How to Prepare for Hair Removal Surgery

forgiveness-after-cheatingLaser hair removal is one of the best methods of getting rid of unwanted body hair long-term. The technique works by using the hair shaft to transmit laser energy down to the hair follicle and destroy it.

After a few procedures that are done 3 to 6 weeks apart, your hair will no longer grow back, and you only need one retouch per year after that.

Unlike other hair removal methods, laser surgery requires some preparations to ensure effectiveness and reduce the chances of causing harm. Here are the Dos and Don’ts before laser hair removal;

What you should avoid

  •   Do not wax, tweeze, or epilate the targeted area. Most people are told that you can shave the unwanted hair before laser surgery, especially if you are targeting the armpits. Learn about underarm laser hair removal here. Laser hair removal requires the hair shaft to radiate light to the hair follicles so you shouldn’t remove the hair. What you can do however is use scissors to trim the hair down completely.
  •   Do not use hair removal cream on the targeted area because the chemicals in those creams can make the skin hypersensitive to the laser.
  •   Do not tan or sunbathe before the laser procedure. Ultraviolet rays that come from the sun or tanning light will make the skin hypersensitive and more painful. You should avoid the sun and tanning beds for at least a month before laser hair removal to allow the skin to heal properly. In the meantime, wear an ample amount of sunscreen every day.
  •   Do not use any skin products. Though the dermatologist will clean the area before the procedure, you should avoid wearing any makeup, moisturizers, and oils on the targeted area.

What you should do

  •   Shave a day or two before the procedure so the laser can focus on the hair shaft, not the hair above your skin. 
  •   Take over the counter pain relievers because the procedure can be a bit painful, especially if it’s your first time. Your doctor will prescribe the best medication to keep the pain manageable.
  •   Confirm with your dermatologist that you are not on any medication that can cause skin sensitivity during laser exposure. You do this by being open about all the medicines you are taking, including family planning pills, antibiotics, and topical creams.
  •   Wear loose-fitting clothes that will leave the treated area untouched. The skin is susceptible after the laser procedure, so clothes should not rub it. The dermatologist might also apply some soothing cream on you, and the clothes will wipe it off if they are too tight.

More often than not, the specialist doing the laser surgery will prepare you mentally about what to expect. Be ready to experience some discomfort and to go through the procedure several times before you start to see real results. It’s also likely that you will have some swelling and redness after the procedure, but that will go away in a few hours. It is essential to prepare mentally because the pain threshold is a mental factor that can be controlled or at least tolerated. Ask the doctor any question you may have before the procedure to make sure you are ready.

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Ava Moore
BA, MA Psychology (and Conflict Resolution), University of Cambridge (2007). With a decade of trial and error in psychology and 33 years of navigating my own complex (that's one word for it!) relationships with family, friends, co-workers and men, I hope I have some useful knowledge and skills to share with my readers about making sense of relationships and trying to become a better person every day.

I'm the Chief Editor here at Independent Femme and would love to hear from you.

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