In the Know: Is Laser Hair Removal Bad for My Skin?
If performed by a qualified and experienced practitioner, laser hair removal is not bad for your skin. In the wrong hands, however, it can be dangerous.
is a cosmetic treatment that uses laser therapy. While non-invasive and safe, laser therapy can damage the skin if misused. It works by pulsing laser light energy into individual hair follicles, which is absorbed by the pigment in the shaft of the hair. The light energy turns to heat and destroys hair roots.
Session time varies depending on the size of the area being treated. Facial areas can take as little as five to 10 minutes to treat while larger body areas, such as the legs, arms, and back can take roughly an hour.
Selecting a Qualified Laser Hair Removal Practitioner
The requirements to operate laser therapy vary from state to state, but most require practitioners to be licensed. Proper training and licensure are important because, if misused, laser therapy can damage the skin. It can cause serious burns, especially if misused on sensitive areas, such as the face and bikini area.
Reducing Possible Side Effects
As is the case with any cosmetic medical procedure, there are potential risks. Laser hair removal is safe and effective, but complete hair removal is not guaranteed.
Hair follicles are only susceptible to laser therapy during the first stage of the hair growth cycle. Multiple treatments are needed to achieve maximum results as the hairs in a target area will grow at different rates. Some may experience hair regrowth within six months of treatment due to hormonal changes or dormant follicles starting to grow, but re-growth is usually finer and lighter than before.
Possible side effects of laser hair removal include:
- Minor skin irritation
- Pigmentation changes
Side effects, if experienced, are temporary. However, if misused, laser therapy can cause eye injury and serious burns to the skin. The best way to reduce possible side effects is to only receive treatment from a licensed medical professional.
Does Laser Hair Removal Cause Cancer?
The lasers used to target hair follicles produce a small amount of radiation. The idea that laser hair removal causes cancer is an unfounded myth. To date, no evidence has shown that the minimal amount of radiation produced by laser therapy contributes to or causes skin cancer.
Give Your Skin a Leg Up
While laser hair removal can be performed year–round, the provide a better healing time for your skin. We spend more time indoors during these months, which keeps the treated area out of the sun. It’s vital to avoid UV rays as much as possible after treatment.