Laser hair removal is a popular option for individuals looking to rid their skin of pesky, unwanted hair. It is an excellent solution for eliminating the endless routine of shaving or waxing, and is a very safe option when performed by a licensed laser technician. When considering any skin treatment, however, it is wise to be informed about potential risks and side effects before diving in.
Some of the rare but noteworthy risks of laser hair removal include hyperpigmentation—darkening of the skin—or hypopigmenation—lightening of the skin. In a very small percentage of patients, either of these pigmentation changes could be permanent, but as risks go, they are exceedingly rare and usually temporary. Professional laser therapists will speak with you beforehand and examine your skin to assess the likelihood of hyper- or hypopigmentation, and they will advise you against the treatment if they see potential risks.
Equally rare laser hair removal risks and potential side effects include burning, bleeding, blistering or scarring, all of which typically only occur as a result of substandard work by non-licensed laser technicians. Such risks are also higher for individuals who attempt to perform laser hair removal on themselves, using new at-home laser treatments.
You are likely to experience some swelling and redness after any laser treatment, but this usually subsides within 1-3 days. In addition, you may experience changes in the hair you have had treated, or hair near the area that has been treated. Treated areas may exhibit lighter and finer hair, while hair growth is occasionally stimulated in areas of the skin adjacent to those treated.
The most important thing to remember is that laser hair removal risks tend to decrease exponentially in relation to the skills and experience level of the person conducting the treatment. One of the biggest risks of at-home laser hair removal treatments is that the individual performing the treatment has no training or experience with laser procedures, and they have usually not consulted a professional to determine whether or not they are actually a good candidate for laser hair removal. You should never let anyone—including yourself—conduct a laser treatment on your skin without first getting an honest assessment of the possible risks and side effects of that treatment. Some skin types and pigments are less responsive to laser hair removal, and will require special customized treatments. For these reasons, a free consultation with a laser hair removal provider is an essential first step. You can contact us to learn more about laser hair removal risks, or to schedule your consultation with a clinic or medspa in your area today!