Cost of IPL Hair Removal

IPL or intense pulsed light hair removal is a popular hair removal method that offers permanent hair reduction, using focused white light to target hairs. It is a lot like laser hair removal, the main difference being that while laser hair removal uses a single wavelength of light to target the hairs, IPL uses a much broader spectrum, although filters are usually used depending on what the IPL is being used for. It works by sending bursts of light through a hand held wand which is applied to your skin, where the light is able to target the pigment, or melanin, in the hairs. This causes them to heat up and eventually fall out, and also heats up the follicle, or root, or the hair, destroying the germ cells that cause hair re-growth, hopefully preventing the hair from growing back again. Although it cannot guarantee that all hair in the treated area will not grow back, IPL can offer permanent hair reduction. Lights and lasers are used in the medical and cosmetics field for a number of purposes, including treating varicose veins, lasers for tattoo removal, and mood lights for seasonal affective disorder.

IPL hair removal itself is available widely at clinics and salons all over the country by trained professionals, but there are also home use devices available in shops and online. A number of IPL sessions are normally needed before the hair is reduced to a comfortable level, usuallybetween 6-12 sessions. The price of these sessions can vary depending on the clinic or salon and which area you want treated, from about £40 for small areas such as the face, and up to £400 for larger areas such as the back or legs. IPL has a number of advantages over other hair removal methods, the main one being that the hair reduction it offers is, to an extent, permanent. It can also save the time and hassle of constant shaving and waxing, and the hair does not go stubbly as with shaving. It is best suited for people with darker hair and lighter skin – unfortunately blonde and red hair do not always contain enough pigment for the light to focus on, and darker skin has too much pigment, which has a risk of overheating and causing complications. There are not, usually, many complications with IPL; there is a risk of overheating, infection, and scarring, but measures are always taken to avoid these, such as the use of coolants and antiseptic creams. Usual side effects that can be expected include redness or soreness, but these should subside after a day or two.

IPL can be used to remove hair for a number of medical reasons, such as aiding skin which is sensitive to other hair removal methods, and is suitable for women with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), which can cause excess bodily hair growth, as it can reduce the hair without interfering with medication. PCOS sufferers should note, however, that because hair growth is a hormonal process, the hair is much more likely to grow back.

IPL hair removal can range greatly in price depending on the practitioner , the area you want treated and your skin type. Small areas, such as the face or underarm, can be around £40-60 per session, but for larger areas such as the back or legs, a session can be around £400.

IPL Hair Removal on the NHS

Since IPL hair removal is a cosmetic procedure, it is very unlikely that you will be able to get it for free on the NHS. However, in some regions the NHS may be willing to pay for your sessions in some circumstances, such as if you have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) or excessive hair growth for any other reason. If you think you may qualify for this, talk to your GP, and if all goes well some sessions will be arranged through your usual GP or practice.

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