Laser Hair Removal: Cost, Risk, Recovery

Overview

Laser hair removal is a commonly done cosmetic procedure in the U.S. It beams a light (laser) to remove unwanted facial or body hair. Laser hair removal has only succeeded in temporal hair removal so far. For a long-lasting effect, laser hair removal treatments and maintenance treatments may be needed as well.

Generally speaking, laser hair removal is much more advantageous than other ways of hair removal, such as waxing, electrolysis or razors. It makes the skin smoother, treats larger areas of skin effectively, and minimizes patient’s discomfort.

Candidates

A good candidate for laser hair removal include:

  • Physically healthy and do not have other illness that impair the healing
  • Nonsmokers
  • Non-drug users
  • Have a positive and realistic outlook toward the surgery

Risks

Ineffectiveness

Laser hair removal is not absolutely effective. Chances are that the hair in certain areas of the body may regrow after treatment. Continued treatment will pose more risks on patients’ skin.

Skin changes

Following laser hair removal, some skin problems may occur simultaneously. For example, patients may suffer from:

  • Pain
  • Discomfort
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • Blisters
  • Burns
  • Bleeding
  • Scarring

Area-specific risks

Some areas of the body are very sensitive and vulnerable. And laser hair removal could bring risks to these areas. The eyes, for example, may get injured if the procedure is not carried out correctly.

Costs

A plastic surgeon in New York once pointed out that the costs of laser hair removal are affected by many factors, from areas being treated, type of laser being used, to location of the facility. Therefore, it’s best to consult local treatment providers for an accurate price estimate.

For the cost of treatment in each area, some statistics are provided as a reference:

  • $350 to $500 in bikini area
  • $600 to $900 per treatment session in back
  • $350 to $600 in the chest

Preparation

After you’ve discussed appropriate treatment plans with your surgeon, he or she might offer the following instructions to you:

  • Staying out of the sun at least six weeks
  • Lightening your skin with a skin bleaching cream for at least a month
  • Stopping other hair removal methods, including plucking, waxing and electrolysis
  • Shaving and cleaning the area that will be treated
  • Avoiding blood-thinning medications
  • Taking oral antiviral medication or oral antibiotics if necessary
  • Wearing loose clothes and taking the protective eyewear for the treatment

How it is done

The laser hair removal may be performed by your plastic surgeon, or a nurse or other licensed provider to whom your surgeon delegates. As the laser emits a beam of concentrated light, pigment in your hair follicles absorbs the light. In turns, the heat converted from that light energy damages the hair follicles. As a result, future hair growth will be inhibited. But you must know that people with white or gray hair are typically not suitable candidates for this procedure.

Recovery

For the first few days after treatment, you will have mild symptoms similar to those after sunburn in the skin of your treated area: redness, pain, swelling and peeling. You may use moisturizers and cool compresses to improve the situation. Meanwhile, you should wear your makeup as few times as possible. Over the next month, your treated hair will fall out. When you take part in outdoor activities, you may wear sunscreen to protect the skin around your eyes and cheekbones.

Keywords: laser hair removal.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.