What Are the Side Effects of Laser Hair Removal?


Quick Answer

Typical side effects of laser hair removal include swelling and redness, as well as a sensation similar to a sunburn. Web MD recommends using cool compresses and moisturizers to alleviate the discomfort.

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Full Answer

More significant side effects may occur from laser hair removal. Sometimes the skin, rather than the hair follicle, absorbs the energy from the laser, resulting in a burn. This is more common with patients who have dark skin, as the darker pigment absorbs the heat more easily. Burns typically result from inappropriate application of the laser. Laser hair removal sometimes results in changes in skin pigment, turning it lighter or darker. Again, people with dark skin tones are more susceptible, in this case to skin lightening. The effect usually goes away after a short time. Rarer side effects are changes in skin texture. Crusting, blistering and even scarring can occur after undergoing the procedure. According to dermatologic surgeon Dr. Gary S. Chuang, one of the new worries with laser hair removal is the plume of chemicals and dust particles released by the burning hair. His study revealed the presence of 300 chemical compounds in the plume, and many of them are proven to be harmful to humans. Researchers are still looking into the potential side effects associated with breathing in this plume.

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