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Lasers for Skin Treatment and Hair Removal

By Morgana Reichel

There are two main uses for lasers in cosmetic procedures: skin treatment and hair removal.

Laser Hair Removal

Hair in unwanted places is a hassle, and you might feel self-conscious about your appearance because of it. To remove unwanted hair, and keep it off, laser hair removal is easy, long-lasting, and virtually painless.

It is a fairly straightforward process. The hair follicle absorbs a high energy beam of light that a laser emits. The laser is pulsed, or turned on, for only a fraction of a second, the duration of each pulse is just long enough to treat the hair follicle, and not damage the surrounding skin. The hair bulb at the base of the hair follicle is destroyed when the the laser light energy is transformed into heat and absorbed.

A pigment called melanin, which is produced by melanocytes, is found in the hair bulb and determines the colour of your hair. This melanin pigment is the target for the laser energy in laser hair removal. Thus the more melanin an individual has in his/her hair, the more effective a laser's energy will be absorbed into the follicle and the better the results will be.

It doesn't guarantee permanent hair removal, but the treatment effectively slows hair growth. Several treatments are often needed to provide relief from unwanted hair. Periodic maintenance treatments might also be needed.

In hair removal treatments, the laser safely removes body hair without damaging the surrounding lighter skin.

Overall, it is a painless procedure. Some slight discomfort-often compared to a rubber band against the skin-may occur, and soreness or tenderness may also accompany the healing process, but these symptoms are very minor and curable.

The great thing about laser hair removal is that the results are long-lasting. To completely rid yourself of unwanted hair, it may take several treatment sessions, but once it is gone, in most cases, the effect will last. Besides, it is easy to treat any new hair growth.

Laser Skin Treatments

Skin treatments involving lasers differ from hair removal, because they go beyond the upper layer of skin (epidermis) and target below the second layer (dermis). Of the many types of laser skin treatments, a popular one is laser skin resurfacing. With a laser, layers of damaged skin are gently removed so healthy skin can form in its place.

Skin treatments with a laser can even the skin tone and diminish the signs of aging, including highly-visible veins, blotchiness and wrinkles.

There is another treatment that works by using a laser to penetrate the epidermis and dermis layers of the skin to build healthy new tissue underneath. The healthy tissue will reduce sagging skin and wrinkles, in no time at all, by repairing the elasticity and tightness that your skin once had.

The laser skin treatment process is hardly ever painful. And, the pain during healing is minimal in the majority of cases. After a resurfacing session, your face will probably be red and a bit swollen. This should go away in less than a week. You can go back to your regular life right after you leave the clinic. You may require a few procedures to get the results you want with laser skin treatment; the results can often be subtle, yet by the end of your sessions, you should see noticeable changes in your skin.

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