One of the most common cosmetic procedures in the United States, laser hair removal is an effective way to rid the body of unwanted hair. There are many benefits to laser hair removal, including precision and speed. Small areas of the body can be treated in a matter of seconds while larger areas of the body, such as the legs, may take as long as an hour.

Prior to going in for a laser hair removal session, patients are advised to avoid certain types of hair removal such as electrolysis, waxing, and plucking for six weeks, as the roots of the hair must be intact for the procedure, and to avoid sun exposure both before and afterward. On the day of the procedure, the hair will be trimmed down to a few millimeters and other cautionary measures will be taken as necessary, including eye protection. The physician will test the targeted area to check for bad reactions and continue on if appropriate.

For a few days after the procedure, the patient may experience the symptoms of sunburn on the treated area. Patients are advised to wear sunscreen for a month following the laser hair removal. They may schedule the next appointment four to six weeks later.

About the author: Leon Turovsky, MD, currently treats patients at Sheepshead Bay Laser Center, where he provides laser hair removal among other procedures. He has been practicing medicine in Brooklyn, New York, since the mid-80s.