What You Need to Know About Laser Hair Removal

All your questions about laser hair removal, answered.

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Ask This Question to Help Avoid a Potentially Bad Laser Hair Removal Experience (2:08)

As laser hair removal increases in popularity, it's become more important than ever to protect yourself from a laser hair removal scam. Without the proper knowledge, you could put yourself at risk for burns and scarring. Investigative journalist Hitha Herzog and dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe took the time to investigate laser hair removal to provide you with answers to your questions about the procedure.

Is there medical staff on site? If so, are they nurse practitioners?

Every site is different, and not all sites have medical staff there. However, it is safer to have a doctor or nurse practitioner available on site in the event that the procedure does not go as planned or you experience any side effects.

What kind of laser is used?

To find out what kind of laser to use, you should speak to a licensed professional and get a consultation for further advice on your specific skin tone. Those with darker pigmented skin should use a YAG laser because it can go deeper into the skin with a lower risk of damage because it has less melanin absorption.

How many treatments do you anticipate I will need?

Your medical professional will determine how many treatments you will need, but it is normal to get anywhere from 8-10 treatments.

Am I a good candidate for laser hair removal?

Everyone’s skin is different, the experience may vary depending on if the patient has tattoos, birthmarks, or a darker skin tone. To determine if it's the best fit for you, you should consider if the laser that is used will work on your skin and hair color. Ask yourself what are your alternative options? Would waxing, plucking, threading or electrolysis be better?

What does maintenance look like?

Some typical parts of maintenance include staying out of the sun and avoiding sunless skin creams used to darken the skin. You shouldn't pluck or wax for four weeks prior to the treatment. You should avoid blood thinners before the procedure and trim and shave hair the day before the treatment.

What are the biggest risks involved with this procedure?

Some of the risks include scarring, skin irritation, and pigment changes. Talk to the professional who will be doing the procedure to ask any and all questions you might have. It's important to be informed and aware before a laser hair removal procedure. 

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