The Science of Laser Hair Removal

Today let us talk about science. We explain everything you need to know about laser, because it forever changed how we treat skin flaws.

You see futuristic machines with buttons, knobs, and arms at beauty salons. As if engineers made these robotic-looking gadgets for sci-fi shows. You know what – medical technology has advanced. Now is the future.

Surgical lasers nowadays are powerful tools for hair removal. In capable hands, they can also fix dark spots, dullness, and even scarring.

Of course, lasers are cool. You might want to know how they work and what they can do for you. Let us dig in, shall we?

The history of lasers

To start from the very beginning, we need to go back 100 years. Albert Einstein first crafted his theory on how radiation works. Yes, laser, aka. Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, is radioactive. But do not get spooked by rumors. So are they cancerous? No, it is quite the opposite. Surgeons have been using lasers to remove tumors. Lasers save lives.

The first treatment using lasers took place in the early 1960s. Dr. Leon Goldman was a pioneer in laser medicine. His research areas included lasers in dermatology, cancer photodynamic therapy, among others. For example, he was the first using lasers to remove tattoos and pigmented lesions. Now, let us talk about laser hair removal.

How laser hair removal works

In short, lasers are a focused beam of light. They use the contrast between colors to target on a small area with precision. Thus, the surrounding area will not be affected. The colors of laser vary by their medium. They can be red, blue, green, and so on. The doctor will choose the right laser based on your skin tone. So that the laser can lock on the melanin in your hair follicle and destroy it. For instance, the green Nd:YAG laser works best on people of color. Because their darker-tone skin absorbs more green light.

Many lasers are available for hair removal. So you should consult a dermatologist or medical professional before your first treatment. The doctor will check your skin type and help you choose to best treatment for you. Common characteristics of skin include:

  • Color of skin
  • Thickness of skin
  • Texture of skin
  • Amount of tan
  • Presence of mole and scar
  • History of skin conditions

Common side effects include skin redness, irritation, and swollen. But the symptoms should disappear in a few hours. In rare occasion, patients reported blistering or scarring after laser treatment. In which case, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.

Other uses of laser

Lasers can treat other skin conditions other than hair removal. Here are some popular treatments that might be unfamiliar to you.

Lasers on psoriasis treatment

The Ng:YAG lasers are effective for treating psoriasis. The skin condition is a result of excessive skin cell regeneration. Common symptom of psoriasis include scales and red patches on skin surface. Further more, researchers think that the T cells are responsible. Because psoriasis might be the result of a defect in immune system. The lasers can target on the DNA of T cells and improve skin condition.

Lasers on birthmarks removal

Pulsed dye lasers are effective on birthmark reduction. The lasers can target and destroy melanin in blood cells. Red, brown, and blue are the most common birthmark colors. The lasers use organic dye as medium. Their wide wavelength allows a closer match to the skin's absorption threshold. They are used to treat port-wine stains and other blood vessel disorders.

Lasers on scar removal

Lasers can treat many kinds of scars, such as facial scars, birth scars, and surgical scars. They can reach deep bellow the skin to stimulate rejuvenation. As a result, new skin cells become smooth and healthy. Lasers like carbon dioxide lasers, the Nd:YAG laser, and pulsed dye lasers are often used for scar removal.

Laser hair removal at home

Removing unwanted hair with at-home laser devices is on the rise. Because making appointment at a beauty salon or dermatologist's office is a hassle. These laser devices are affordable and easy-to-use. Moreover, you can use them as many times as you want. Which means, they are also cost-effective. Still, you should consult with a doctor before doing it yourself.

Unlike the pro models in a clinic, at-home lasers are less powerful. But it does not hurt to try one. The average cost of a laser treatment is $389 in 2020, according to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. But a laser gadget only cost around $100. Anyone can do the math.

Continue reading: Laser Hair Removal at Home - The Ultimate Guide

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