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What are the risks of laser hair removal?
Posted by Dr. Robert Levine

What are the risks of laser hair removal?

If you have unwanted hair on your body, you might have wondered: is laser hair removal right for me? You could potentially be getting the smooth skin you’ve always wanted, but what are the risks?

Like any medical procedure, laser hair removal can have a few side effects. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to minimize the chances of them developing. Let’s find out more about laser hair removal!

What is laser hair removal?

During the procedure, an expert practitioner will use a device that applies a concentrated beam of light to your skin. This beam damages the hair follicles underneath and slows the growth of new hair. This procedure can be used on almost any part of your body except for the sensitive area underneath your eyes because your eyes are at risk for damage from the laser.

What are the most common side effects?

Most commonly you will experience some mild skin irritation following laser hair removal. Redness and swelling are also common and easily treated with the application of a cold compress or ice pack. Some mild changes in pigmentation may also occur, with darker skin seeing lighter areas and lighter skin seeing darker areas. This discoloration usually goes away in a couple of days.

How can you prevent other side effects?

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to minimize the chance of side effects with laser hair removal. The first is to make sure you know your skin very well. Consider your history. Do you scar easily? If so, you may need an alternate procedure.

Another thing you can do to keep your skin safe is to avoid getting a tan or visiting a tanning bed at least six weeks ahead of your procedure. Tanning beds are pretty bad for your skin in the first place, but they can pose a problem with laser hair removal. Some patients who experience tanning too close to their procedure experience changes in skin texture.

What about skin cancer?

This is one that you don’t have to worry about. Fortunately, there has been no evidence that laser hair removal causes cancer. The root of this myth lies in the fact that ionizing radiation passing through the body can cause gene mutations, but laser hair removal uses non-ionizing radiation.

If you’re interested in laser hair removal, get in contact with your dermatologist. Unwanted hair can deal a blow to your self-confidence, and we want to help you be the best version of yourself. Call 855-793-2868 to get in contact with our cosmetic concierge, and arrange a consultation with your dermatologist today!

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