Laser Hair Removal or IPL skin rejuvenation involves the process of using a highly concentrated light energy, to target and destroy hair follicles, pigmentation or vascular irregularities. The laser's energy is attracted to the pigment (melanin) of hair or brown/red spot, and to the hemoglobin in broken capillaries, the same way sunlight is attracted to darker clothing. The pigment absorbs this energy and when a hair follicle is in its active or "anagen" stage of hair growth, or the sun spot or capillary absorbs the light, the energy destroys them by either inhibiting the a nutrient supply to the hair follicle, killing the damaged pigment cells (called melanocytes), or coagulating hemoglobin in dilated capillaries. Often, the brown/red spots or capillaries will temporarily darken before fading or flaking off in the weeks after the treatment and the pigmented spots will continually get lighter with each treatment and each time they scab off until they are noticeably lighter or completely faded. Due to the ability of light energy to be absorbed via pigment, laser hair removal works best on those with dark, coarse hair and a fair complexion. However, people without this combination can still get great results as the treatments are each tailored specifically to your individual skin and hair type
During the session, many compare the feeling of the laser's pulse to the snap of a warm rubber band followed by the cooling sensation of the crystal. It may be mildly uncomfortable and slightly shocking when you hear the pulse, but it is not generally painful. A residual or delayed heat to the skin may be felt following the treatment, and if this occurs, it is recommended that you apply cooled compresses every 15 minutes until the hot sensation decreases. Then over the course of 1-3 weeks, treated hair follicles will start to shed, and you may feel a prickling or itchy sensation, while pigmentation may crust, scab or flake and feel slightly itchy.
Laser Hair Removal: The more hairs that are in the "active" stage of growth, the more follicles that will shed. As there is no way to determine how many follicles are in this active stage, it is necessary to complete a series of treatments, spaced approximately 4-6 weeks apart (depending on the body part treated), for optimal results. Finishing the entire series of treatments is crucial, as that ensures that you see the highest degree of permanent hair reduction. Clients can expect anywhere from 6-12 treatments, but many often see results in as little as 3 to 4 sessions. With each treatment, you will progressively see fewer and fewer hairs.
IPL Skin Rejuvenation: Many often see results after just one treatment of IPL Skin Rejuvenation, as with each treatment, the skin will progressively become "brighter", however most see the best results after about 4-5 treatments, spaced approximately 3-4 weeks apart.
For Both Laser Hair Removal and IPL Skin Rejuvenation: The number of treatments will also vary depending on your personal skin type and sensitivity. For example, lighter skin types usually need less treatments than darker skin types. This is because the laser's energy needs to be adjusted lower with darker skin since it loves pigment in order to avoid any adverse reactions like burns or blisters. Since the lasers energy is lower for darker skin types, the series of treatments will take longer. This is also why it is required to have no sun exposure, tan, or tanning solution on the skin prior to a laser treatment.
There are certain darker skin types (Skin types 5-6) that are generally ineligible for IPL treatments. It is recommended to see a qualified health care professional with a professional medical-grade ND-Yag laser for laser hair removal or laser skin rejuvenation if you are skin types 5-6. There's also certain medical conditions that may disqualify you from receiving IPL treatments (see contraindications above). Also, if you have blonde, light red or grey hair, laser will not be able to effectively target these follicles, unless the root of the hair is pigmented darker, as it works by pigment absorption for heat destruction of the active follicle.
As with any treatment, there are risks and potential side effects of laser treatments. Some of these side effects include swelling, redness, irritation, blisters, burns, crusting, changes in skin color (white or dark spots), infection, or eye injury.
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