Articles Tagged: laser hair removal side effects
Posted on October 19, 2020 by Ella Fedonenko
The laser hair removal process is based on a laser’s ability to focus destructive light energy onto individual hair follicles while avoiding over-heating surrounding skin cells. This is made possible by using laser light energy tuned to match a patient’s hair color – this works exceptionally well when the patient’s hair color contrasts strongly with their natural skin color. As you might imagine, the presence of tattoos (whether monochrome or colored) in the area that’s being treated presents a serious complication.
Location of Tattoos and Hair Follicles
Permanent tattoos are created by injecting pigment into the skin at a depth of between 1.5 and 2 millimeters. This allows the ink to penetrate beneath the skin’s outer layer and avoid being affected as the outer skin cells die off and are naturally replaced. Hair follicles are also located in the dermis but significantly deeper than where the tattoo ink is deposited. This allows tattoos to be placed in areas containing hair growth, without one affecting the other.
Problems with Use of Hair Removal Laser over Tattoos
Laser hair removal works by heating individual hair follicles until they’re damaged and stop growing. However, the laser light energy first needs to pass through all skin layers on top of the hair follicles, including the layer that contains the pigments that form tattooed areas.
Using a hair removal laser over tattooed skin would result in laser light energy being absorbed by the pigment injected into the skin to form the tattoo design. This absorption of energy would result in rapid heating of the tattooed area. There’s a possibility that the laser would fade or alter the color of your tattoo, but there’s a far bigger chance that the energy absorbed by the skin cells containing the tattoo would lead to skin damage, blisters, and burning.
Laser Hair Removal Adjacent to a Tattoo
For this reason, a competent laser hair removal practitioner would decline to perform laser hair removal on top of a tattooed area. This doesn’t mean there would be any problem in using the laser hair removal laser in non-tattooed parts of the body, even those adjacent to tattooed areas. If there’s any risk of laser light spilling over onto tattooed regions, a simple template can be used to shield the tattooed area from any risk of laser light exposure.
Laser Hair Removal Prior to Getting Tattooed
If you’re considering getting a tattoo applied to an area that also contains unwanted hair, you should consider first using laser hair removal to target all unwanted hair in the area, and only after this process is complete should you continue and get the tattoo applied. Conversely, if you’ve already got a tattoo that you’d like to get removed, then take care of this first, and proceed with hair removal afterward.
Your Laser Skin Care
Your Laser Skin Care is experienced and medically qualified to perform laser hair removal, as well as a wide range of other non-invasive cosmetic techniques. We can answer any questions regarding your personal situation and can recommend the most effective (and cost-effective) ways to help you achieve your cosmetic goals. Call us at (323) 525-1516 to schedule a free consultation or visit us online for more information.
Posted on October 12, 2020 by Ella Fedonenko
While pregnant, women typically have a lot more on their minds than excess body hair. The extensive hormonal changes that accompany pregnancy often bring unwanted hair growth, sometimes in quantities and places that you might not normally expect.
Although this is not always the case, many women experience increases in hair growth on the face, neck, stomach, breasts, lower and upper back, and several other areas. The growth may not just be confined to new areas of your body, but may also include thicker hairs than you typically have.
While it’s a cosmetic annoyance and likely to go away on its own after giving birth, many women look for ways to remove this excess hair growth safely. Given your baby’s sensitivity to the chemicals and procedures that you’re exposed to during pregnancy, it’s well worth asking whether traditional hair removal practices are safe during your pregnancy. It should also be noted that extreme hair growth can be a sign of other medical problems.
Safe Hair Removal Methods
Shaving, plucking, threading, and waxing are regarded as the safest hair removal methods. However, there are several precautions that you should follow before undergoing a wax treatment, primarily to minimize the chance of infecting any open cuts or other skin blemishes.
Questionable Hair Removal Methods
There are significant questions about whether bleaching, electrolysis, hair removal creams, or laser hair removal are safe for use while pregnant. Although these methods haven’t been studied in enough depth to give a definitive answer, we think it would be prudent to avoid using any of these methods if you’re pregnant, or if you feel that you might be.
You should avoid any unnecessary risks to your baby; the chemicals, electrical pulses, or light pulses that these techniques use all fall under the category of things that can, and should be avoided. You should not only be concerned about any procedure’s adverse effects on your baby but also on your body — and even more so if you also plan to breastfeed your child.
Note that our warning against the use of laser hair removal while pregnant does not imply that the procedure is typically dangerous in any way, but simply that no research has been undertaken to determines its safety one way or the other. In the absence of this research, we have to recommend that the most prudent decision is to avoid the procedure until after giving birth.
Your Laser Skin Care
Your Laser Skin Care is experienced and medically qualified to perform laser hair removal, as well as a wide range of other non-invasive cosmetic techniques. We can answer any questions you might have regarding these procedures and provide advice on the most effective (and cost-effective) ways to help you achieve your cosmetic goals. Call us at (323) 525-1516 to schedule a free consultation or visit us online for more information.
Posted on September 18, 2020 by Ella Fedonenko
Laser hair removal uses finely-tuned laser light pulses to damage (and eventually destroy) the hair “root” or follicle.
Professional practitioners’ actual apparatus varies but typically uses a YAG laser to create and focus laser light pulses – a similar technique, known as IPL (intense Pulsed Light), is also available. However, it is somewhat less effective on thick, coarse hair.
One characteristic shared by laser and IPL hair removal is that each treatment can only affect a percentage of your hair follicles – this is because all hair follicles go through a life cycle, with periods of growth interspersed with periods of rest. The laser or IPL pulses can only effectively target individual hair follicles that are actively growing, typically around 20% to 25% of the total at any given moment.
Professional Hair Removal Process
Professional laser hair removal equipment allows the practitioner to adjust the size of each light pulse, as well as the depth to which each is directed. This allows the procedure to be tailored to each patient’s individual requirements. In some cases, the light pulses can also be adjusted to maximize effectiveness according to each patient’s hair and skin color.
But aside from the technical details, an experienced practitioner will be able to draw from their training and personal experience to achieve the best results in the least time, while also ensuring that patient discomfort is reduced to a minimum, and while ensuring that the procedure is conducted in a safe and effective manner. This last point is far from the least important – a hair removal laser in untrained or inexperienced hands can not only be ineffective but is also capable of possibly causing burns and scars.
A professional will be able to determine the most effective schedule for repeated sessions — remember that each session can only target around 25% of hair follicles, so multiple sessions will always be required.
Home “DIY” Hair Removal Process
Several “do it yourself” devices are now available, marketed as a way to achieve similar results from the convenience of your own home. Although this might seem like an attractive way to remove unwanted hair without having to leave your home, there are several factors that you need to be aware of.
What Exactly Are You Buying?
Firstly, most (if not all) at-home devices are not actually lasers — they instead use less effective pulsed light. Unsurprisingly they are also significantly less powerful than professional devices used by hair removal practitioners. This is good because it reduces the chance of causing injury, but it also means that these devices are way less effective at actually removing hair. The larger the area you want to treat, the more the drawbacks of at-home under-powered devices will become apparent.
At-home devices also often have limited lifetimes. Their light-producing elements may lose effectiveness and need replacing more often than the manufacturer claims.
How Can I Tailor Treatment to my Needs?
One of the most significant problems is how best to tailor treatment to your particular combination of skin and hair color, particularly if you don’t have the “optimum” combination of pale skin and dark hair. Basically you don’t get the ability to tune the treatment when using cheap at-home devices, which means that there’s a significant chance that you won’t be able to achieve acceptable results safely. Some complexions (particularly dark-skinned) are more at risk for burning or scaring when exposed to excess light energy.
Other Safety Considerations
If you decide to proceed with the DIY approach, some more critical advice – read all instructions carefully. You MUST avoid using a laser or IPL light pulses near the eyes, near the genitals, and around any unusual pigmentation areas, including tattoos and moles.
You also won’t have access to the full range of pain-control techniques that are available to professional practitioners. Don’t underestimate how painful an unprofessional hair removal session can be!
Finally, keep in mind that you generally get what you pay for as in so many areas. Don’t fall into the trap of focusing on short-term savings while neglecting to factor in the time and cost savings from using a professional to control unwanted hair most safely and cost-effectively.
Your Laser Skin Care
Your Laser Skin Care is medically qualified and experienced. We can advise on the best way to achieve permanent or long-term hair removal, tailored to your specific requirements. We have extensive experience with laser and IPL hair removal and a host of other non-invasive cosmetic procedures. Call us at (323) 525-1516 to schedule a free consultation or visit us online for more information.
Posted on January 23, 2017 by Ella Fedonenko
In addition to removing unwanted hair, laser hair removal benefits men and women of all skin types by improving quality of their skin and preventing unnecessary antibiotic treatments. Find out how this quick and virtually painless procedure can help you.
Posted on July 20, 2015 by Ella Fedonenko
When you choose laser hair removal in Los Angeles, you get smooth, beautiful skin that’s free of unwanted hair, and you avoid the downsides of methods like shaving and waxing — including inconvenience and the costs of ongoing treatments. (more…)