Laser hair removal has become very popular as a permanent hair removal solution. It is today the second most popular non-surgical procedure, with its popularity growing by the day. This type of removal can be costly, but it offers speed, convenience, accuracy when getting rid of unwanted hair. It is a very popular procedure for both men and women, and is preferred by many over non-permanent procedures like waxing or depilatory creams.
Laser treatment typically involves 6 to 8 sessions, depending on the area to be treated and the amount of hair that needs to be removed, spaced 8-10 weeks apart. This means repeated exposure to laser beams on the area to be treated.
Along with the increasing popularity of laser hair removal methods come concerns about its safety. Although marketed as a safe procedure, this treatment method does involve some risks – risks that must always explained to the patient before a procedure, that patients must be willing to take.
What side effects are we talking about?
The major side effect that would cause one to worry with laser is skin discoloration.
There are usually two types of skin discoloration likely with laser hair removal – hyperpigmentation (unwanted darkening of the skin) and hypopigmentation (unwanted lightening of skin). Although skin discoloration is not painful or deadly, it is an undesired effect.
Laser treatment involves the application of an intense beam of concentrated light to destroy melanin-producing cells, thus damaging the hair follicle and preventing hair growth.
Skin discoloration, however, is not a side effect that happens to all patients. Instead, it happens only when the laser treatment is performed improperly. Oftentimes, skin discoloration happens because the skin type and hair color contrast is not high enough.
It is then very important to check whether you are a good candidate for the specific laser hair removal treatment the beauty clinic is offering. Generally, most laser machines work well for light-skinned patients with dark hair, although many laser varieties now can accommodate darker skin.
More importantly, it is very important to ensure that the hair removal facility has the right technology and has skilled and professional medical experts to do the procedure.
Serious Side Effects?
Contrary to many talks about laser, hair removal using laser does not cause skin cancer. Laser is a type of light that gives off non-ionizing radiation, a type of beam that does NOT affect the DNA. It is not like other types of radiation that causes increased risk for cancer.
There are risks related to laser hair removal, but they are not potentially fatal and can be avoided with the right precautions.