A. Are There Contraindications For Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is a very safe and effective cosmetic procedure that patients can use to get rid of their hair forever. Maybe not forever, but at least for a long time. As laser hair removal is still a recent technique, there is not enough research to prove its lasting results. So it is called a long-term method to reduce hair growth. However, permanent hair removal occurs in many patients. And the contraindications for laser hair removal?
Can anyone really have laser hair removal? Are there any contraindications for laser hair removal? Don’t some people want to try it? What about pregnant women? What if you are in the middle of hormone therapy? In fact, there are contraindications for laser hair removal and cases where it is better not to try.
1. How does laser hair removal work?
Laser hair removal is a long-term hair removal method that uses selective photothermolysis. The laser gun adjusts a specific wavelength for a specific pulse duration in order to aim an object at the skin’s surface. This technique does not damage the surrounding skin tissue.
The laser gun creates a beam of light that targets the hair pigments. Once the energy is in the hair, it travels to the follicle under the dermis. There, the energy is converted into thermal energy. Heat damages the hair follicle and prevents further growth.
What thermal energy really does is to cauterize the blood vessels that supply the hair follicles in the target area. As soon as the follicle no longer receives its fuel, it dies. Only a permanently damaged hair follicle allows permanent hair removal. When the follicle is able to regenerate, new hair is created.
2. What about the six-week waiting period?
Laser hair removal is always done in several sessions. One will never be enough. In addition, patients should always schedule their sessions every six weeks. Why that? Because of the hair growth cycle. Laser hair removal only works when the hair is in the anagen growth phase. In fact, it is the only time that hair and follicles connect.
This means that the energy can only travel through the hair to the follicle during this growth phase. Unfortunately, at any one time, only 20% of all body hair is in the anagen growth phase. This means that only 18% to 20% of your hair can be treated in one session. Because of this, patients have to wait six weeks between laser hair removal sessions.
These weeks allow the hair to pass some time to the correct stage of the hair growth cycle. This explains not only why patients have to vacate their sessions for six weeks, but also why they need several of them.
3. Can anyone do the treatment?
If you’re referring to everyone’s skin tones or hair color, then yes. Anyone, regardless of skin or hair color, can do laser hair removal. In fact, advances in laser technology allow for very safe treatment of dark skin and light hair. Treatment may require additional sessions for maximum results, but it is still possible.
However, it is important not to confuse the natural complexion with the tan of the skin. As mentioned above, laser hair removal works on both dark and black skin. In fact, ND: YAG lasers do not require melanin to deposit light energy under the dermis. However, tanning leaves the skin in a state of excitement, which can interfere with the procedure and increase the risk of side effects.
Well, if you are related to disease, then no, not everyone can undergo laser hair removal. Although the lack of research and studies cannot confirm or deny the risks of laser hair removal to the fetus, it is recommended that pregnant women do not start treatment. Or stop the ongoing treatment.
4. Photosensitizing creams and oral medications
A crucial aspect of successful laser hair treatment is open communication between the patient and the laser technician. It is important that you reveal your medical history to ensure that you are not putting yourself at risk during laser hair removal. In fact, medical treatment should not be used in conjunction with laser treatment.
For example, some medications can increase photosensitivity. They make treatment more painful, uncomfortable and can also increase irritation. These drugs are widely used and may require the doctor to postpone starting treatment from two weeks to several months.
Antibiotics increase sensitivity to light. Therefore, patients must wait 10 days after the last dose before they can resume laser treatment. Patients taking Retin-A or tetracycline should stop the medication one month before the next laser hair removal session. Accutane patients must do this three months in advance. As a general rule, retinoids are the main contraindications for laser hair removal. The list of drugs that can cause photosensitivity can be found here.
5. Laser hair removal and other treatments
Although patients are able to combine many treatments, other contraindications to laser hair removal include facial treatments, such as chemical peels and treatments with glycolic acid. Patients can do both treatments, as long as they are in different areas of the body.
In fact, chemical peels and glycol treatments make the skin very sensitive, as they remove the top layer of the skin. These facial treatments can cause pigmentation that the laser can target. This increases the risk of burns and negative side effects.
The skin takes time to heal after these facials. It is important that any redness, tenderness or pigmentation goes away before the patient undergoes laser hair removal. However, all other facial treatments that do not remove the top layer of the skin, treat the skin with a laser or micro-lesions are acceptable.
B. Contraindications For Laser Hair Removal
Before laser hair removal, laser skin hardening or laser vein treatment, new patients are consulted by a doctor who will do a brief medical history and a physical exam to determine if laser hair removal can be safe and effective to the customer. Skin irritation, sunburn, skin rashes, etc., would be a contraindication for laser hair removal. Some drugs that cause photosensitivity may also be a contraindication.
1. See the list to prepare for laser hair removal
- The patient must shave cleanly in all treatment areas on the day of treatment. A fee of $ 50 or more is added when laser technology shaves the patient.
- The patient must not have bleached, waxed or combed the hair in the areas to be treated within two weeks of the consultation.
- No depilatory product (cream, gel or foam for hair removal) can be used 2 weeks before the appointment.
- The patient should avoid intense sun exposure (including solariums) for 10 days before and after treatment.
- The patient may not have undergone microdermabrasion, peeling or other laser treatment within two weeks of the consultation.
- The patient may not be using topical benzoyl peroxide or retinoid medications (such as Retin-A or Renova).
- The patient may not have taken Accutane within 6 months of treatment.
C. Contraindications For Laser Hair Removal
We found that laser hair removal is safe and that the treatment works for all skin tones and hair colors. Although anyone can technically undergo laser hair removal, the procedure still has some contraindications that you need to consider before starting treatment. Laser hair removal is widely perceived by the public as a beauty routine. However, this is not the case. In fact, laser hair removal is an aesthetic procedure that can have significant side effects if the patient omits information from his technician.
A key element for successful laser hair removal is open communication about medical history and the current prescription. In fact, you cannot go into any of these laser hair removal contraindications, which can be very harmful. Therefore, it is important that you read this list of known contraindications to better prepare for your laser hair removal or IPL treatment.
1. Laser hair removal and pregnancy
Although there is no evidence that laser hair removal can negatively affect the fetus, there is also no evidence that it does not. Prevention is better than cure. Therefore, it is safer to stop any laser hair removal treatment that the patient may have started before knowing about her pregnancy and to resume at least two months after delivery.
In addition, hair growth is mainly stimulated by hormones. During pregnancy, the pregnant woman experiences large fluctuations in hormone levels. She could see the hair growing where there was nothing before. As a result, any attempt to remove hair may be unsuccessful.
2. Tan and artificial tan
It is important not to confuse naturally dark skin with tanned skin. Laser hair removal works on dark and black skin thanks to lasers that can go around the dermis without relying heavily on melanin. Natural pigmentation is not a contraindication for laser hair removal.
However, tanning varies widely and is one of the few important contraindications for laser hair removal. Tanning, whether caused by exposure to the sun, tanning or tanning moisturizers, puts melanin in an unnatural “arousal” state on the skin. Not only can it interfere with treatment and increase the risk of burns, but it can also cause other minor damage, such as brown spots or hyperpigmentation.
3. Chemical creams and other hair removal methods
A hair root is required for laser hair removal. In fact, it is the connection between the hair and the follicle that allows energy to pass from the first to the last. Wax, sweeten and pluck remove hair with its roots from the shaft. Therefore, there is nothing to aim for. A client who has recently started to shave will have to wait six weeks to make sure all her hair has grown back.
Depilatory creams contain harmful chemicals designed to dissolve hair by killing keratin. Unfortunately, these chemicals target keratin in the skin and hair as a whole. This can cause permanent damage to the skin and therefore become a contraindication for laser hair removal. In fact, the risk of scarring remains. A patient who has recently used these creams will have to wait six weeks before their laser session.
4. Photosensitizing topical creams and oral medications
Some medications can increase sensitivity to light. Not only do they make treatment more painful, they can also increase irritation. These medications are very common and may require the doctor to postpone the treatment session between two weeks and several months.
For example, patients taking antibiotics should wait at least 10 days after the last intake before continuing laser hair removal treatment. Patients who receive Retin-A or tetracycline must discontinue medication one month before resuming laser treatment. Accutane patients should stop taking the medication three months before the next laser session.
5. Chemical peels and glycol treatments
Other contraindications for laser hair removal include facial treatments, such as chemical peels or glycolic treatments. You can have a facial and then a laser if the two treatments are done in two different areas. Chemical peeling and glycol treatment make the skin very sensitive and there may be pigmentation that the laser can reach.
A chemical peel removes the top layer of the skin and reveals younger, fresher skin. Glycol treatments are milder, but still make the skin sensitive. The skin takes time to heal and any redness, tenderness or pigmentation disappears before laser skin treatments.
There are the most common contraindications for laser hair removal. However, most of them are not permanent. If you are unsure about the contraindications, you can schedule a free consultation to discuss them with the technician. Open communication is the key to successful laser treatment. Knowing your current health status and history can help technicians decide whether you are a good candidate for laser hair removal.