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Epilation - Body Hair Removal by Laser Epiliation

Epilation implies methods of removal of superfluous hair. These hair are disfiguring and cause a lot of anxiety in women when present on the face, ocassionally in men, when present in between the eyebrows and forehead and sometimes on the hairy naevi.

When the hair are thin and few, simple bleaching with hydrogen peroxide may satisfy the patient. Epilating waxes (Wax-away) (P), Strip-tease (P) etc., help in some cases, but electrical epilation gives the best results especially when the hair is thick and dark.

Methods of Epilation

There are two methods in electrical epilation:

Electrolysis: It involves the use of direct galvanic current through a platinum needle which liberates hydrogen causing chemical cauterization of the hair root. It is time consuming, and needs a special instrument; hence, it is not so popular. Thermolysis is a new innovation.

Diathermy: weak coagulation current-is popular with the dermatologists. The author finds it a quick and efficient method by which he can remove 60 to 100 hair in one sitting of about 20 to 30 minutes. Wearing a magnifying (1 to 2 D) binocular loupe the needle is inserted into the hair follicle and gently slid along the hair till it reaches the bulb which causes resistance to the needle. With the foot switch current is switched on and off intermittently three times for a second or so. It causes coagulation of the hair root. The current is switched off, and the needle is pulled out. If the procedure has been successful, the hair either comes out with the needle or can easily be pulled out with the epilating forceps. The hair should never be pulled out forcibly since it implies that electro-coagulation has been unsuccessful and only mechanical plucking has been performed. No bleeding or blistering should be produced; only very slight blanching may be seen around the hair follicle. After one hair has been epilated, the same procedure is repeated with another; one must make sure that at least 5 mm distance is left in between two epilated hair follicles. The least possible current that will produce epilation is employed. At the end of the sitting, the epilated area is sponged with spirit. A little inflammation or pustulation may be produced; it will subside within 4 or 5 days.

The procedure causes a little pain and discomfort. Most patients tolerate it well, except on the upper lip and neck. Very slight scarring will be evident even with expert care. Usually patients do not mind this; even so, they must be warned in advance. Furthermore, they must be told that it is the only safe and permanent method of removing superfluous hair; but there is always a 25 per cent chance of the hair growing back even in expert hands. Hence the procedure will have to be repeated from time to time on a maintenance basis to keep the disfiguring by hypertrichosis under control. This procedure deals only with hair which is already present and does nothing to prevent the growth of new hair or downy hair from becoming dark and thick. In every case, these facts must be explained to the patient before treatment is undertaken, and also an honest attempt must be made to correct the basic disorder responsible for the hypertrichosis.

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