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What To Expect During And After Your Laser Hair Removal Appointment

Does the prospect of never having to shave again sound appealing? Then you may want to consider laser hair removal. It may sound a bit strange to have lasers targeted at your skin, but really this procedure is quite simple. After a few sessions, your hair will be greatly diminished if not gone completely – so you can throw away your razors and hair removal products once and for all. Here's a closer look at what to expect during and after your laser hair removal session.

What should you expect during laser hair removal?

When you make your appointment, your dermatologist will give you a few simple guideline to follow in the days leading up to the appointment. You'll likely be told to avoid shaving for a week or so before the appointment. You'll also need to stay out of the sun, since skin that's even a little irritated by sun exposure may be damaged by the laser.

Upon arriving at your dermatologist's office, he or she will look over your hair and skin to determine the proper laser settings based on the color, thickness, and location of the hair being treated. Then, a cool gel will be applied to the area to be treated. This gel will keep the laser from burning you and will also numb your skin somewhat.

Next, your dermatologist will aim a beam of light at the area to be treated. It will make a clicking noise and stay in place for just a second or two. Your dermatologist will move the light from place to place until each hair has been targeted.

What should you expect after laser hair removal?

You can head home as soon as your treatment is over. As the numbing gel wears off, you'll notice some burning sensations. You can use a soothing lotion (often provided by your dermatologist) or ice packs to alleviate this burning. The sensation should subside within a couple of days. Make sure you stay out of the sun and avoid hot showers in the meantime. If you go outside, prepare by slathering on some sunscreen.

In the weeks following your treatment, you will notice some of the hair starting to fall out. However, you will probably need a few additional treatments in order to remove all of your hair effectively. Your dermatologist can give you an estimate of how many treatments you'll need, depending on your hair color, density, and coarseness. Some people only need 2 or 3 treatments, while others need 5 or 6. The lighter and thinner your hair, the more treatments you'll need. This is because the laser targets the dark pigments in hair and is less effective on thin, light hair.

For more information, contact a clinic that does laser hair removal, like The Sheen Vein Institute.