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Published on: 02 Mar 2017 by sophia-addison
Laser hair removal is one of the most effective methods of hair removal currently available. Unlike shaving – which only cuts hair at the surface level of the skin – or waxing, which works by pulling hairs out at the root, laser treatment works by firing a beam of light directly at the unwanted hair in order to damage the follicle. Once the follicle has been damaged, it will not produce any new hair for a period of several months or years, resulting in long-lasting hair removal.
As with many other medical procedures, there are a number of things that can be done pre and post-treatment in order to prevent any unnecessary discomfort or complications.
Laser Hair Removal Pre-Treatment Tips
Whether it’s for a minor touch-up or a major laser hair removal treatment session, heeding the following guidelines will help you achieve the best results possible.
Avoid the Sun and Tanning
It is advisable to stay out of the sun for at least one month prior to laser skin treatment. If sun exposure is unavoidable, anyone planning laser hair removal treatment should always use sunscreen that has an SPF factor of 30+. It is also important to avoid using any sort of self-tan and to stay away from solariums for at least one month leading up to the treatment. If a patient arrives with a tan, the procedure may have to be postponed due to tanned skin having a higher risk of pigmentation change, crusting and loss of skin colour.
Do Not Use Products that Can Cause Photosensitivity
On the day of treatment, it’s important that you avoid using products that may cause photosensivity, which is an extreme sensitivity to UV rays and other light sources including lasers. Products that may cause photosensivity include some aftershaves, perfumes, deodorants and essential oils among others. It’s a good idea to consult a pharmacist or your GP if you have any doubts about what products may cause photosensivity.
Laser Hair Removal Post-Treatment Tips
After laser skin treatment, patients may experience some redness around the treated area. This is a common reaction and generally won’t last for more than two days. This redness can be treated by applying a soothing cream to the affected area.
It’s also advisable to take the following steps:
•Avoid any sun exposure for a minimum of one week
•Cleanse the treated area twice daily with an unscented moisturising soap
•Cover the treated area with an SPF 30+ sunscreen
•Do not wear any make-up on the treated area
•Avoided harsh scrubbing of the area and refrain from using scented lotions, soaps and exfoliant creams
•Wash the area with tepid water (avoid using hot or cold water)•Do not shave the treated area
•Avoid water with chemicals in it, such as swimming pools and spas
•Do not participate in activities that will result in excessive perspiration
In rare cases, laser hair removal treatments can result in crusting of the skin. If this occurs, it’s necessary to refrain from picking at the area and apply a bacitracin ointment to prevent infection. In the unlikely case of infection, obtaining a course of antibiotics from your GP is the best course of action.