to stop taking your medication, but your laser professional will be able to adjust your treatment accordingly and proceed with caution.
By following these recommendations, you will significantly reduce the risk of experiencing side effects caused by your laser treatments. These can range from mild skin irritation to burns or discoloration. Additionally, you’ll be sure to get the most out of your laser hair removal treatments and get results that will last a lifetime.
What you can expect
Depending on several factors, laser hair removal can require a series of two to six treatments. The interval between treatments will vary depending on the location. The upper lip or on areas where hair grows quickly, the laser treatment might be repeated in four to eight weeks. On the back or on areas of slow hair growth, the treatment might be every 12 to 16 weeks.
To protect your eyes from the laser beam, you will be asked to wear special goggles. An assistant might shave the site again if necessary. To reduce any discomfort during the treatment, the doctor might apply a topical anesthetic to your skin.
During the procedure
Depending on the type of laser, a cooling device on the tip of the instrument or a cool gel might be used to protect your skin and lessen the risk of side effects.
The laser beam passes through your skin to the hair follicles. To inhibit hair grown, the intense heat from the laser beam damages the hair follicles. You might feel discomfort, such as a warm pinprick, and you’ll likely feel a sensation of cold from the cooling device or gel.
It may only take minutes to treat a small area, such as the upper lip or an hour to treat a larger area, such as the back.
After the procedure
For the first few hours after your laser hair removal treatment, you may notice redness and swelling.
Applying ice packs to the treated area is recommended to reduce any discomfort.
Avoid the sun or tanning beds for six weeks after laser hair removal and between scheduled treatments.
Hairs do not fall out immediately, but you will shed them over a period of days to weeks. This may look like continued hair growth. The repeated treatments are usually necessary because hair growth and loss naturally occur in a cycle, and laser treatment works best with hair follicles in the new-growth stage.
Results vary significantly and are difficult to predict. The majority of people have successful experiences with laser hair removal that lasts several months, and it might last for years. Laser hair removal doesn’t guarantee permanent hair removal. When hair regrows, it’s usually finer and lighter in color.
Contact us at 770-322-9660 to make an appointment or consultation regarding laser hair removal treatment.
Hillandale Primary Care & Laser Center is owned and operated by Dr. Saira Tariq Niaz, who is a board-certified family physician with offices in Lithonia and Lawrenceville Georgia. Hillandale Primary Care provides patient-focused, compassionate healthcare of the highest quality to each patient and delivers acute and chronic healthcare to patients of all ages. We are passionate about preventive medicine and encourage each of our patients to take an active role in maintaining overall health and wellbeing. Call today at 770.322-9660 or request an appointment.