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Is The Laser Hair Removal Procedure Safe & What are the Side Effects of Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal is a very common hair removal procedure. It is more permanent than the other procedures

Laser hair removal is a less invasive procedure in which a laser is used to reduce the growth of body hair.

In the procedure, a concentrated beam of light is targeted on the melanin in your hair. The light converts to heat and damages the hair follicle inhibiting hair growth.

Laser hair removal can be used to remove hair from the shoulder, upper lips, chin, neck, chest, back, legs, arms, bikini line, and armpits.

Is The Laser Hair Removal Procedure Safe?

Most of the people find the procedure safe and tolerate it well; while in a few, minor side effects appear. It is important to opt for a fully qualified practitioner to go ahead with the procedure.

For a couple of days after the procedure, the skin may become red and painful. The sensation might be similar to sunburn.

What are the Side Effects Of Laser Hair Removal

The side effects experienced after the procedure is temporary and occur immediately after the procedure.

Redness and Irritation

The procedure can lead to slight and temporary irritation. There may also be redness and swelling present. These are minor side effect noticed even after hair removal with other procedures such as waxing.

Topical anesthesia is applied before the procedure which minimizes the effects.

The irritation disappears within a few hours of the procedure. Ice packs can help reduce pain and swelling.

If the symptoms intensity increases, consult a doctor.


Just like skin irritation, appearance of pigmentation is also temporary.

Those with dark skin are affected with light pigmentation and those with light skin experience dark pigmentation on the skin.

This change is temporary and is not of much concern.

If you experience excessive pigmentation, talk to the doctor immediately.

Rare and Serious Side Effects of Laser Hair Removal

Though rare, some serious side effects can be experienced after a laser hair removal such as:

  • Change in skin texture can occur which is possible if you get tanned easily.
  • Those who have scarring tendency tend to get scarred easily.
  • In very rare cases some might experience excessive hair growth in the treated area. It is often mistaken for hair shedding after the procedure.
  • If the skin gets exposed to the sun immediately after the procedure blister and crusts can appear.

Since these risks are quite serious it is recommended to get done from a certified dermatologist only (1).

There are certain precautions you need to know, which can lessen the chances of side effects.

  • Avoid sun exposure
  • Apply sunscreen regularly
  • Do not pluck, shave, or wax the area
  • Avoid sauna, hot showers, and hot tubs
  • Avoid applying makeup and topical creams

Laser Hair Removal and Pregnancy

Laser hair removal should not be performed on a pregnant female.

Some might require hair removal due to excessive growth of hair on the breast and stomach during pregnancy. But these hairs usually falls out and might not require any medical treatment.

If you still feel like going ahead with the procedure consider waiting until delivery.

Laser Hair Removal and Cancer

There is a myth linked with laser hair removal, that it causes cancer. It does not.

In fact, Skincare foundation relates the procedure with the treatment of certain precancerous lesions.

Lasers are also used to treat sun damage and wrinkles. A minimal amount of radiation is used in the lasers used for skin procedures. They do not pose a cancer risk.

Laser Hair Removal And Infertility

This another myth linked with laser hair removal.

The laser used for hair removal has minimum radiation and does not penetrate to any organ. It cannot cause infertility.

Laser hair removal is a safe procedure and also effective for most of the people. If any rare symptom crop up, inform your doctor about it.

Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 10, 2019

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