IPL Hair Removal and Pregnancy
Pregnant woman who want to remove hair during her pregnancy will look for information on home “laser hair removal”. Though IPL and laser are similar methods of permanent hair reduction, the risk they pose on pregnant women is not quite the same. There are similar risks to pregnant woman from using home hair removal methods, but there are some differences between IPL and laser worth to learn about.
IPL Hair Removal Technology
The IPL hair removal technology works in a similar way to laser. The light from the lamp or emitter reaches the hair, the light is turned into heat when the dark hair gets the light energy. The heat will warm the hair all the way down to the root, and the hair growth will be disabled.
The hair must be connected to the root, otherwise it will be destroyed by the heat but the root will not be affected, and soon the root will produce another hair in the same follicle. Treatments must be done in 6 intervals of 2 weeks apart, to cover all growth cycles, and destroy new hairs appearing, while they are still connected to the root.
Pregnancy and IPL Hair Removal Risks
IPL is a safe method for hair reduction, but when the person removing hair is pregnant, there are some risks because the pregnancy hormones change the body cycles and reaction to intense light energy.
IPL and Pregnancy Hair Growth
Hair growth is different during pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones can cause some woman for excessive hair growth which can be a cosmetic problem. When pregnant woman see facial hair grow ‘wild’, and hairs which were soft, thin and nearly invisible turn coarse, they begin to worry and seek immediate solutions.
Trying to tackle this problem by IPL hair removal will not succeed, because the hair is growing due to hormonal changes and will not be reduced by IPL. Once the changes in the hormones will return to their normal level (usually after the delivery), the coarse hair will fall off and Vellus hair (thin, soft, invisible) will grow instead.
Pregnancy Skin Sensitivity And IPL
During pregnancy, the skin becomes more sensitive. Like the smells senses is turned on, and pregnant women can smell odors and distinct smells like a hound dog, so does the skin sensitivity. This means that the IPL treatment, which is usually not painful, becomes less bearable.
Most IPL systems have 5-8 energy levels, the highest levels are the most effective. But pregnant woman will not be able to treat large areas with the IPL high level so the results will be less than desired.
IPL and Pregnancy Melanin Production
It is known that during the pregnancy the natural melanin production is changed. Pregnant woman tend to develop Melasma which is called ‘pregnancy mask’, this is hyper pigmentation of large areas of the face. The pregnancy discoloration appears on the forehead, nose, cheeks and chin of pregnant woman, usually those who live at sunny places.
Melasma is the outcome of this hormonal disorder, when the pregnant woman produces more melanin cells, which become dark brown patches on the skin.
Treating with IPL light during pregnancy for hair removal reduction, may trigger melanin production and cause two unwanted side effects:
- Skin discoloration – The light may trigger production of more melanin cells, as the body will try and defend it self from the light energy, the upper layer will become darker just as if it was sun tanning.
- Painful treatments – When the skin turns darker, more light is absorbed at the skin and less at the hair, the skin tissue will be heated instead of the hair, and these light burns are painful. They will be felt by the warm IPL zapping.
IPL Machines Are Not Laser Machines
Most people do not know the difference between IPL and laser systems, they call them all “laser”. But for pregnant woman this difference is important. Because IPL light is not laser, and the side effects which are expected by laser are different when treating with IPL during pregnancy.
IPL light is a broad spectrum of light, which flashes very fast. Laser is a pulse of beam, at a very narrow wavelength. IPL is less painful than laser, the IPL light energy with each pulse is far lower than laser.
TRIA Laser has 24 Joules per cm² of skin, while most IPL has 4 Joules per cm² of skin. Professional laser machines which are used at hair clinics have hundreds of joules per cm² of skin, so they are the least recommended during pregnancy.
Where Not To Treat With IPL During Pregnancy
IPL can be used, because the zapping is less painful than laser. Some body areas can be treated by IPL during pregnancy, like the lower legs, arms and armpits. It is not recommended for pregnant women to treat the bikini line or upper thighs with laser (or IPL) during pregnancy, because the zapping may cause the abdominal to become tight, and contraction or cramps may be felt.
Facial hair should not be treated with IPL during pregnancy, because of the reasons mentioned above.
What IPL Systems Are Recommended
Any IPL system can be used for lower legs, arms and armpits, because they all use lower energy than laser, which most woman say is not painful at all. There is one systems which stands out from all the rest, and that is the Me my ELOS – IPL hair removal system.
The Me device operates by using ELOS technology, which is a RF radio frequency wave which adds heat without using light energy. So the Me ELOS IPL is less intense while the heat is increased by radio waves which follow each ‘zap’. Many women who I have spoken to say the Me is painless! I have tried it on my arm, and I didn’t feel a thing except a warm pinch.
You can find the Me ELOS hair Removal System HERE (Amazon.com) and on most online shops.
UK customers – Get your Me my ELOS Homedics system (Amazon.co.uk)
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