Side Effects of Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is considered a medical treatment, and just like all other medical treatments, it carries the risk of possible side effects. The chance of developing one or more of the existing side effects partially depend on your skin characteristics. The side effects of laser hair removal can be temporary or permanent. The possibility of developing a temporary side effect is much higher than developing a permanent one after laser hair removal. A temporary side effect can last anywhere from a day to several months before it goes away completely. The temporary side effects that can be experienced after laser hair removals include pain, blistering, swelling, redness, irritation, and hyperpigmentation.
Some people describe the discomfort they feel during and after their laser hair removal treatment as a feeling of pain. This feeling exists, both during the procedure, and after it is finished. During the treatment process, the feeling of discomfort can be lessened by the use of a local anesthetic. For the days following the procedure, the pain can be alleviated through the use of over-the-counter or prescribed pain medication. Swelling typically occurs at, or near, the area that was treated for hair removal.
Topical treatments, such as creams or ointments, generally relieve the swelling. This side effect may or may not be particularly bothersome, depending upon the area that was treated with laser hair removal. If redness develops as a side effect of laser hair removal, it can be treated with a topical cream or ointment. This side effect usually resembles a mild sunburn. Blistering can be a very painful, embarrassing, and noticeable side effect of laser treatment. Some people do not feel comfortable being seen if they have blisters. If you are one of these people, it is best to schedule your laser hair removal treatments at a time when it will minimize your exposure to other people. A temporary darkening of the skin of the treated area is called hyperpigmentation. Generally, this temporary side affect of laser hair removal will disappear on its own. Often, the area affected by hyperpigmentation can be covered with makeup.
In addition to the temporary side effects, there is also the possibility of permanent or long-term skin damage. If you've made the decision to have laser hair removal, you must be prepared to accept these risks. Permanent side effects include skin discoloration, scarring, and burns. If skin discoloration does occur, it is generally a permanent lightning of the skin in the area that was treated. The wavelengths of the laser beam are made to attack the dark pigmentation in the hair follicle. Sometimes dark colored skin can also be affected. This side effect can be emotionally damaging, although it is not painful. Scarring, mostly occurs by experiencing accidental over treatment or by being treated by someone with minimal training. It is very important to make sure that your laser hair removal treatments are being done by a qualified, experienced professional technician. Burns are a very rare occurrence, and they usually are caused by an inexperienced, less qualified technician.
The risks and side effects associated with laser hair removal can be minimized by making sure that the treatments are done by a qualified professional. It is also important to tell your practitioner of any hormonal or family conditions that may affect your treatment. Tanning and unprotected exposure to the sun should be avoided for several weeks before treatment.