Laser hair removal is a technique to decrease unwanted hair, chosen by people who want to remove them effectively. Although it may not be permanent, repeating the procedure could prevent unwanted hair from growing back for a long time.
While laser hair removal is recommended by dermatologists, a lot of people still have their doubts about it, wondering if it is really safe. To find out the answer to this frequently asked question, keep on reading this article.
During this procedure the pigment in the hair follicle is targeted and destroyed by the laser beam. People with light skin and thick, dark hair are the best candidates for laser hair removal.
The goal of laser hair removal is to ultimately reduce hair growth, which is achieved through multiple sessions, the number of which varies from person to person. The estimated time is usually between 6 to 10 sessions.
The number of sessions also varies depending on the skin type and color, as well as the color and thickness of the hair, hormonal status, drug use, sun exposure, and race.
Laser hair removal has not yet been scientifically proven to be safe. It is worth mentioning however, that the beams only affect the surface layer of the skin and hair follicles, not the internal organs. If the procedure is carried out by a well-trained laser technician, using proper and standard equipment, you won’t have to worry about the side effects.
To err on the side of caution, it’s always a good idea to talk to your dermatologist about the possible side effects of laser hair removal, and have them perform a skin patch test before the treatment. There are certain contraindications for laser hair removal that your specialist must know of in advance.
Although the side effects of laser hair removal are minimal, people with these conditions may need to either postpone or completely steer clear of it:
Using tanning sprays could increase the risk of side effects such as burns and blisters after laser hair removal. Direct sun exposure too could make the skin more sensitive to heat. Laser hair removal or not, we strongly advise you to not use tanning beds as they are proven to increase the risk of developing skin cancers.
Antibiotics could make the skin sensitive. Light sensitivity and photosensitive dermatitis are caused by certain drugs and substances. If people with these conditions opt for laser hair removal, their risk of skin damage due to heat exposure is quite high. They might suffer from such side effects as blisters, fever, fatigue, and persistent pain.
People who take complementary drugs, blood thinners, and vitamin E, also fall in the same category and should talk to their physician before opting for laser hair removal.
The laser energy should be absorbed only by the melanin or the pigments in the hair follicle; wearing makeup not only reduces the effect of the laser but could also damage your skin. You are highly advised to gently and thoroughly cleanse your face and body before the procedure.
Your body is more sensitive to pain a few days before, and during your period. Therefore, experts recommend waiting until the end of your period before opting for laser hair removal. Of course, laser irradiation during menstruation has no serious side effects and might only make you more sensitive to pain.
If you have diabetes, your nerves and tissues are more sensitive to pain, and could burn or blister faster. If there are wounds on your skin, they will be more likely to become infected, and due to the slower healing response, your recovery period could take longer.
Pregnancy, poor blood circulation, and being prone to severe allergic reactions are among the conditions that might interfere with your laser hair removal treatment. Talk to your physician or dermatologist in advance.
In general, laser hair removal has no significant side effects. A person can experience post-laser complications only if the laser equipment is substandard or if the technician is inexperienced and untrained.
The most common complaints with laser hair removal are blemishes or hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is a temporary darkening of the skin that can occur in patients with lighter skin who have been exposed to the sun, or who have used tanning products.
Post-laser care is important and necessary. During the laser hair removal procedure, the laser beam damages the hair follicles. Therefore, you should take care not to further damage or irritate your skin for a few days. Refrain from waxing, electrolysis, peeling, getting tattoos, and undergoing skin rejuvenation procedures such as microneedling, microdermabrasion, etc. for a while.
Take care to keep your skin hydrated by drinking plenty of water during and after the treatment period. Dehydration reduces the effects of laser hair removal. In addition, it is better to wear loose and light clothing after the procedure, as tight clothing with constant skin contact can further irritate your skin.