PCOS and Hair Removal: Your Everything Guide to Laser Hair Removal
Excessive hair can be embarrassing and frustrating. Especially if you're a woman with PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition that affects one in 10 women of childbearing age.
If you're suffering from PCOS, you're probably searching for the best way to remove pesky facial and body hair to help boost your level of self-confidence and help you feel like the queen you are.
This guide will explain more about PCOS and hair removal, and how you can use laser hair removal to get it taken care of so you can enjoy smoother skin.
Read on to find out more about the ins and outs of this highly effective treatment.
Excess Hair and PCOS
A condition called hirsutism is one of the most upsetting symptoms for many patients with PCOS. This condition features excessive, abnormal hair growth that occurs when the body produces too many androgens. Androgens are hormones that are responsible for many male characteristics.
This excess hair growth can mainly be found on the face, neck, and chest. It can also be found on the toes and could also present itself with darker, thicker hair than normal on the legs and arms.
For some people, the high levels of androgen can actually cause the opposite effect when it comes to the hair on your scalp. This can lead to baldness for some women.
If you're coping with excessive facial and body hair, you don't have to lose hope. There are several methods of hair removal you can try to eliminate the hair and reduce its appearance.
Each method can range in its level of effectiveness and permanence. Laser hair removal is shown to be one of the most effective and longest-lasting options when it comes to PCOS and hair removal.
What is Laser Hair Removal?
Before you decide if laser hair removal is right for you, it's important to understand what it is and how it helps. This method for getting rid of unwanted hair uses a super-concentrated beam of light that destroys the hair follicles.
Laser hair removal should only be performed by a licensed dermatologist who is trained in this method. They will direct laser light at the hair follicles. Hair follicles are tiny sacs in the skin where the hair grows.
As the laser hits the hair follicle, the pigments begin to absorb the light from the laser. The energy from the light is converted to heat that destroys or damages the follicles.
Once you get a laser hair removal treatment, the hair should not grow back for a long amount of time. In some cases, it may never grow back at all, which makes it an effective permanent solution for excess hair growth.
When the laser beams target the colour on the hair follicles known as melanin, it works best on those with a light complexion and darker hair. For many people, multiple laser hair removal treatments are needed for permanent results.
In general, three to seven total treatments should get rid of any unwanted hair. If your hair does happen to grow back, it won't be as noticeable or dark in colour as it was before.
You can have laser hair removal done on the face, back, legs, chest, and arms. It's also a popular choice for people who want to remove hair permanently from the bikini area.
The Benefits of Lasers for PCOS and Hair Removal
For patients with PCOS, laser hair removal can be extremely beneficial. You won't need to constantly worry about plucking or shaving before you leave the house.
Since the procedure is highly effective, it can change your life. The process has several benefits that make it worthwhile. It can also help restore a healthy glow to your skin.
First, laser hair removal is a fast process that takes minimal time. It's important to note, however, that if you need hair removed from a large area, the process will take longer. For example, laser treatment on the upper lip will take a lot less time than treatment on the legs or back.
Most forms of hair removal like shaving and waxing are labour intensive and the hair usually grows back within days or weeks if you're lucky. If you choose laser hair removal, you should not experience hair regrowth for at least a few months and even years in some cases.
Once your hair begins to grow back, it will be less coarse, lighter in colour, and not nearly as visible as it once was. For some, the hair stays completely gone forever, making this treatment option a wise investment.
Your dermatologist works with extreme precision when performing laser hair removal. The laser beams are pointed directly at the unwanted hair follicles and the skin around it will remain undamaged.
Laser hair removal works well for patients with sensitive skin, too. It's an easy, fast way to eliminate unwanted hair with just one or a few sessions.
Things to Know Before Laser Hair Removal
Before you decide to have laser hair removal done, you should talk to your doctor and/or dermatologist. See if they can give you an idea of how many treatments you'll need to complete.
Ask how much experience they have with this specific type of procedure and find out if they can show you a few photos of some results from other patients. You should also ask about any potential side effects beforehand.
Let your dermatologist know about your medical history and if you currently take any medications. They can assess if you may be at a higher risk for any complications, although they're usually minimal.
It's also good to ask what type of laser they will use since there are a variety of different types available for many different skin tones and conditions. Let your dermatologist know about any concerns you might have and don't be afraid to ask questions.
The dermatologist will closely examine your skin and take a look at the area or areas where you need the hair removed. They will then decide when the laser hair removal can be done and which option will be best for your unique needs.
For those with white, grey, or blonde hair, it's possible that you are not a good candidate for the procedure. If there is not much pigment in your hair, the laser may not be effective.
Even though laser hair removal is a simple process, there are still a few things you need to know so you can be prepared. First, stay away from sunless tanning including any spray tan products or tanning beds.
You should also try to stay out of the sun and avoid sun exposure for around six weeks before and after your procedure. If you must go out in the sun, wear a high SPF sunscreen.
Try your best to avoid using any other hair removal methods until your appointment. This includes shaving, threading, waxing, and electrolysis. You should stop other forms of hair removal for at least a month before your procedure.
You need to avoid other hair removal alternatives so that the follicles will not be disturbed. It gives the doctor a better chance at success. Take a few before pictures of the area where you need the hair removed. This is a great way to compare and contrast your results after the procedure is over.
What to Expect During the Procedure
Laser hair removal is generally painless, but it's always good to know what you should expect throughout the process. First, any hair that needs to be removed will be trimmed very low.
In some cases, your dermatologist may ask you to shave the day before. Your skin will thoroughly be cleaned and then a numbing gel will be applied.
If the numbing gel is applied to the area, you'll have to wait around 30 minutes for it to take effect. Everyone in the room will wear protective eye gear. This is to protect your eyes from coming in contact with the laser.
Your skin will be pulled taut, and then the laser will be applied to your skin. A cooling agent might be used to help protect your skin and keep you comfortable.
Expect to feel a small level of discomfort throughout the procedure. For most people, it's similar to a light pinprick or the feeling of a rubber band snapping against your skin.
You could also smell an odd sulfur smell or see some small plumes of smoke when the laser is used, but it's nothing to be alarmed about. For small areas like the chin or upper lip, the process only takes a few minutes. For the arms, legs, or back, it may take an hour or longer.
Other Important Information
After you get laser hair removal, your skin may be a bit red and swollen for a while. It could be a bit painful to touch, but this should be only temporary. You can apply an ice pack or anti-inflammatory cream to your skin if needed.
There is no downtime or recovery time after laser hair removal. You can return to work or your other normal daily activities right after the procedure.
If you do notice any unusual side effects, notify your dermatologist right away. Once you leave the clinic, your hair will start to fall out in the next few days and weeks.
Make sure you keep your skin protected as directed by the dermatologist. For most people, they could experience redness and swollen skin. Others may have a bit of itchy or see some small bumps on the skin.
These are mild and temporary side effects that should completely go away after a few days. However, there are a few rarer side effects that some patients could experience.
If you notice blisters or extreme lightening or darkening of the skin, this is something to discuss with your dermatologist. Some people may have slight scarring of the skin after laser hair removal.
Very few patients experience allergies or infections. If you do, see your doctor immediately.
Patients who are pregnant should not have laser hair removal. There is no substantiative evidence that lasers are safe for unborn babies. You may have the procedure after the baby is born.
A Word About At-Home Laser Devices
There are a few at-home laser hair removal devices available. These use low-energy pulsing light that is not the same as a professional laser. They're also not always safe to use, and you should never try them on facial hair.
Storebought laser devices can cause serious problems like burns, blisters, and eye damage. If you really want permanent hair removal, professional laser treatment will give you the best results.
If you decide to try one of these storebought devices, consult with your dermatologist. They may be able to tell you if it's safe to use. You should only use them on areas below the neck and never on the face as a precaution.
Getting laser hair removal can be life-changing, but it's essential that you do it correctly for best results.
Permanent Hair Removal is Possible
If you're considering your options for PCOS and hair removal, consider laser as part of your plan. This safe, effective procedure can make your excess hair less visible or disappear completely.
Thanks to new technology in laser hair removal, the process is easier than ever. You'll get your self-confidence back and you'll enjoy smooth, clear skin and a new outlook on life.
To schedule your appointment or find out about our other services, call us today or visit our website for more information about the latest cosmetic surgery trends.