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Dec 13, 2010

Escape Your Hairy Situation

You've spent years shaving, waxing and plucking and you've had enough. The time for change has finally come, with laser hair removal. You may be attracted by the generous discounts offered by some spas and salons, but take a minute to decide which is right for you. See a dermatologist or plastic surgeon first, in order to anticipate negative skin reactions to light treatment.
Negative side effects appear with greater probability in darker or tanned skin. Good advice can only come from a doctor who has handled skin similar to yours. Laser hair removal works on any body part, from the face, back, shoulders, arms, legs to the bikini area. During the hair's growth phase, lasers can destroy hair follicles under the skin, thus preventing hair from ever growing there again.
On any day, different hair strands are found in different phases of the growth cycle, thereby requiring four to 10 treatments, over four to six week intervals, considering hair type and target area. Those needing the fewest treatments are usually fair with dark, coarse hair. Success is defined as destruction of 90% of follicles in the target area. To eliminate the last 10%, all that is needed are additional treatments once every few years.
Any hairs that do grow back are usually thinner and finer, which means they are less noticeable. While darker hair is more responsive to treatment, something can be done for facial fuzz. The American Academy of Dermatology found that putting together a prescription cream, whose action is to slow facial hair growth, with just a few laser sessions, is highly effective on fine facial hair.
You can't expect it to be absolutely painless, and it is often described as snapping a rubber band. It shouldn't be too bad however, as the doctor should either chill the area or apply a topical anesthetic. Adverse reactions occur more often from topical anesthetic applied beyond the target area, and this is why only a dermatologist or plastic surgeon should be trusted with laser therapy.
Treatments range from minuets to hours, as needed by the size of the area. The price for treatment a single region can be $200 per session or $1,200 for the package. There are a few dos and don'ts to observe both before and after laser hair removal.
One month prior to therapy, eliminate tanning, including the use of self-tanners, should be eliminated from your schedule. Furthermore, tweezing, waxing, and electrolysis are disallowed. Lasers must be able to target a hair in the follicle. One day before, shaving is authorized, as it does not remove all the hair from the follicle. Sun exposure is particularly harmful after the procedure, and you should avoid it. Any venture outdoors requires putting on SPF30 sunscreen beforehand.

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