When done by a expert in the use of lasers in all skin types, laser hair removal is a very safe and effective procedure. Although it is safe and offers long lasting results, you should learn about the potential side effects before having it done.
Is it a safe treatment?
While laser hair removal is generally a safe procedure; people with sensitive skin, people who have a tan from spending time in the sun, or people with darker skin types have an increased risk of buring and discoloration (dark and light spots) on the skin. For this reason, you should go to a board-certified dermatologist with training and expertise in the use of lasers in all skin types- from very light skin to the darkest hues.
The majority of people who use it find laser hair removal to be very well-tolerated. There do not appear to be any long-term health risks associated with this procedure.
Is laser hair removal painful?
In general, the procedure is not painful. Most people describe it as similar to a mosquito bite. For a couple days after the treatment, you may experience redness of the skin, similar to a mild sunburn.
1) Redness and irritation
After the procedure, you may experience mild swelling and redness in the treated areas. You may also feel a tingling sensation and tenderness. To help reduce this sensation, your dermatologist might prescribe a topical medicatino to sooth the inflammation. When you get home, you can reduce the redness and swelling with a cool bath or some ice packs.
2) Burning of the skin, scarring and skin color changes
Some people might experience burning or scarring of the skin, whick can present as skin color changes (light or dark spots) due to the treatment. While this discoloration usually fades over time, it can initially be quite distressing. This risk of scarring or discoloration is higher in people with sensitive, tanner or dark skin, and can be avoided by using the correct typle of laser, and the correct laser settings matched to the patient's skin type. This is why it is important see see and expert in the use of lasers in all skin types, so that these risks can be minimal.
3) Risk of skin infection
Laser hair removal can pose a risk of infection from damaging the hair follicles, or if the skin is burnt or broken. If you notice any signs of infection, such as crusting or sticky drainage on the skin, you should contact your dermatologist immediately. Do not apply over-the-counter antibiotic creams to your skin during this time. It is very imprtant that after the procedure is done, that you do not pick at or scratch the skin, as this increases the risk of infection.
4) Eye injury
Due to the powerful lasers, eye equipment will be needed to protect your eyes, particularly while the laser machine is being used, to avoid the risk of serious eye injury.
These are just some of the risks of laser hair removal. Please book an appointment for cosmetic cosultation with our Board Certified Dermatology, Dr. Ife Rodney. She is an expert in lasers and cosmetic procedures in all skin types, and will work with you to formulate a customized plan for your needs.
Myths about laser hair removal
Myth #1: Laser removal home kits are just as good
There are several home laser removal kits on the market to choose from. With these, you might be able to achieve very short results. However, they are not the same medical devices that are used by qualified practitioners.
Myth #2: Anyone can perform laser- I don't need a Dermatologist
While the concept of laser hair removal may seem simple, extensive knowledge and understaning of laser technology is needed to achieve the best and fastest results, and also to minimze the risks of potential side effects, such as skin burning and discoloration. Dermatologists spend years in training, and have an in depth understaing of both medical and cosmetic disorders of the skin, and the use of lasers, dermal fillers and other devices to achieve the safest and best cosmetic outcomes.
Myth #3: Laser hair removal causes cancer
Lasers use light energy to remove hair. There are no studies or scientific findings to suggest that laser hair removal causes cancer.
Laser hair removal is a safe and effective method for getting rid of wanted hair from any area of the body. The side effects are unlikely when done by a qualified expert. If you're ready to give up waxing and shaving, book at appointment at Eternal Dermatology.