Is Laser Hair Removal Worth the Cost and Hassle? What to Know – Glamour

Posted: June 30, 2020 at 2:52 pm

The unwanted side effects include blisters, scabbing, hyperpigmentation, and hypopigmentation. Of some comfort: Pigmentation issues aren't always permanent. If you get it, let your doctor know right away and use a little cortisone 1% cream on the area, says Marmur. Keep it out of the sun and heat, and apply a cool compress ASAP.

If you're predisposed to hyperpigmentation, your dermatologist may even make a preemptive strike. For patients with darker skin types, we apply over-the-counter hydrocortisone 1% cream in the office to minimize inflammation and the risk of darkening of skin, or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation," says Kim. "We recommend applying the cream twice daily to the affected areas for three to five days.

It largely varies, since the lasers themselves have gotten better over the years. I've had patients who were able to tolerate the treatment without any numbing, and patients who experienced some pain even with topical anesthesia, says Kim. (I, a baby, prefer to spend an hour with numbing cream and have never felt a thing.)

Marmur compares the laser beam to a zinging feeling, similar to a needle prick. She's a fan of contact cooling systems, as they blunt the heat created as the laser beam (which is light energy) converts into heat. Plus, they offer enough cooling to minimize any damage caused to surrounding skin, reducing the risk of hyperpigmentation.

Certain pain-reducing methods, like suctions and contact cooling, are often built into the lasers. There is a new laser by Lumenis called Splendor that is very effective and significantly more comfortable than other existing lasers, and I have had great success with it, says Kim. Because this laser is much more comfortable, I have been able to treat almost all patients without any topical numbing cream which significantly reduces the waiting time for the patients as well.

Since laser hair removal heats up your skin as it blasts your hair follicles, it's important to cool it back down afterward to avoid side effects like redness. We often give people cold gauze in Ziploc bags, says Marmur. If you're getting in a car, put on the air conditioning and stay in a cool place for a bit, or take a cool shower afterward.

Marmur sends her patients home with a cooling serum, the Marmur Metamorphosis MMRevive Serum. You could also try Avne Cicalfate Restorative Protective Cream, which soothes with a combination of barrier-repairing ingredients and probiotics.

Avoiding sun exposure and wearing sunscreen is also a must, as sunlight can kick-start hyperpigmentation. Kim recommends wearing a minimum of SPF 30. Got another session coming up? Patients should not wax, pluck, or thread the treated areas in between treatments, because it's essential for the hair follicles to be intact in order for the treatments to be effective at the next session," he says.

If we're being technical, laser hair removal is something of a misnomer. It's more like laser hair reduction, says Marmur. That's because you have two types of hair: vellus hairs, which are fine baby hairs, and terminal hairs, which are more coarse. The vellus baby hairs get affected by hormones and convert to terminal hairs throughout your life, she says.

So you may do laser hair removal at 18, but by 30, you might have new growth coming in. It's just nature doing its thing. That being said, once a hair follicle root is dead, it's dead forever.

Always make sure you're going to a board-certified dermatologist or reputable practitionerthis isn't a procedure you want to cut corners on just because you found a good discount online. And don't be afraid to ask for a consultation ahead of an appointment to discuss the procedure. As for during your appointment, you'll want to make sure both you and your practitioner have safety goggles on while the laser is in process.

At-home laser hair removal devices also exist, but they're generally less effective (meaning it will take much longer to see results), and theres more room for error as the beam is less specific. This is why experts generally suggest going in-office for the procedure.

Laser hair removal costs an average of $285 for one session, according to the latest stats from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, but some treatments can run up to $1,500 per session. That's because the cost varies widely according to a number of factors, such as the size of the area you're treating, the provider's expertise, and where you're located. Just remember: Any treatment that seems too affordable to be true often is.

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Is Laser Hair Removal Worth the Cost and Hassle? What to Know - Glamour

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