Getting the best laser hair removal results depends on your skin care routine before and after treatments as well as the laser treatment provider's expertise. People with certain skin and hair coloring are better candidates than others for laser hair removal. Laser hair removal is the most effective on individuals with healthy skin who carefully follow all post-treatment instructions.
With light skin and dark hair, this method of hair removal will require less time and fewer treatments. The high contrast makes each hair follicle under the skin easier for the physician to locate with the laser instrument. Before getting laser hair removal, make sure that the technician has the proper credentials. This procedure should be performed by a dermatologist, registered nurse, or physician who is board-certified in laser use.
Beginning a few weeks before your first scheduled treatment, avoid sun exposure as much as possible. Even slightly tanned skin can have a detrimental effect on laser hair removal results. If you are taking certain medications or supplements, such as beta-carotene or some anti-acne drugs that increase sun sensitivity, these may need to be discontinued before beginning laser hair removal. Some skin conditions, such as psoriasis, may also need to be treated and cleared up before any hair removal procedure.
Waxing and hair depilatory lotions should not be used prior to laser treatment, and the same applies to self-tanning lotions. One of the main benefits of laser hair removal is that many hair follicles are removed at once with concentrated beams of light, without any damage to the skin's surface. After a laser treatment, clean the treated area only with plain soap for the first week. Do not shave or tweeze any hairs that begin to grow back; they should fall out on their own.
Risks of laser hair removal are minimal, particularly when the procedure is done by a certified physician. If you have had cold sores in the past, laser treatments on the upper lip may cause one to appear; this is temporary and can be treated with a normal antibiotic ointment. Some laser hair removal results can also include mild redness or darkening of the skin. This side effect is also temporary and can be treated with a topical cream.
One to two weeks after your first laser treatment, you can usually use a mild exfoliating scrub to help any regrowing hairs fall out. Do not scrub hard; the skin is still in its healing stage. Treating the skin area gently after a laser session is one of the simplest steps towards having the best laser hair removal results.
The number of hair removal sessions depends on the size and location of the area being treated. Full body laser hair removal results generally take longer to achieve because hair has different growth rates and levels of coarseness on different areas of the body. Partial body laser hair removal typically takes fewer sessions.