The laser hair removal therapy - first conducted on an experimental basis some 20 years ago - became commercially available in the mid 1990s. In addition to passing laser beams, some epilators also use a xenon flash lamp that emits full-spectrum intense pulsed light (IPL).
Laser is used in a variety of cosmetic surgery procedures. Apart from hair removal, it finds use in the treatment of facial and leg veins and age spots. In hair removal treatments the laser energy is transformed into heat. This disables the follicle and leaves the surrounding skin unchanged, thus arresting hair growth.
Hair removal laser surgery involves localized damage. Laser beams are passed through the dark matter that is responsible for hair growth causes this. Thus only the affected portion is heated, leaving the rest of the skin untouched. The therapy works on the simple principle that dark objects absorb light. The chromophore, or the dark target matter, can be either natural or artificial.
The procedure adopted in hair removal laser surgery varies depending on the individual undergoing it. The laser beam is passed through a small hand-held instrument, and the patient is provided with safety eyewear. Even so, some people might experience a mild degree of discomfort while undergoing treatment. The discomfort threshold of course varies according to the patient's constitution and endurance level. Some might even need to be administered local anesthesia. The duration of the treatment would depend on factors such as the size or number of areas being treated, and a session could last for just a few minutes or take hours. The area treated by laser may slightly redden in some cases, but all patients can resume normal everyday activities immediately after undergoing hair removal laser surgery.
However, while the number of sessions required for laser hair removal treatment varies from patient to patient, it must always take into account their gender and the problem area. The average run is three to six sessions, though some body parts require prolonged treatment. The intervals between the sessions can also vary, depending on the area that is being treated. When removing moustaches and chin hair an interval of 6 to 8 weeks is usual.
Hair removal laser surgery is a long-lasting treatment for unwanted hair growth. Till it arrived on the scene those looking for permanent cures went for electrolytic treatment. But electrolysis, besides being time consuming, works well only over small areas. This is because the electrolytic method removes the hair individually. Other methods of hair removal, such as shaving, and applying eflornithine creams and chemical depilatories provide only temporary relief. Hair removal laser surgery is not only long lasting; it is also a far safer method. The laser beam removes unwanted hair without damaging the skin's delicate pores and structures. It is also faster than electrolysis - treatment of some problem areas taking no more than 45 minutes.
There are no major side effects of hair removal laser surgery. Most patients take the treatment well, though some might report a mild discomfort or stinging sensation. There are of course cases where local anesthesia or a painkiller may need to be used while treating certain sensitive areas.
In any case side effects, such as blistering, soft scabbing and redness, disappear quickly within a few days. All that might happen is that some skin patches may appear slightly lighter or darker after treatment. A good physician always informs the patient about the likely side effects that they could suffer. He is also likely to ask you to avoid sun exposure for two to four weeks, both before and after laser treatment. Doing this greatly minimizes the risk of complication.
Laser is used in various medical procedures. Laser treatment is preferred because it is a long-lasting method of hair removal, unlike shaving or threading. Laser treatment is used to remove facial hair and age spots. The principle is simple: laser energy is transformed into heat, which disables the hair follicles leaving the surrounding skin unchanged. This instantly arrests hair growth.
The laser wavelengths used in hair removal laser surgery include visible light to near-infrared radiation. Laser wavelengths are determined by the lasing medium that is used to create them and are measured in nanometers (nm).
Pulse widths are crucial in laser treatment. It has been observed that longer pulse widths are the safest for dark skins.
It is also known that the spot size, or the width of the laser beam, can make all the difference. Lasers generally have a round spot about the size of a little finger. The width of an ideal beam should be about four times as wide as the target is deep.
Energy level, also known as fluence, is another important aspect of hair removal laser surgery. It is measured in joules per square centimeter (J/cm2).
Besides these, repetition time is also taken into account. If two or more pulses are shot at the same target with a certain delay between the pulses it helps in heating up the problem area.
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