Laser therapy is meant for hair reduction, not removal

July 1st, 2009 - 10:04 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) A common myth about laser hair removal therapy is that it results in permanent hair removal. But all this treatment does is to help reduce hair growth.
In today’s world when plunging necklines, spaghetti straps and hot pants top the fashion charts, one has to make sure that the visible skin is hair free and smooth and for this laser hair removal comes in very handy.

“Hairiness is no mere facial issue but an entire body problem for both men and women, especially in visible areas such as the face, ear and leg. Unwanted hair is the bane of many and regular removal through conventional procedures can prove to be cumbersome, painful and a temporary solution to the problem,” Kaya skin clinic’s medical head Snehal Sriram told IANS.

“In this scenario, hair reduction using laser comes as a much-needed relief because the procedure is rapid and gentle on the skin. People generally have this misconception that laser results in permanent hair removal, which is not true,” Sriram added.

Chin, upper lip, underarms, the bikini area and cheeks are the popular areas for laser hair removal.

The primary principle behind laser hair removal is selective photothermolysis (SPTL) that damages selective dark target matter (melanin) in the area which causes hair growth (follicle), while not heating the rest of the skin.

One should make sure that the laser machines are suitable for Indian skin. Otherwise one can get acute pigmentation on that part of the skin.

“Indian skin type has to be kept in mind while doing the treatment as the energy used during this therapy has to be kept low in darker people as compared to fair-skinned people. If higher energy is given during treatment then it might cause burn injury to the skin,” explained Mumbai-based cosmetic surgeon Meenakshi Agarwal.

Agarwal said Nd:Yag laser technology is best for Indian skin type.

“Not every laser machine available in India is meant for Indian skin type. People should go to good clinics because if they are trying to save some money, they are landing themselves in serious trouble. One has to make sure that the machine suits Indian skin type to avoid pigmentation or skin burning,” said Anup Dhir, senior cosmetic surgeon at Apollo Hospital.

“It is useless to go for laser if you have grey hair or very thin hair. Laser works best with dark coarse hair. Light skin and dark hair are an ideal combination, but new lasers are now able to target dark black hair even in patients with dark skin,” Dhir added.

Anukriti Nigam, 27, was embarrassed because of the unwanted hair on her chin. After two sessions of laser, she is happy with the result.

“I used to avoid going out in sun along with my friends because the hair on my chin used to look pathetic and it has caused me embarrassment in public as well. I was determined to get rid of this as soon as I start earning because laser is a bit expensive,” said Nigam, a media professional.

“The kind of profession I am in requires me to look presentable and when I came out from my first session, the results were just amazing and in the second session things really improved. Today I am really happy with my result,” she added.

The cost of the treatment depends on the area of the body and the number of sessions depends on various parameters, including the area of the body treated, skin colour, coarseness of hair and sex.

After treatment, one should avoid sun exposure and apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or more. Also one should avoid threading, plucking or waxing that area while taking the treatment.

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