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Myths and facts of laser hair removal

There has been an increasing demand for laser hair removal treatments in Singapore. This is due to women being more fashion conscious and open to wearing clothes that expose areas that were normally hidden. There have also been a lot of advertisements of such services by beauty salons. Unfortunately, the public is unaware of some salient facts about hair removal.laser epilation

Myth: Hair removal needs no expertise, that it is a simple procedure.

Fact: There are some areas of the body that could have disastrous effects if burned. The Brazilian laser hair removal is one procedure that is becoming popular. There are different skin tones in the pubic area. If the person doing the procedure is not careful with settings, it could easily cause burns and result in pain and difficulty in passing urine. The other important area is the face, as burns on the face cannot be hidden. So it is imperative that one seeks a doctor trained in laser hair removal for such treatments.

Myth: IPL and laser are no different.

Fact: There is a huge difference between the two. Lasers are machines that emit light energy with a definite wavelength. Hair removal lasers are made specifically with precise energy to kill off hair roots. The energy being precise for just hair results in rapid loss of hair. The result is permanent. It also greatly reduces the complication of skin burns. IPL (intense pulsed light), on the other hand, emits energy that is broad-based. Thus, by being not so precise, it has two issues: the results are mediocre with little reduction in hair growth, and there is a greater likelihood of burns. Occasionally, there can be an increase in growth of fine long hair especially on the face. This happens with IPL due to the suboptimal energy used. There are many IPL treatments advertised, but the efficacy of such IPL machine varies greatly. That is why IPL packages consist of numerous sessions. Lasers cut the number of sessions by more than half.

Myth: Laser treatments are available in salons.

Fact: There are many salons claiming to provide laser treatments. But lasers can only be found in a clinic and have to be performed by a doctor.

Myth: IPL is safe on all skin types.

Fact: IPL should not be used for darker skin types, such as darker Chinese, Malays, and for most Indians because of high incidence of burns. I have treated many cases of burns sustained from IPL done in salons. Unfortunately, darker skin types have more melanin in their skin, thus burns can easily occur. Those burn marks stay. Non-medical professionals who are doing hair removals are not able to treat burns, so the patients are left with scars.

Myth: Lasers are painful.

Fact: Lasers used to be painful. But with the recent introduction of new laser hair removal technology, the procedure has become a breeze – it is now both painless and quick. This is especially a boon to those with low pain threshold, as well as to men and women who require large areas of hair removal, which can be very painful.

26051676_xl Myth: Laser treatments are expensive.

Fact: Laser treatments may initially appear to be costly, but the fact is that after a year or two, a person is permanently hair free. Compared to the cost of monthly waxing for many years ahead plus the inconvenience of waiting for hair to grow out before waxing, laser treatment is the more practical choice.

Myth: Hair removal has no time restriction.

Fact: The efficacy of the treatment depends on the presence of melanin in the hair shaft. So once the hair becomes grey, the hair cannot be removed using laser or IPL. Thus, patients should get unwanted hair removed as soon as possible. Treatments are more effective if done from age 21 and above. Lately, there have been a lot of requests for girls younger than 21 due to teasing at school. The parents have to be advised that hair reduction, although achievable, will take time.

Myth: Laser hair removal is mostly only for women.

Fact: The most common areas requested by men are the back and chest. But most men do not know that if they are tired of shaving, laser hair removal can reduce the thickness of the beard and can cut down shaving time. Unsightly nasal hair and earlobe hair can be rid of permanently.

Myth: You cannot do anything about ingrown hair and dermatitis from waxing and shaving.

Fact: Did you know that lasers are the only solution to ingrown hairs? Ingrown hair leaves unsightly scars. A lot of girls have legs that are scarred from dermatitis and ingrown hair after waxing or shaving. Ingrown hair is also an issue for men in the beard area.

Myth: Waxing and threading are ok for chin hair.

Fact: Unfortunately, hair on the chin and beard area in women is due to hormonal imbalance, and such hair will not respond to waxing or shaving. The only solution for such condition is treatment with a hair removal laser.

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Dr Komathy Rajaratnam is the Medical Director of The Lifestyle Clinic at Camden Medical Centre.
Posted by ezyhealth on Jun 10 2014. Filed under Aesthetics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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