While the hair on person's head or face can be an important part of their look, there are some areas of the body where hair is unwelcome. Excessive hair on the back, legs, or arms can be unsightly, as can facial hair on women. While shaving this hair is always an option, it's a temporary solution at best. For a more permanent way to remove this hair, people can turn to surgical hair removal, also called laser hair removal.
Surgical hair removal is primarily a useful procedure because it is permanent. Other methods of removing hair have varying durations, from a couple days to a few weeks, but the hair always grows back eventually. Whether shaving, waxing, or using topical creams, those methods must be frequently reused to keep hair away. In addition, these methods can cause other problems, such as skin irritation from waxing or creams, or nicks and cuts from shaving. Laser hair removal, if performed properly, has no side effects and lasts much longer.
How Laser Hair Removal Works
Laser hair removal works by projecting heat onto the hair follicle until it swells up. This causes the follicle to naturally assume it's supposed to be a in a recessive state. In layman's terms, the hair just stops growing altogether. A hair follicle won't stay in this state forever, but with each additional laser hair removal treatment, it will stay in recession longer. The recommendation is to have three to five treatments, each a few months apart, to ensure that the treatment takes hold. After that, maintenance is only required every eight to twelve months.
Side Effects Related to Surgical Hair Removal
The most common side effect of laser hair removal is a change in skin pigmentation in the affected areas. Most people assume this is some sort of scar, but that is not the case. The change in color should go away in three months or less, depending on how quickly the individual heals naturally.
Side effects related to surgical hair removal are very infrequent if people take the appropriate precautions. The most frequent cause of problems comes from overexposure to sunlight or use of tanning booths immediately prior to or immediately following the laser hair removal procedure. The ultra-violet light from these sources can cause the skin to become irritated once it's exposed to the laser. In addition, those with sensitive skin should avoid using scented lotions on the affected areas, as this can cause irritation.