Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Is ipl laser hair removal safe

The question of whether or not ipl laser hair removal is safe may be a bit of a loaded one. It depends on what you mean by “safe”. Is it safe to have a procedure performed by an unlicensed technician who does not know how to use the equipment? That’s probably not safe. Is it safe for your skin to be exposed to high levels of energy without protection? That’s also probably not safe. But if we’re talking about whether or not there are any long-term effects from having ipl laser hair removal done, then the answer is no: the procedure itself is perfectly safe.

What’s more important than safety concerns, though, is making sure that your technician knows what they’re doing and has been properly trained in the use of their equipment. Only go to someone who has been endorsed by their local board of health as well as by specific manufacturers—this ensures that they’re up-to-date on all regulations and best practices when it comes to using this type of equipment.

You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on Is ipl laser hair removal safe , electrolysis vs laser hair removal pcos. Read on to learn more. We at cosmeticsurgerytips have all the information that you need about electrolysis hair removal. Read on to learn more.

Is ipl laser hair removal safe

Woman using at-home laser hair removal on leg

Some DIY beauty tricks are totally worth it. You can save time and money by dyeing your roots or plucking your brows in the comfort of your bathroom. But laser hair removal?

While the procedure used to only be available in the dermatologist’s office, these days you can buy small devices to zap away hair yourself.

But before you kiss your razor goodbye, find out what dermatologist Rachel Ward, MD, has to say about the safety and effectiveness of these devices.

Permanent hair removal

Laser hair removal devices work by killing the hair follicle. But hair grows in cycles, and the lasers only damage follicles during an active cycle of hair growth. So it takes multiple treatments, about a month apart, to completely stop hair from regrowing.

For some people, laser hair removal is not entirely permanent. You might need a maintenance treatment every year or so to keep stray hairs from cropping up.

The process doesn’t come cheap. Professional laser hair removal can cost a couple hundred bucks per treatment, and it might take half a dozen sessions (or more) to knock out every follicle. You could rack up more than a thousand dollars in pursuit of a bald bikini line.

Meanwhile, you can order an at-home hair removal laser for somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 or $500. At first glance, it seems like a better investment. But there are some important caveats, Dr. Ward says.

At-home laser hair removal: Pros and cons

There are two types of at-home devices for hair removal. One is a true laser, and the other uses intense pulsed light. Both types remove hair, and both are less powerful than the device you’ll find at the dermatologist’s office, Dr. Ward explains.

That’s good and bad. On the one hand, with less power comes less responsibility. These devices are safe for amateurs to use at home, so you don’t have to worry about singeing yourself in the name of smooth skin. (Still, make sure you follow the directions exactly — because laser.)

But with less power also comes less effectiveness: The at-home devices don’t work as well as the pro models.

More downsides: It’s hard to cover a lot of territory — like an entire leg — with the small at-home devices, Dr. Ward says. And they might not be strong enough to get completely hair-free. “Over multiple sessions, you’ll reduce the amount of hair you see — but it probably won’t be a home run,” she says.

Who should try at-home laser hair removal?

One of the biggest drawbacks to at-home laser hair removal? The tools only work on a narrow range of hair and skin colors. The lasers zero in on pigments in the hair follicle and are only effective when there’s a lot of contrast between skin and hair. That means the systems are recommended for people with light skin and dark hair.

In people with darker skin, there’s a risk of burns — though to prevent that, many at-home devices have sensors that block them from working on darker skin.

If you don’t have the pale-skin/dark-hair combo, professional lasers are the only option. “The lasers we use in the dermatology office are more sophisticated and can be used in patients with skin of any color,” Dr. Ward says.

Laser hair removal safety

If you have the right hair and skin tones, the devices are generally safe to try, Dr. Ward says. But it’s important to use them correctly.

DON’T use them:

  • Near your eyes (though the upper lip is OK).
  • Over tattoos or pigmented areas, including moles.
  • In the genital area (but you can safely target the bikini line).

When doing the math, consider that at-home devices might have limited battery power or contain light cartridges that will need to be replaced, Dr. Ward says. And no matter how often you use them, you might never achieve total hairlessness.

“It depends on the person, but professional hair removal usually gives you a bigger bang for your buck,” she says.

Electrolysis vs laser hair removal pcos

Women with PCOS have to deal with a range of distressing symptoms including excessive facial and body hair (hirsutism) throughout their lives. Hirsutism is usually treated with anti-androgen medications and oral contraceptives. Long-lasting hair removal methods, such as electrolysis and laser therapy, have shown promising results when combined with hormonal treatments. But, do they work for everyone?

Permanent Hair Removal for Hirsutism 

Hirsutism is a common clinical condition affecting women of all ages.1 It is characterized by excessive hair growth appearing in a male-type pattern.2 Affected women, especially young women, may experience a large psychological burden and an impact on their social life.3 Most women seek treatment mainly for cosmetic reasons, because excess facial hair outside of cultural norms can be very embarrassing.

Why does PCOS cause Hirsutism?

Hirsutism is not a disorder, but a symptom of an underlying medical condition. The majority of women with hirsutism may have PCOS.4 If you have been diagnosed with PCOS, your ovaries are producing excessive amounts of androgens, such as testosterone (which is also called hyperandrogenism). However, testosterone per se is not directly responsible for the formation of unwanted hair growth but rather its more powerful byproduct called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).5

Can Hirsutism Be Cured Permanently?

Hirsutism can be treated by addressing the root cause of the condition. However, not all causes of hirsutism are reversible. Some women with unwanted facial or body hair have no identifiable cause (idiopathic): their androgen levels are normal; their menstrual cycles are normal; their ovaries appear normal on ultrasound.Fortunately, most women with unexplained hirsutism have mild symptoms, which can be treated with a variety of hair removal techniques. 

With regards to PCOS, one type of treatment may not be enough. Medications, on their own, may not make the hair go away completely, but will stop it from getting worse. Mechanical hair removal methods like waxing, laser epilation, and electrolysis will further enhance the effects of hormone therapy. 

How does Electrolysis work?

Electrolysis is a common hair removal technique that uses electrical pulses to target the root of the hair in order to permanently destroy each hair follicle and prevent regrowth. This method works best when treating small areas, although larger areas such as the legs or back may be treated with multiple sessions over time.7

There are two types of electrolysis based on the electrical current used: high-frequency (thermolysis), direct (galvanic), or a combination of the two (blend). Galvanic is the oldest and most widely used method of the two because of its high success rate and safety profile.

Effectiveness 

Electrolysis is the only permanent hair removal method approved by the FDA8, but its success depends on the skill of the operator. Regulation of the process varies from state to state.9 In contrast with laser techniques, electrolysis is expensive and more time consuming because it treats each individual hair. 

Electrolysis can be performed in all types of hair, but studies show that it is most effective on hair in the active or growing phase (anagen)10,11, as this stage is where the newly formed hair starts to grow. Hairs treated in the resting phase (telogen) tend to regrow. You may be advised to shave 1-3 days prior to treatment.

Side Effects

Post-treatment side effects, which include redness around the treated area, pain, and swelling, are generally temporary. Scarring, depigmentation of skin, burns, and keloid formation in susceptible patients are possible. Make sure to check in with a healthcare professional about side effects you’re concerned about.

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Laser-assisted hair removal is a generally safe and effective technique for women who desire a long-term reduction of hair growth. It works by focusing a beam of light to induce selective damage to hair follicles. This technique produces a gradual but permanent reduction of hair regrowth and can be used in larger areas of the body. 

It works best on light skin and black coarse hair.12 This is because light hair with very little to no dark pigments do not absorb sufficient light photons emitted by the laser, so it’s impossible to completely destroy them.  

Effectiveness

While electrolysis has been approved as a “permanent hair removal” method, laser epilation is classified as a “permanent hair reduction” technique. Providers should inform their patients that it will require 8-12 sessions plus maintenance treatment every 6-12 months to provide satisfactory hair removal. 

With laser treatment, finer and lighter hair often remain after treatment. In many patients, the treatment may be ongoing. Still, laser treatment has surpassed electrolysis because it’s effective, fast, and relatively less painful. 

Side Effects

The most common side effects of laser epilation are swelling and redness, which typically resolve within 24 hours. The procedure itself can be slightly painful but an anesthetic cream can be applied in advance. Hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation may also occur depending on your skin color. If you’re concerned about any side effects of the laser treatment, make sure to check in with a healthcare professional.

Conclusion

Specialized hair removal techniques have high success rates but they must be combined with treatment of excess androgens. Both electrolysis and laser hair removal work for women with PCOS, but it’s important to manage your expectations. While some patients reported a growth delay of 2-6 months after just one treatment, most will need multiple sessions to achieve permanent hair reduction.

Note that hair can still grow even when many old hair follicles have been destroyed. Because hair grows in three different stages and your hair is not all in the same stage at the same time, destroying all follicles in a few sessions is unlikely. But when used in combination with other treatment options and tailored to the person, many will achieve satisfactory results.

Electrolysis hair removal

Photo of electrolysis used for hair removal

Electrolysis is a method of removing individual hairs from the face or body. Today’s medical electrolysis devices destroy the growth center of the hair with chemical or heat energy. After a very fine probe is inserted into the hair follicle, the hair is removed with tweezers.

Most areas of the body can be treated with electrolysis, including the eyebrows, face, abdomen, thighs, breasts, and legs. There are generally no permanent side effects, but sometimes a temporary, slight reddening of the skin may occur.

What Causes Unwanted Hair Growth?

Hair growth is the result of heredity and hormone levels. Also, some drugs, temporary methods of hair removal, and illnesses can stimulate hair growth. Electrolysis may be an option when hair growth is in an area of the body where it may not be desired such as on a woman’s upper lip, chin, or bikini line.

How Many Electrolysis Treatments Will I Need?

Many factors influence hair growth, so you will need to return for several electrolysis visits. The total number of sessions needed to remove hair permanently from a particular area will vary from person to person. Most clients return once a week or every other week as needed. But the unwanted hair will be gone forever once the series of treatments is complete. Each treatment lasts between 15 minutes and one hour.

Myths About Electrolysis

Myth: Electrolysis is very painful. For most people, today’s methods don’t cause a lot of pain, but it can hurt. If you find it too uncomfortable, your doctor may be able to give you an anesthetic cream.

Myth: The electric tweezer method is permanent. The FDA and the American Medical Association recognize only electrolysis as a permanent method of removing hair. Some states prohibit those using or selling the electric tweezer from claiming it provides permanent hair removal.

Myth: Temporary methods of hair removal can be better. Chemical depilatories (liquids or creams) are often used to remove body hair. These products contain irritating chemicals and can be time-consuming and messy. Likewise, bleaches contain harsh chemicals and do little to disguise dark hair. They may also discolor skin. Waxing is another temporary method of hair removal and is usually done in salons. A hot wax is applied to the skin and removed once it has dried over the hair. The hair is stripped off when the wax is removed. Waxing can be painful and costly. Home waxing kits are available, but they can be messy and difficult to use. There are electrolysis devices available for home use, but they are often unsafe for use by anyone who is not trained in electrolysis.

How Do I Choose an Electrologist?

Electrologists are people who have special training to perform electrolysis. If you are considering electrolysis, it is important that you do your research before committing to sessions. The wrong decision can mean extra sessions and cost along with unnecessary discomfort and scarring.

  • Know the professional’s qualifications. Many states require electrologists to be licensed or certified within the state to practice. If you live in one of those states, be sure the practitioner’s certificate is current and on display. For states that do not regulate electrolysis, look for electrologists who have certification from an accredited electrology school.
  • Ask around. One of the best ways to find good services is to ask friends and family as well as your doctor for recommendations. If you know anybody who has undergone electrolysis, ask for their input.
  • Get a consultation. Many places will give you a free consultation. During the consultation, be sure all of your questions are answered. Some things you may want to ask about include: how the procedure will feel; how many visits you will likely need; how much each visit costs; how long each session lasts; how long the practitioner has been in business; and the number of clients they have treated.
  • Make sure the electrologist uses the right technique. The practitioner should use needle electrolysis, which is the only permanent form of hair removal. Some places may advertise electrolysis but use electronic tweezers or photoepilators instead. These are not permanent hair removal procedures.
  • Use common sense. When you go to your consultation, look around. Does the place look clean? Do the workers look clean? Do they use disposable gloves or needles? Ask to meet the person who will be performing the electrolysis. Do they strike you as professional? If you are not comfortable with somebody, look for someone else to do the procedure. Personal comfort is essential to knowing you have made the right choice.

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