You are tired of the inconvenience of shaving, the pain involved with waxing, and the horrible smell of depilatory creams—and are looking for a better option. This is why you've chosen laser hair removal, but before you head to your first session, it is important to prep your skin. Preparing your skin properly for laser hair removal will help ensure the process is more effective. Here are a few tips to help you prepare your skin for laser hair removal:
Set Up an Initial Consultation
The first step you need to take before enjoying the amazing outcome of laser hair removal is to set up an initial appointment with your dermatologist. During the appointment, your doctor will determine if you're a good candidate for this procedure.
For example, the complexion of your skin can impact how effective laser hair removal will be for you.
Your doctor will also discuss any medications you're on and what the procedure will feel like. Typically, the procedure is painless and the most you will feel is a warm sensation. Your doctor might also take "before" pictures. This will help both them and you see just how effective the treatments are.
According to WebMD, the typical cost of laser hair removal is around $235 per treatment. However, there are several things that can impact this cost, including the size of the area that is being treated and the state or even city where you reside.
Preparing Your Skin in the Days and Weeks before the First Treatment
The preparation for your laser hair removal begins several weeks before your first treatment. Here are the steps you will need to take to ensure your skin is ideally prepped for that first time you get a laser hair removal treatment:
- Avoid self-tanners, tanning salons, and the sun in general for at least one month before the initial appointment. The lighter your skin is, the more effective the treatments will be. If you must be out in the sun, make sure to apply sunscreen liberally. Additionally, many patients find that having their initial treatment during winter is most effective.
- Avoid waxing your hair for at least two to three weeks prior to the initial treatment. It is okay to shave, but waxing can damage your hair follicles, which can make laser hair treatment less effective. Plucking any areas that you're planning on having treated should be avoided, as well.
The Night before and Day of Your First Treatment
The next step of your preparation begins the night before and the day of your first treatment. Here are a few steps you should take to help ensure your initial treatment is more effective:
- Shave your legs the night before or morning of your treatment. Your dermatologist may insist your shave the area that will be treated because it will help ensure the laser doesn't cause any burns.
- Before you walk out the door for your first treatment, wash off the areas that will be treated. This will remove any oils or lotions, which can hamper the laser's effectiveness.
- Take any medications that were prescribed by your doctor, such as an antibiotic or antiviral. Your doctor might also recommend taking a prescription or over-the-counter pain medication, which will help ease any swelling and discomfort you might feel once the treatment is over.
From making sure you stop waxing to taking any pre-treatment antibiotics or antivirals, there are several steps you need to take before heading to your initial laser hair removal treatment. If you have any questions about the procedure, don't hesitate to contact a dermatologist from an establishment like Jordan Valley Dermatology immediately.