Tweezers, wax, epilators, etc. are all soon becoming a thing of the past. Laser Hair Removal has taken over the monopoly in getting rid of unwanted and excessive hair on the face and body permanently. Compared to the other methods, laser hair removal is almost painless and does offer long-lasting results. When done using an FDA approved machine, opting for this treatment becomes an even easier decision because of the reliable safety and efficiency.
In India, laser hair removal is being offered at cosmetic skin clinics and dermatology hospitals for a few decades now. The popularity of this treatment is on the rise for different body parts like the face, underarms, arms, legs, abdomen, etc. Even though the equipment used is approved at an international level, at times, certain unwarranted effects do develop.
Let us understand this aspect of the laser hair removal treatment through this article.
What Is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure through which you can get rid of any unwanted hair from the face and body forever. It is a safe treatment that involves the usage of a concentrated laser beam to destroy the hair follicles in the skin. The laser identifies the cells containing the colored pigment (melanin) and targets them.
The laser’s light energy comes into contact with the skin area being treated and converts into heat energy. Now, this heat energy kills the stem cells present in the hair follicles. Since the cells responsible for sprouting hair from your skin are destroyed, no new hair will grow leaving your skin smooth as butter.
The side effects of laser hair removal are not major, but it is important to keep them in mind before deciding to undergo this treatment. Read on to know what these can be.
Also Read: How Does Laser Hair Removal Work
Top 10 Laser Hair Removal Side Effects
Be it facial laser hair removal or hair removal in other body parts, a few side effects may crop up in a few people. These are discussed in detail below –
1. Skin Irritation – After the laser hair removal session, skin irritation may appear at the site of the treatment. This resembles the rashes that you develop after other methods of hair removal like waxing and threading. This side effect is temporary with the skin returning to its normal state in a few hours at the most.
2. Pigmentation Changes – The skin may become darker (hyperpigmentation) or lighter (hypopigmentation) when compared to the original skin color. Why this happens is explained below –
- When you go out during the day, the light from the sun instigates melanin production in the skin and causes your skin to become darker. A similar reaction occurs when the laser light is focused on the treatment area. Melanin production increases in response to the light exposure making that area of the skin darker than the surroundings. This is called as Hyperpigmentation.
- Hypopigmentation occurs when the laser light not only targets the melanin in the hair cells but also the melanin in the other skin cells. Destruction of melanin results in loss of color from the skin leaving a patch of skin lighter than the rest.
Hyperpigmentation is easily reversible and in most cases, even the hypopigmentation can be reduced to a great extent.
3. Itching – A rather common laser hair removal side effect, itching occurs when the skin cells also get affected by the laser, apart from the hair stem cells. It is normal reaction of the body and subsides in a couple of hours.
4. Swelling And Redness – The laser is technically damaging cells in your skin (hair follicles) and it is completely normal to experience some swelling and redness post the session. To recuperate from the damage, the body resorts to such measures every single day and the same reaction is seen after laser hair removal. Swelling and redness are transient side effects and go away by themselves in a couple of hours, just like the itching.
5. Pain, Tingling, And Numbness – These may be experienced in the treated area of the body but the sensations diminish by themselves after a few hours.
Also Read: How To Find Best Laser Hair Removal Clinic
6. Blisters – In rare occasions, a blister or two may develop as a side effect of laser hair removal. When the skin is too sensitive, even the safe laser light can cause damage leading to a blister-like eruption to form. This can be easily avoided by doing a patch test before commencing the treatment to understand the best parameters that would suit the skin.
7. Scarring – This side effect is seen when the wrong settings are used on the laser equipment being used. Each skin type and body part requires the parameters to be adjusted accordingly. When this is not done, the laser light can be too intense for the skin to handle and lead to scar formation. Using the wrong type of laser machine can also lead to scarring.
8. Crusting – A brown scab or crust can form on the skin as a side effect in very rare cases. This resembles the crusting seen after getting a permanent tattoo done. When the skin gets damaged, the body forms a crust to protect it. Similar to scarring, unfit machine and parameters can cause crusting. Also, improper technique while performing the procedure can also lead to this side effect.
9. Slight Risk Of Infection – The area of the body that is subjected to laser hair removal experiences stress due to the damaged hair cells. This makes the area susceptible to infections. Maintaining proper hygiene before the session, during the session, and after it, is mandatory to avoid this.
10. Skin Burns On Dark Skin – People with dark skin possess more melanin pigment. As the laser used for hair removal primarily targets this melanin, mild burns can occur because of the heat energy from the treatment. Severe burns are extremely rare! By using a machine that suits the darker skin type, this side effect can be easily avoided.
Also Read: Laser Hair Removal Cost In India
Laser hair removal is a fast and convenient method to remove unwanted hair. Though it possesses a few side effects, in most cases, they do not even appear. Additionally, most of these (like itching and redness) are short-lived and fade away by themselves. The other side effects can be effortlessly avoided by getting the treatment done by a certified and experienced dermatologist at a reputed skin clinic.
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