Laser hair removal is a popular method for getting rid of unwanted body hair, but it can also be dangerous if not done properly. Burns, permanent changes in skin color, and scarring are some of the potential side effects of laser hair removal. To reduce the risk of these side effects, it is important to find a doctor who is experienced in the use of lasers and has a deep knowledge of the skin. Rarely, laser hair removal can cause blisters, crusting, scarring, or other changes in skin texture.
Other rare side effects include greying of treated hair or excessive hair growth around treated areas, especially on darker skin. The long-term effects of laser therapy, including the possibility of an increased risk of cancer, have not been studied. Some researchers have observed changes in atypical moles (dysplastic nevi) after laser hair removal, so care should be taken when using cosmetic laser therapy in people with a personal or family history of skin cancer or atypical moles. Laser hair removal works by emitting pulsed laser light energy to individual hair follicles, which is absorbed by the pigment in the hair shaft. Light energy is converted to heat and destroys hair roots.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is the result of the skin being affected by laser treatment, rather than affecting only the hair follicle. Ideally, a laser should not do this, but tanned skin or certain skin tones may be more susceptible to this side effect if the laser is set to a temperature that is too high for the context in which it is being used. The Food and Drug Administration considers these laser hair removal devices for home use to be cosmetic, not medical. This means that they do not undergo the same level of scrutiny as other medical devices. The laser used for hair removal produces a certain amount of radiation, although it was not proven to be seriously harmful.
Several laser hair removal treatments are needed for initial hair removal, and maintenance treatments may also be needed. Laser hair removal is most effective for people with fair skin and dark hair, but it can be used successfully on all skin types. Below is a list of the common side effects of laser hair removal that you can expect from treatment, along with ways to fix or prevent them:
- Permanent changes in skin color
- Changes in skin texture
- Greying of treated hair
- Excessive hair growth around treated areas
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
Since lasers use heat from light energy to destroy hair follicles, they can create blisters just like a burn would. If you have decided to have laser hair removal, you should consider certain things before going to your first consultation. If done by a qualified and experienced professional, laser hair removal is not bad for the skin. While laser hair removal can be done year-round, the fall and winter months provide a better healing time for the skin. To ensure that your experience with laser hair removal is safe and successful, it is important to find an experienced doctor who understands your individual needs and has knowledge about your skin type and condition. It is also important to follow all pre-treatment instructions carefully and avoid sun exposure before and after treatment. By taking these precautions and following your doctor's instructions carefully, you can reduce your risk of experiencing any serious side effects from laser hair removal.