If a group of women (and men, too, perhaps!) were granted one wish, then we are pretty sure that nine out of ten would want a solution to those monthly salon visits or messy cream rituals to get rid of body hair. And, the wish has been granted! Laser hair removal treatments are a welcome respite. In fact, today, a lot of men are also opting for these treatments.
Pros and cons, and more
Speaking about the pros and cons of these treatments, Dr. Mishra says, “Laser hair removal is becoming increasingly popular for several reasons. Its biggest advantage is that it does not only remove unwanted hair from any part of the body, but also restricts growth, so that you need to remove hair less often as you go along. It is an efficient procedure that removes all unwanted hair far less painfully than waxing. As the growth gets thinner, with successive removal, the pain gets even less. The only flip side of this treatment is that it is relatively more expensive, and, if not done by a trained hand, could cause burns and scars.”
Dermatologist, Dr. Niraja S Nelogi, adds, “It’s interesting to note that these treatments can, at times, also solve some medical issues, such as hyperhidrosis.”
So, does one need to worry about any side-effects? Dr. Prabhu assures, “There is generally no risk involved in these treatments. Itching is the most common side effect, both during and after the treatment. Following the treatment, the skin might turn red for a few days, and there could be swelling around the follicles. Since the procedure involves application of heat to do away with unwanted hair, it can lead to skin burns in some clients, especially those with dark skin. Pain, tingling, and numbness around the treated area for some time are common and considered normal. In rare cases, there is an infection. So, it is important to keep the area clean after the procedure.”
Dr. Nelogi concurs that the immediate side effects could be pain, a burning sensation, and edema. The late side effects could include burns and dyspigmentation.
Of course, it’s important to make a note of the precautions too. To begin with, Dr. Nelogi notes that a prior check of any skin infections is a must. Also, the hair should be grown fully.
Speaking about post-treatment precautions, Dr. Prabhu shares, “One should not bleach, pluck, or wax the area for four to six weeks before the treatment. Also, the treated area should be protected from the sun for at least four to six weeks. A high-SPF sunscreen should be applied on the area. Application of some clear aloe vera gel for two to four days on the treated area is also recommended. If there is tenderness or swelling, ice should be applied; it helps in healing. Avoid cosmetics over the treated skin as it can cause irritation.”
After five-eight sessions, with a gap of 20-40 days, and without any hormonal imbalance, the hair will reduce to thin, and may completely disappear, too, notes Dr. Nelogi.
However, Dr. Prabhu mentions that in case someone is suffering from PCOS or PCOD, the hair may reoccur even after the treatment. In such cases, combining the laser hair removal treatment with Lipokraft (a process that stimulates our personal supply of collagen-producing cells and growth factors to reverse the effects of skin-ageing) can help give permanent results.
Right from its cosmetic benefits, to being a practical solution, the popularity of laser hair removal treatments is ever-increasing, and there’s a reason why.
Dr. Prabhu Mishra, President, CEO and Co-Founder, StemGenn Therapeutics, lists the laser hair removal techniques that are currently popular:
1. Nd:YAG Laser: The preferred treatment for dark (read: Indian) skin, as it has weaker melanin absorption.
2. Diode Laser: One of the latest and most popular treatments, ideal for fair to medium skin.
3. Alexandrite Laser: It has a slightly longer wavelength than some of its competitors, making it usable on a wide range of skin tones.