What is Laser Hair Removal?

Many women don’t like the obligation to pluck, shave, or wax unwanted body hair. In El Paso, we experience several months of hot weather, and that often means many of us have to deal with frequent hair removal in order to wear tank tops and swimsuits. Traditional hair removal methods are temporary and require frequent maintenance. Even waxing is only effective for a few weeks. For this reason, laser hair removal is among one of the most commonly done cosmetic procedures in the US. It uses highly concentrated light that is beamed into hair follicles. Lasers work by targeting the pigment, or melanin, in the root of the hair. The LightSheer system generates intense long-pulsed light through an actively-cooled hand piece to effectively disable unwanted pigmented hair follicles. To effectively remove the hair, you must treat the hair during the growth cycle: at approximately 6 week intervals. Common locations for hair removal include legs, underarms, upper lip, chin, and bikini line.

What are the Benefits?

Men and women alike enjoy the benefits of laser hair removal for several reasons.

  • Less time spent on body hair maintenance. Because laser hair removal is the most permanent method of hair removal, you’ll save time on shaving, waxing, and plucking unwanted hair.
  • Prevent and eliminate ingrown hairs. Most other hair removal methods can cause irritated skin and ingrown hairs. Laser treatment eliminates this uncomfortable problem.
  • Long-term savings on products and treatments. Because the treatment is permanent, you’ll save on razors, waxing appointments, and other costly hair removal treatments.
  • No need to grow hair out between treatments. Unlike waxing, this treatment allows you to continue shaving between appointments.

Preparing for Laser Hair Removal

The first step if you’re considering laser hair removal is to determine exactly what you want to get out of the procedure. Know what your hopes and expectations are so you can express them to a medical professional at your consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our doctors in El Paso. At this initial appointment, the doctor will likely review your medical history and discuss the treatment process.

Importantly, there are a few things to keep in mind prior to the hair removal procedure.

  • Stay out of the sun. If you tan your skin before the laser treatment, you’ll increase the risk of side effects, especially skin lightening. Because the laser targets darker pigmentation, it’s best to let a tan fade completely before the procedure. The longer you can keep the removal site out of the sun prior to treatment, the better.
  • Avoid all hair removal treatments other than shaving. Waxing, plucking, and electrolysis can all interfere with the hair follicle and thus cause problems with the laser procedure. Shaving, on the other hand, does not disturb the follicle. In fact, shaving eliminates dark hair above the skin, allowing the laser to target the root rather than the surface of the skin.

What to Expect

Before the procedure, the doctor will prepare the removal site by trimming the hair and possibly applying a topical anesthetic to reduce any discomfort. During the procedure, the doctor presses a hand-held laser device to your skin. When the device is activated, the laser beam passes through the skin and targets the follicle. Larger areas can take up to a few hours, while smaller areas might only take a couple of minutes.

Hair removal procedures are different for everyone, as your hair grows in cycles and many factors influence its growth. Age, ethnicity, weight, hormones, diet, medication, and metabolism all play a part in your hair’s location, thickness, and resilience and these factors do affect hair removal success.

The usual plan prescribed by Dr. Jabor and Dr. Reynolds is 8-12 treatments to attain permanent optimal results. Interested in learning more about how the team of cosmetic surgeons at Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center of El Paso can help you remove unwanted hair with non-invasive procedures? Contact our office in El Paso today and schedule your private LightSheer consultation.

CareCredit® and Prosper are both options for financing your healthcare services. El Paso Plastic Surgery accepts both! Please visit the company websites to learn more.

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