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  • Does Laser Hair Removal Discolor Skin?

    Laser hair removal is a technologically advanced way to remove hair, and is offered in cities all across the world, including Thousand Oaks, California. It differs from more traditional methods, such as shaving and waxing, in that it is one of the only permanent methods to reduce hair growth. Rather than removing hair at the root or shearing it off close to the skin, high-tech lasers target hair pigment and heat the follicle enough to disrupt its ability to regenerate hair. As with all lasers, there are potential side effects that go along with the laser hair removal procedure. Thousand Oaks-based physicians who use laser hair removal must discuss any potential risks before you undergo the procedure.


    How Lasers Work


    Before you can understand potential side effects, you need to know how lasers work to remove hair. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, lasers and intense pulsed light, or IPL, devices “send specific concentrated beams of light through the skin that are absorbed by the melanin (dark) pigment present in the hair follicle shafts.” The heat is absorbed by the hair, causing hair growth reduction in most of the hair follicles targeted. Because hair grows in cycles and laser hair removal only works when the hair is in its growth phase, several sessions are needed to ensure all hair is hit at the proper time.


    Laser Hair Removal Risks


    Lasers pose potential risks to skin through their ability to heat it intensely. The lasers heat as well as its ability to seek out melanin can potentially cause skin discoloration. Dark or tanned skin poses more risk than lighter skin tones, as the darker the skin tone the greater the amount of melanin in the skin’s cells. To combat this issue, there are several types of lasers that offer different wavelengths. Some laser’s wavelengths are adjustable, allowing them to be calibrated for specific skin tones. In addition, lasers in Thousand Oaks and elsewhere are equipped with cooling devices to prevent burns on the skin.


    Likely Side Effects


    The most common side effects you will experience are redness, slight discomfort and possible swelling, all of which usually dissipate within a few days. Skin lightening or darkening can also be temporary.


    Choose Wisely


    Your risk of experiencing side effects or skin color changes is dependent in part by the skill and experience of the person administering the procedure. Lasers are complicated devices, and should not be operated by novices. Beware salons in Thousand Oaks shopping malls that offer laser hair removal for very low prices. These places may not have doctors on staff to ensure lasers are used correctly. Instead, choose a reputable place, such as LaserAway centers, that staff experienced practitioners and use the right types of lasers.


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