Laser Hair Reduction: Less Painful and More Permanent Than Waxing

Dr. Don Revis

by Dr. Don Revis | August 16, 2010 @ 04:00PM

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At last, unwanted hair removal is more permanent, less painful, and less expensive than traditional over-the-counter or salon methods. Removing unwanted body hair is of major importance to most women and many men who invest considerable time, energy, and money in the pursuit of smooth, hairless areas of the body. Over 80 million women in this country use depilatories, epilators, shaving, or waxing kits on a regular basis, and an additional three million men and women undergo electrolysis or professional salon waxing. Lasers have multiple applications in plastic surgery, including the removal of unwanted hair. Laser energy applied to the surface of the skin gently removes unwanted hair and puts an end to routine shaving or waxing. This laser energy is selectively absorbed by the pigment in the hair and the hair follicle, causing destruction of the follicle and preventing future hair growth.

In the past, laser technology was much less advanced, and there existed a very real possibility of changing the color of your skin with laser hair reduction, particularly if you have darker skin. With the newest instrumentation, however, this risk has been virtually eliminated. If you have unwanted hair, you are most likely a candidate for laser hair reduction.

There is no area of the body that cannot be treated, but some areas are more popular than others. Women typically request laser hair reduction of the face, upper lip, chin, arms, legs, and bikini areas. Men typically request treatment of the beard area, back of the neck, back and chest.

During the procedure, patients wear protective eyewear and recline comfortably in a chair. A mild snapping sensation like that of a small rubber band is felt as the laser is guided over the skin. Most patients report no redness or damage to the skin's surface during or after this treatment. You can apply moisturizer or makeup immediately and can then return to your normal activities without feeling self-conscious or worrying if anyone can tell that you just had a cosmetic laser procedure.

The cost of laser hair reduction varies depending on the areas of the body to be treated. In general, however, these costs are more than an individual waxing session, but less than you would spend over the course of a year on waxing. Waxing is also not permanent, and the costs and pain associated with waxing continue into the future.

Dr. Don Revis, Jr.,is board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery.

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