What are the risks of laser hair removal?
Like any medical procedure, laser also can cause complications. The complications are more common when the procedure is done by individuals with little or no training. The most common complications of laser hair removal are:
- Bleeding. This is extremely rare but can occur
- Bruising. Rare but when it occurs it is usually transient and resolves rapidly
- Infection. Very rare but can occur.
- Skin darkening (hyperpigmentation). The skin can become dark in some cases, this is generally a temporary side effect but in some light skinned people, the darkening may be permanent. This may take nearly 4-6 months to resolve
- Skin lightening (hypopigmentation). This is more common than dark skin and is usually seen in individuals with dark skin. The skin discoloration may be permanent in some individuals
- Blistering. Sometimes blistering of the skin may occur within 12 hours after the procedure. The majority are small and disappear within a few days
- scarring. This rare complication may occur in dark skinned individuals. This usually occurs when the laser is used for a prolonged time on the skin
- skin texture. Soon after laser therapy, the skin appears rough and uneven, this transient complication usually resolves in a few weeks.
- Scabs and crusting. Sometimes the heat of the laser damages the skin and crusting is seen. once the crust and scabs fall off, the new skin is fresh and smooth
- Hair. After laser therapy hair growth can occur. The new hair is softer and smoother and can be easily removed with extra laser therapy
- Itching and numbness are also rare side effects and resolve within a few weeks
- Skin redness. It is common for all individuals to develop redness after the laser therapy; this is transient and resolves in a few days. A camouflage cream can be applied to hide the redness
- Failure to remove hair. This can occur in some cases. Despite what is reported, laser does not work for everyone
To avoid the complications, be realistic, well informed and read about the procedure. Go and see a health care professional who is experienced with lasers and hair removal. Understand the risks and benefits of the procedure before you get it done. Despite what is claimed, laser is not a permanent procedure. In all individuals, hair regrows within a period of 3-6 months