Laser hair removal is a widespread method of removing hair from all over the body, including the face. A lot of people have decided that this may be the right method of hair removal for them, and a lot of these people have had a pretty good success with it. Excessive hair growth can be an annoyance, that’s for sure! In fact, most people have spent pretty large sums of money on supplies and methods of removing hair. If you are over the hair and want a more permanent solution, then laser hair removal may be something that you are considering, but you should also learn about laser hair removal side effects.
While the laser is great at getting rid of hair, it can pose some side effects if you are not careful. Before you decide whether or not it is for you, it is a good idea to learn more about the potential risks. Note that you can always reduce these risks by going to a licensed medical professional for your laser hair removal treatments. Without further ado, here are some of the side effects that you will want to make sure that you are aware of.
Laser Hair Removal Side Effects
First, you may experience skin burns in the area that has been treated. This is because the laser uses a lot of heat to destroy the hair follicle. These burns are more common in people that have a darker skin tone, because the darker pigmentation of the skin is more receptive to the laser light. Typically, the burning sensation will just be mild, but in some cases it has been more severe. Discuss this with your medical professional before going through with the treatment to see if you will be more prone to the burning.
Changes in Skin Pigmentation
Hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation are also side effects of laser hair removal. Hyperpigmentation occurs when the skin around the hair becomes darker after the laser treatment. This is because laser treatment stimulates the production of melanin. On the other hand, it can also lead to hypopigmentation, which is a lightening of the skin tone. This is common as well, and results in an inhibition of melanin production. This causes you to lose skin pigment. The good news is that neither of these side effects are usually permanent. It may appear different, and then go back to your normal skin tone in a few days.
It is no secret that lasers can be permanently damaging to the eyes. This is why it is so important to wear protective eyewear while you are undergoing treatment, even if the treatment is not on your face. Our staff that is doing the treatment will also wear protection on their eyes to prevent their own eyes from being burned by the light from the laser. This is good practice, and if you encounter someone that does not, it may be a good idea to look elsewhere for a treatment center.
Itching and Skin Irritation
One of the most common side effects of laser hair removal is itching and irritation of the skin. This is because the treatment is somewhat invasive to your skin. It also hurts during the procedure, but a numbing cream can really help to alleviate this. If you notice itching and irritation, do not be alarmed. It should go away within a day or two. If it sticks around for more than a few days, however, it may be a sign of something more serious. This is something that you will want to talk to your doctor about if you find yourself in this situation. Aside from irritation, it may also feel painful or numb after the procedure. This is also pretty normal, and will subside.
Scab formation is another side effect to be aware of. While it is somewhat common, it doesn’t happen as often as the redness and irritation. The heat from the laser can cause excessive burning of the follicle, leading to a small bruise or crusty scab. If it does not go away within just a few days, have your doctor check it out just to be on the safe side.
Finally, beware of infection. Infection is not as common as the other side effects, but it should not go unnoted. This is more common when unsafe practices are followed, or when you are not being treated by a licensed medical professional. Before you assume that you have an infection from the laser treatment, talk to your doctor. They will be able to look and tell you for sure. If you do get an infection from a laser hair removal session, it may be time to look into other hair removal options.
Avoiding Problems with Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is a three step process. They begin by first cleaning the area, and then they shave it. After it has been cleaned and shaven, they will then proceed with the actual laser treatment. Cleaning the area is important because it helps to cut down on your risk of infection. If you go to a laser treatment facility with medical professionals, chances are you will have the best possible experience. Avoid going to a place that seems ‘fly by night’, because this is when you increase your odds of side effects.
You should also be aware of the fact that you are not going to get the results that you are looking for with one treatment. You will need to go back and have 4 to 8 treatments in order for it to be effective. You should always schedule your appointments about six weeks apart to prevent damage being done to your skin. This will also improve the effectiveness of the treatment sessions, since your hair grows in cycles.
While there are clearly some laser hair removal side effects, and some of them are more common than others, being aware of these side effects is the first step to preventing them. Make sure that you talk to your doctor to see if you are a viable candidate for laser hair removal, as it is not for everyone.