As with any medical procedure, safety is a concern with hair removal. As you schedule electrolysis or laser hair removal, you should keep in mind a few safety concerns.
First, be sure that the hair removal specialist you choose follows appropriate measures for infection control. For example, if you choose electrolysis, you should know that the American Electrology Association has developed standards based on the published guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Association for Practitioners in Infection Control and Epidemiology. If you don't see the standards for one or more of these posted in your specialist's office, then be sure to ask what guidelines the physician follows [source: American Electrology Association].
Prior to the actual procedure, your hair removal specialist should inform you about any specific safety concerns and procedures. You should check to be sure that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved all equipment that your specialist plans to use. If you have chosen laser hair removal, you can check the equipment being used in the FDA's Medical Service Database. You should also make sure that the doctors, nurses and other staff follow appropriate guidelines for equipment use. For example, everyone in the room should wear protective eyewear during the laser procedure [source: American Academy of Dermatology].
Now that you have learned what questions to ask when choosing a hair removal specialist and what precautions to take, you're ready to move forward with electrolysis or laser hair removal -- or you can pursue a completely different option. If you still have questions and concerns, be sure to consult your doctor or schedule a free consultation with another practitioner.
For lots more information on hair removal and skin care, follow the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Cheaper Isn't Always Better." (Aug. 15, 2009) http://www.skincarephysicians.com/agingskinnet/cosmetic_procedure_deals.html
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Laser Hair Removal." (Aug. 15, 2009) http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/cosmetic_laserhair.html
- American Electrology Association. "Frequently Asked Questions." (Aug. 16, 2009) http://www.electrology.com/faq.htm#question1
- American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. "Choosing a Dermatologic Surgeon." (Aug. 14, 2009) http://www.asds.net/ChoosingADermasurgeon.aspx
- Bernstein, Eric. F. "Choosing Your Doctor." The Hair Removal Journal. (Aug. 25, 2009) http://www.hairremovaljournal.org/choosing.aspx
- Mayo Clinic. "Laser Hair Removal: How You Prepare." March 28, 2008. (Aug. 16, 2009) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/laser-hair-removal/MY00134/DSECTION=how-you-prepare
- Mirsch, Larissa. "Hair Removal." Nemours Foundation. Jan. 2008. (Aug. 15, 2009) http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_body/skin_stuff/hair_removal.html#
- National Institutes of Health. "Excessive or Unwanted Hair in Women." Medline Plus. July 17, 2007. (Aug. 16, 2009) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003148.htm
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Medical Device Databases." June 18, 2009. (Aug. 16, 2009) http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/Databases/default.htm
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Laser Facts." May 6, 2009. (Aug. 16, 2009) http://www.fda.gov/Radiation-EmittingProducts/ResourcesforYouRadiationEmittingProducts/Consumers/ucm142607.htm
- Web MD. "Cosmetic Procedures: Electrolysis." April 1, 2005. (Aug. 15, 2009)http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/cosmetic-procedures-electrolysis?page=2