Zapping myths about laser hair removal

Zapping myths about laser hair removal
Zapping myths about laser hair removal

Between the days spent at the beach and nights lounging on the patio, summer offers the perfect time to stay outdoors and bask in the beautiful weather. Since this season provides ample opportunity for showing off your favorite shorts and cocktail dresses, women generally spend a great deal of time shaving, hoping that their days will not be ruined by those small, prickly hairs that won't seem to go away.

However, for women who are sick of shaving, waxing or using hair-removal cream, there is another option - laser hair removal, a nonsurgical procedure that may be able to greatly reduce the appearance of hair on the skin's surface.

Understanding the procedure
This procedure deactivates hair follicles on the skin, preventing hair from coming back. A low-energy laser is guided over the area - whether the legs, armpits or face - ensuring all hair follicles have been properly treated. In 2013, more than 900,000 patients sought this procedure, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Before selecting this operation, patients must attend a consultation with a board-certified surgeon, who will discuss the benefits, risks and factors that may affect the surgery. 

As with most cosmetic procedures, however, this treatment has its pros and cons. There are a few misconceptions that surround laser hair removal surgery. One Maryland-based plastic surgeon explained to Ground Report that many patients are hesitant to select this procedure because of certain things they've heard. 

"It is interesting to hear all the myths and misconceptions that people have about laser hair removal," explains Dr. Sanjiv Saini of MD Dermatology, with locations in Edgewater and Lexington Park, Maryland. "Yet, once people actually get it, they can't believe they waited so long. It offers long-lasting benefits and is a much easier treatment than you may think."

Breaking down the basics
Among some of the most popular topics patients frequently ask about include pain levels, time and effectiveness. The surgeon explained that generally, people feel little pain when going under the laser. While some may experience​ discomfort, few report high pain levels. This does, however, depend upon a variety of factors, including lifestyle habits, age and genetics. 

Another common concern among laser hair removal hopefuls is the time commitment. Depending on the area of your body you hope to target, as well as your skin's pigment and hair color, you may require frequent treatments to get rid of all hair. According to Smart Beauty Guide, most patients see permanent results after about three to eight sessions. Reader's Digest reported that this can be attributed to the fact that most hair follicles have to fully grow before they can be removed - meaning whatever patches are inactive during the first session may start growing after treatment.

Prior to selecting this procedure, patients should be sure to thoroughly discuss the risks and expectations with their surgeon. Speaking with a board-certified medical professional prior to inquiring about the operation ensures your personal interests, limitations and lifestyle factors have been properly accounted for. Additionally, these individuals can provide a more comprehensive overview of what you may be able to expect from the operation.