Risks of Laser Hair Removal

photo_42907_20110524Laser hair removal is one of the most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedures annually. Its a simple way to permanently remove hair from areas where you dont want it, such as the underarms, legs, back, and bikini area. The sessions can be done over your lunch break, and once you complete the treatment (generally done in around six or so sessions, separated by a few weeks), the hair follicles are dead and will not grow back. But like any medical procedure, there are risks. Here are the risks according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery:

  • Mild swelling around the hair follicles

  • Pigment changes may occur, especially in those with darker skin. These changes are usually temporary

  • Slight redness of the skin

  • Temporary irritation resulting in blistering, crusting, scarring, or other changes in skin texture

 

Since the laser targets the dark pigment in the hair follicle, those with tan skin are at greater risk for hyperpigmentation issues. The laser hair removal treatment is most effective on very dark hair against light skin. Your aesthetician or plastic surgeon will be able to tell you if there is enough contrast between your skin and hair for the treatment to be effective. Laser hair removal is generally not effective against white, grey, or very pale blonde hairs.

 

The mild swelling, redness, and irritation is common and should resolve itself after about 24 hours. If you continue to have irritation or redness after that time, call your aesthetician or surgeon. Staying out of the sun will help minimize irritation and the risk of pigmentation issues occurring. Your surgeon can recommend an appropriate sunscreen, and can also provide recommendations for cooling creams to soothe any irritation you might experience.

 

If you have any questions about laser hair removal in Northern Virginia, please call our offices at (703) 574-2588.