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Is Laser Hair Removal Good For Your Skin? Learn About The Side Effects Here

If you're tired of traditional hair removal methods, like shaving, consider laser hair removal. Laser hair treatments, provided by dermatologists or other experts, work by preventing hair follicles from growing. They're generally safe. Furthermore, there isn't any long-term side effect associated with the procedure.

Developed in the mid-1990s, laser hair removal is a permanent hair removal process involving a highly concentrated cosmetic laser light beam that penetrates deep into the skin to destroy its hair follicles [1].

Once laser hair removal is completed, the skin cells become incapable of producing any body hair thereafter. The laser can be used on any part of the body, including the hands, legs, peri-anal, stomach, buttocks, underarms, bikini line and so on. The time it takes to do laser hair removal depends on what body part you are doing it on.

To give you an idea, laser hair removal on the face takes 30 minutes. If you're getting leg hair removed, or back hair removed, it can take up to an hour. Now, before you decide to get a laser hair removal treatment, here are the pros and cons of the procedure that you should know - where we will focus on its side effects if any.

Is Laser Hair Removal Good For Your Skin?

Some temporary and minor side effects can happen after the procedure, but severe and long-term effects are rare. Aside from that, there is no evidence linking it to your health in the long run.

Small, high-heat lasers are used to remove your hair. However, lasers can cause temporary side effects right after the procedure. Common side effects include skin irritation and pigmentation changes [2][3].

  • Changing pigment: After laser treatment, your skin may look darker or lighter. You're more likely to get darker spots from laser hair removal if you have light skin. For those with dark skin, the procedure can leave them with lighter spots. As with skin irritations, these changes are usually temporary and don't cause any problems.
  • Redness and irritation: Laser hair removal can cause temporary irritation. Also, you might notice a little redness and swelling. However, they're usually the same effects you'd see after waxing.

The other downsides of laser treatments are as follows [4]:

  • Not for all skin: The main disadvantage of laser hair removal is that it doesn't work on all skin types. The treatment doesn't work on red, blonde or grey hair. However, you'll be told beforehand whether the laser process is right for your skin type when you go to the clinic.
  • Laser hair removal isn't permanent: Hair follicles on the skin are stopped from growing by laser hair removal. However, new hair follicles can form on the same skin, so new hair can grow out too.
  • A time-consuming process: You may think that laser hair removal will get rid of your body's hair in one sitting. The laser hair removal treatment is further divided into 5-6 sub-sessions or more appointments depending on your hair density and skin type.
  • Expensive: How much it costs depends on how many sessions you get. It can get pricey if the sessions extend beyond what you thought was necessary. Don't start treatment on your skin until you've discussed the cost with your clinic or salon.

Are There Any Severe Side Effects?

Laser hair removal rarely causes more serious side effects. Risk increases if you use at-home laser kits or go to a provider who isn't trained and certified [5].

Here are some rare side effects of laser hair removal:

  • Excessive hair growth after treatment
  • Changes to your skin texture, if you've recently tanned, you're at higher risk
  • Scarring, if you tend to scar easily, you're at higher risk
  • Blisters and skin crusting are caused by too much sun after the procedure

On A Final Note...

When done correctly, laser hair removal is safe and effective for most people. However, getting rid of unwanted hair completely may take multiple treatments, and it's not always permanent.

Any irritation should go away within a few hours. Ice packs can help reduce swelling. You shouldn't get the procedure done near your eyes or if you're pregnant. Symptoms beyond irritation or worsened side effects should be reported to your doctor.