The extended theory of selective photothermolysis enables the laser surgeon to target and destroy hair follicles, thereby leading to hair removal. Today, laser hair removal (LHR) is the most commonly requested cosmetic procedure in the world and is routinely performed by dermatologists, other physicians, and non-physician personnel with variable efficacy. The ideal candidate for LHR is fair skinned with dark terminal hair; however, LHR can today be successfully performed in all skin types. Knowledge of hair follicle anatomy and physiology, proper patient selection and preoperative preparation, principles of laser safety, familiarity with the various laser/light devices, and a thorough understanding of laser-tissue interactions are vital to optimizing treatment efficacy while minimizing complications and side effects.
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