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Does Laser Hair Removal Cause Cancer?



There is no evidence that laser hair removal causes cancer.

More Info: Laser hair removal utilizes a laser beam or light pulse to destroy the hair shaft to inhibit future hair growth, which may cause concern for some consumers as the possibility that it may also cause skin cancer.

According to Alan Rockoff, MD, of the Rockoff Dermatology Center, the procedure performed in laser hair removal involves non-ionizing radiation which does not break DNA bonds and does not cause cancer.

What Are the Side Effects of Laser Hair Removal?

The main side effect of laser hair removal is temporary skin irritation. After laser treatment, redness, swelling, and itching are possible. These side effects are short-term, usually lasting for a few days.

A more serious side effect of laser treatment is pigmentation changes to the skin. Darkening or lightening of skin can occur to the treated area. These changes mostly occur in people with darker skin. Very rarely, laser hair removal may cause blistering, scarring or other changes in skin texture.

Who Is the Best Candidate for Laser Hair Removal?

The best candidates for laser hair removal are those with lighter skin, dark hair, do not tan and are not prone to scarring. Those with darker skin or lighter hair can get laser hair removal, but it will require more sessions. Laser hair removal only attacks hair in the anagen, or growing, phase. Hair that is any other stage of the life cycle will not be removed and will require another session. Those with a herpes infection, even if it is in remission, should discuss having laser hair removal with a doctor. The laser can trigger an outbreak in the area that is treated.



“Laser Hair Removal & Possibility of Skin Cancer – Dermatology – MedHelp.” Health community, health information, medical questions, and medical apps – MedHelp. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 June 2011. <–Possibility-of-Skin-Cancer/show/430231>.

“Hair Removal Methods.” WebMD – Better information. Better health.. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 June 2011. <>.

“Laser Hair Removal: Benefits, Side Effects, and Cost.” WebMD – Better information. Better health.. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 June 2011. <>.

“Laser Hair Removal – Lasers are Your Best Option – Cost & Results.” Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Consumer Guide – Find a Plastic Surgeon. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 June 2011. <>.

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