What is laser hair removal?
- Posted on: Apr 16 2019
Laser hair removal is a noninvasive technique that uses highly concentrated light to penetrate hair follicles. The laser light is absorbed by the pigment in the hair shaft in the follicle-generating heat which damages the follicle to inhibit future hair growth. Therefore, plucking hair before treatment reduces the efficacy of the laser treatment as the target is absent.
Because laser hair removal only affects actively growing hair follicles, it may take several laser hair removal treatments to provide significant hair reduction. Additionally, while laser hair removal effectively slows hair growth, it doesn’t guarantee permanent hair removal. Periodic maintenance treatments may be needed.
Laser hair removal costs can widely vary. The average fee referenced above is only part of the total cost – it does not include other related expenses.
The price of laser hair removal may be based on the expertise and qualifications of the person performing the procedure, the type of procedure used, the time and effort the treatment requires and the geographic location of the office.
During your laser hair removal consultation be prepared to discuss:
- Your goals
- Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
- Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drug use
- Previous surgeries
Dr. Monasebian and his staff will also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Take photographs
- Discuss your options
- Recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of laser hair removal and any risks or potential complications
Be sure to ask Dr. Monasebian questions. It’s very important to understand all aspects of your laser hair removal. It’s natural to feel some anxiety, whether it’s excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don’t be shy about discussing these feelings with Dr. Monasebian.
Laser hair removal doesn’t guarantee permanent hair removal. Some hair could be resistant to the laser treatment or grow again after treatment — although the new hair growth might be finer and lighter in color.
Possible laser hair removal side effects include:
- Mild swelling around the hair follicles
- Pigment changes may occur, especially in those with darker skin. These changes are usually temporary
- Slight redness of the skin
- Temporary irritation resulting in blistering, crusting, scarring or other changes in skin texture
Special care must be taken for those with darker skin. A less intensive laser should be used to avoid damaging the outer skin. Anyone who has tanned, used a spray tan or gone to a tanning booth should wait until the tan has faded as the pigment in the skin absorbs the laser light and reduces the effectiveness of the treatment.
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It’s important that you address all your questions directly with Dr. Monasebian.
A beam of highly focused light is absorbed by hair in disabling unwanted hair follicles. There is some mild discomfort that last a few seconds. People with white or gray hair may not have enough pigment target to be a candidate for laser hair removal.
Because hair grows in cycles, it typically takes six to eight laser hair removal treatments to provide significant hair reduction.
Laser hair removal involves many choices. The first and most important is selecting a board-certified plastic surgeon you can trust who is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
ASPS member surgeons meet rigorous standards:
- Board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery® (ABPS) or in Canada by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada®
- Complete at least six years of surgical training following medical school with a minimum of three years of plastic surgery residency training
- Pass comprehensive oral and written exams
- Graduate from an accredited medical school
- Complete continuing medical education, including patient safety, each year
- Perform surgery in accredited, state-licensed, or Medicare-certified surgical facilities
Do not be confused by other official-sounding boards and certifications.
The ABPS is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which has approved medical specialty boards since 1934. There is no ABMS recognized certifying board with “cosmetic surgery” in its name.
By choosing a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, you can be assured that you are choosing a qualified, highly-trained plastic surgeon who is board-certified by the ABPS or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
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