Laser hair removal is a popular procedure for reducing unwanted hair growth. It is a safe and effective way to reduce hair growth, but it is important to understand the potential long-term effects of the procedure. While there does not appear to be any serious health risks associated with laser hair removal, some people may experience minor side effects. It is also important to note that laser hair removal does not guarantee permanent hair removal.
The long-term effects of laser therapy, including the possibility of an increased risk of cancer, have not been studied in depth. Some researchers have observed changes in atypical moles (dysplastic nevi) after laser hair removal, so it is important to be aware of this potential risk when considering the procedure. The risks of side effects vary depending on skin type, hair color, treatment plan, and compliance with pre- and post-treatment care. Laser hair removal is most effective for people with fair skin and dark hair, but it can be used successfully on all skin types.
The contrast between hair color and skin, dark hair, and fair skin produces the best results. For example, lasers with longer wavelengths work well with darker skin types, while shorter length lasers are better suited for people with lighter hair and skin. Naturally or artificially tanned skin can make laser hair removal less effective and cause side effects. Several laser hair removal treatments are needed for initial hair removal, and maintenance treatments may also be needed. If you decide to use a home laser hair removal device, follow the instructions that come with the device to help reduce the risk of injury, especially eye injury. Be wary of spas, beauty salons, or other centers that allow non-medical personnel to perform laser hair removal.
The Food and Drug Administration considers these laser hair removal devices for home use to be cosmetic, not medical, which means that they do not undergo the same level of scrutiny as other medical devices. If you have a skin reaction right after laser hair removal, your doctor may apply a steroid cream to the affected area. Laser hair removal is not recommended for eyelids, eyebrows, or surrounding areas due to the possibility of serious eye damage. The good news is that thanks to advances in laser hair removal techniques and technology, treatments can work well for people who have light hair or darker skin. People should ask their dermatologist to analyze how a small piece of skin reacts to the treatment before applying it to a larger area of skin.