Q&A: Laser Hair Removal

Thinking of living a hair-free life? Want to eliminate the hassles of shaving and waxing? If so, you likely have lots of questions. Laser hair removal has become one of the most popular aesthetic procedures for women, but there’s so much misinformation out there that it’s hard to really know what the treatment is all about. So, Dr.Azi is here to get the facts straight.

How should I prepare?

  • Do not wax, tweeze for 6 weeks before your treatment as it can reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. 
  • Avoid tanning or sun exposure and use an SPF of 30 or higher.  
  • Shave the treatment area 24 hours before as you don’t want hair on the surface of the skin.  
  • On the day of your treatment, remove any lotions, make-up and deodorants.  

What does it feel like?

You may feel a prickling or stinging that varies in intensity depending on the location and the density of the hair.  So those with coarse, darker, thicker hair will experience a more intense sensation. Some people compare the feeling to a rubber band snapping onto the skin. For your comfort, many times a topical numbing cream is available  or cold air is applied to make it more comfortable.  

 What should I expect afterwards?

  • Breakouts and redness, swelling are all common and expected. Dr.Azi recommends an exfoliating product like ClariFY pads or GlySal Body Spray starting 2 weeks prior as it helps with cell turnover and reduces the risk of breakouts that many people experience. 
  • Right after treatment, Dr. Azi has her patients use SootheHC 2-3x a day for a week to calm redness, bumps, and inflammation.
  • Be gentle with the skin, avoid scrubs, tight clothing, and exfoliants for a week after.  

How long will it last?

  • Every time you do a treatment there will be a set of hair follicles that are permanently destroyed, achieving permanent hair reduction generally lasting for years. Although maintenance treatment is recommended as we are born with millions of hair follicles. Dr. Azi mentions that in middle eastern or South American skin types, there is a phenomenon known as Paradoxical Hair Stimulation where the hair follicles are not destroyed, but stimulated to grow. This is a possible risk when suboptimal energy is used with hair removal laser treatments. 

Am I an ideal candidate?

Always check in with your Dermatologist for an evaluation before starting this treatment, especially if you are tanning or have active skin conditions such as eczema or acne. Additionally, if you have tattoos or prior systemic as the treatment can cause the skin discoloration so be sure to notify your history with your practitioner. 

To learn more and get the details about topics mentioned in this blog, watch Dr. Shirazi's YouTube video below! 

If you are interested in getting laser hair removal done by a professional like Dr. Azadeh Shirazi (board-certified dermatologist), make sure to book at www.lajollalaserderm.com.