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Is Laser Hair Removal Safe?



Yes, laser hair removal is relatively safe.

More Info: The commercial laser hair removal industry has a history of rushing untested products to market, prompting many to reasonably ask, “Is laser hair removal safe?” The consensus seems to be that while laser hair removal may not be terribly effective for permanent hair removal, if certain guidelines are followed, it is relatively safe.

Remember It’s Called Laser for a Reason

While most people are used to having their beauty treatments, including hair removal, performed at a spa or salon, in this instance, it’s best to make sure that only a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon, or a physician’s assistant or nurse working under the direction of one, perform the procedure. After all, it’s a laser that’s being aimed at your skin. A physician or another trained medical professional will be better equipped to explain who benefits the most from laser hair removal and the possible side effects, as well as handle any complications that may arise. There is no licensing standard for laser hair removal. Just because someone claims to be an experienced hair removal expert does not mean that they have any medical training. Don’t get laser hair removal performed at any office or clinic that seems unsanitary.

Possible Complications

Because the lasers used in hair removal target the pigment in the follicle, laser hair removal works best on patients with light skin and hark hair. Darker skinned people can also sometimes have hypo-pigmentation, or a lightening of the skin, occur as a result of laser hair removal. Conversely, light skinned people can suffer temporary hyper-pigmentation, or darkening of the skin, after treatment. Crusting or scabbing can also occur, but is only temporary. Laser hair removal treatment can also promote hair growth in areas adjacent to the treated skin. Other rare side effects include bleeding, infection, changes in the texture of the skin, blistering, and scarring. While laser hair removal is often promoted as painless, some people do experience pain during the procedure. Laser hair removal is contraindicated for people with some medical conditions. Make sure the physician who will perform the procedure takes a full medical history.

Take a Test Run

If you still have concerns, ask the doctor to take a test run with a small patch of skin. Make sure that the test run is performed by the same doctor who will be doing all your laser hair removal.



“Laser Hair Removal.” A 2 Z of Health and Beauty. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Mar. 2010.

“Laser hair removal: Risks –” Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Mar. 2010.

Vano-Galvan, MD, Sergio, and Pedro Jaen, PhD. “Complications of nonphysician-supervised laser hair removal.” Can Fam Physician 55.1 (2009): 50—52. Pub Med Central. Web. 1 Mar. 2010.

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