From peach-fuzz to long, dark, or coarse growth, women have been battling with excessive hair virtually anywhere on their body, for decades. Whether their daily routine of shaving their armpits is causing irritation or inconvenience, or their summer bikini line has given them For some, the problem is hereditary or related to ethnic heritage. For others, it can be caused by a medical condition such as polycystic ovaries or a hormone-secreting tumor, or even the result of hormonal changes linked to menopause. Still other women are interested in hair removal for areas such as legs, underarms, or bikini area, where growth is normal but sometimes undesirable. No matter the reason, there is no shortage of ways to cope. One of the more popular ways to remove hair is via laser or pulsed light – energy that goes through the hair shaft down to the follicle, where it destroys the hair’s root. Laser hair removal can be done anywhere on the body. The best candidates are women with dark hair and light skin. Lasers won’t work on white hair, and they are much less effective on blond hair, which Goldberg says usually responds best to electrolysis. While most lasers work on the skin of Hispanics, only one, called the Nd:YAG, is safe for virtually all skin types, including African-American skin. All other hair removal lasers increase the risk of hyperpigmentation (dark spots), as well as burning and scarring, which can lead to the creation of keloids (purple and often painful scar tissue). The ND: YAG laser requires 3 to 5 sessions, depending on the coarseness of the hair and the individual’s skin type. Patients can expect a significant hair reduction of about 85% to 90% after treatment series is completed.
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