Laser hair removal is a popular and effective way to get rid of unwanted hair, but it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with the procedure. Rarely, laser hair removal can cause blisters, crusting, scarring, or other changes in skin texture. Other uncommon side effects include greying of treated hair or excessive hair growth around treated areas, particularly on darker skin.
Burns, permanent changes in skin color, and scarring can occurif the procedure is not done correctly.
You can significantly reduce the risk of experiencing any side effects if you have the treatment done by a doctor who is highly experienced in using lasers and has a deep understanding of the skin. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends selecting a board-certified dermatologist to perform laser treatments. The laser hair removal process is usually not painful, but the skin may ache or feel sensitive afterward. The side effects of laser hair removal can also include irritation, changes in skin color, crusting, and more.
Laser hair removal is generally safe, but it can sometimes cause side effects such as pain and discomfort, and reddening of the skin that may last for some time. Initially, you will need to undergo several sessions to completely remove the hair, since it is possible that not all hairs are in the active growth phase. After laser hair removal and between scheduled treatments, avoid sunlight and don't use a tanning bed for six weeks or as directed by your doctor. However, before starting therapy, people should be aware of some side effects of laser hair removal, as well as some myths surrounding the process.
It may take several treatments to completely remove unwanted hair, and permanent hair removal isn't always guaranteed. Before laser hair removal, schedule a consultation with your doctor to determine if this is an appropriate treatment option for you. A number of laser hair removal treatments are needed for initial hair removal and maintenance treatments may also be necessary. Your doctor may recommend other options since laser hair removal usually requires several sessions that should not be done during pregnancy.
For a more comfortable laser hair removal experience, it is common to use an anesthetic cream and a cooling gel to help alleviate any discomfort or pain during the treatment process. If you've undergone laser hair removal and you're not happy with the results or you have side effects that worry you, talk to the doctor at the clinic where you were treated. Laser hair removal is most effective for people with fair skin and dark hair, but it can be used successfully on all skin types. If not done properly, it can also lead to paradoxical hair growth, a condition in which hair grows back thicker after the laser.
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. The laser used for hair removal produces a certain amount of radiation, although it has not been proven to be seriously harmful. For example, you may need a session to remove facial hair every 4 weeks and body hair every 6 to 8 weeks.