Laser hair removal is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures around the world. Over a million of people are having this kind of treatment every year, as shown in the reports from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Aside from that, according to some estimates, the revenue in 2009 of the market for laser hair removal amounted to over $244 million. Among the common parts or location of the body where this procedure is commonly administered are arm, back, bikini, chest, abdomen, face, as well as legs and even underarm.

If you are planning to undergo this kind of treatment too in the near future, it is advisable to understand some basic information first. Some of these are specifically about the problem that it tries to solve, as well as the technology that is being used and even the possible or commonly reported side effects.

It is a solution for what?

In a general sense, laser hair removal is a form of non-evasive cosmetic procedure that removes unwanted hair in some parts of the body. Aside from that, it is also a solution for excessive growth of hair.

  • Hypertrichosis

This refers to the excessive hair growth in the body, but either in a normal or abnormal pattern. There could be different reasons why this may happen to a person. Among the most common causes of this may be because of genetics, medications, malnutrition, hormones or even metabolism.

  • Hirsutism

This refers to excessive hair growth in women. It is a problem because the growth is in male patterns. Among these are patterns like beard, mustache or hair in the lower abdomen. The common causes of these problems are hormones, medications, genes and even tumor.

What technology is being used?

It is also important to appreciate the kind of technology that is being used in the procedure. For the laser hair removal, dermatologists are using light sources and lasers in order to safely and effectively remove unwanted hairs. This is also with the objective of giving the minimal discomfort to the patient, as well as fewer complications compared to the other methods of hair removal available.

The reduction of the discomfort is possible because most lasers have cooling device. This device is also built in order to protect the top layer of the patient’s skin against excessive heat or even pigmentation.

Specifically, intense pulsed light (IPL) and laser devices concentrate beams of light to the skin. This light is then absorbed by the melanin pigment, which is in the follicle shafts of the hair.

What are the side effects of laser hair removal?

There might be side effects of this procedure to the patient. Among the most commonly reported effects are discomfort during and after the procedure, as well as swelling and even redness of the skin. These usually last between one and three days.

Aside from these, the patient may also develop blistering and other complications like bacterial infections, temporary skin tightening and darkening, herpes simplex outbreaks and the like.