Does Laser Hair Removal Have Any Side Effects?

August 23, 2010 in Hair Removal 101,Laser hair removal

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Laser hair removal is generally considered a safe treatment, when using a licensed, experienced practitioner. The same cannot be said about practitioners without the proper training, or those who do not take great care when performing a laser hair removal treatment.

In most cases, there are no serious side effects associated with a laser hair removal treatment.  Any kind of serious side effects are extremely rare.  However, there is a small group of people who do experience minor side effects, and the reason why is because the laser produces heat, and some of the heat is absorbed by the skin itself.

The most common side effect of laser hair removal is skin irritation. The treated area might get red and feel like a mild sunburn. This will go away after a few days. Cooling of the skin can minimize this type of irritation.

Some are concerned with whether laser hair removal leaves any scars. While this might have been the case with older laser devices, newer laser machines are gentle and come with a built-in cooling system which prevents damage of the skin. Some clients can experience a small amount of blistering or crusting and this usually happens when the same area has been treated too many times. Those with sensitive skin can ask the practitioner to take additional care during the treatment to avoid any side effects.

Though rare, laser hair removal burns can occur on patients with darker skin, as skin with darker pigment absorbs the laser more. Most instances of laser hair removal burns are mild.

Others are concerned with whether laser hair removal causes any damage to the eyes. While lasers can be damaging to the eyes, great caution is taken during a laser hair removal treatment to make sure that there is no damage to the eyes. Both practitioner and client wear safety eye wear, to make sure that the laser rays do not reach the eyes.

Two other rare side effects of laser hair removal are hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation. Hyperpigmentation refers to darkening of skin and hypopigmentation means lightening of skin. Changes in skin color due to a laser hair removal treatment occur more often in patients with darker skin. And while hyperpigmentation can go away on its own, hypopigmentation might be more permanent.

Some laser hair removal clinics might offer you to test a small area of your face or body prior to starting any treatments. This is a good opportunity to see how your skin will react to the laser.

A properly trained laser hair removal practitioner will ensure a safe treatment every time, with little to no side effects.

Overall, laser hair removal is a safe procedure. Any side effects other than slight skin irritation are very rare, and as long as you choose a reputable laser hair removal clinic with experienced practitioners, there is nothing to worry about.

Photo by michaelcancy

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