Is Laser Hair Removal Safe?
The idea of a laser zapping hairs on your face, bikini area or anywhere on your body can be scary, if you’re not aware that advances in laser light technology have made this process of hair removal extremely safe, when enacted by a qualified, trained physician with a specialty in laser hair removal.
Lasers and light sources are the safest treatments for removing unwanted hair, both in the quality of the laser technology used and in the fact that you’re being treated by a trained physician. In contrast, getting waxed in a beauty salon by an esthetician who may not have has much specialized training, or who works in a facility that doesn’t have the utmost cleanliness and sterility of tools and materials, can result in ripped skin that can be painful and can get infected. Even a brow waxing can result in damage to the skin, scars, and infection.
Since laser hair removal uses concentrated beams of light directly through the skin, safely, to target melanin (the dark pigment) of hairs, to heat and destroy follicles so that they cannot grow hair, the so-called ‘laser focus’ of the treatment leaves surrounding skin areas unharmed.
Safety is a factor all throughout the laser hair removal process. Your treatment area is cleaned and sterilized. You’ll be fitted with a pair of protective goggles to protect your eyes from the laser beam. And your doctor may apply a topical anesthetic to reduce discomfort during your laser hair removal treatment. And a cooling device on the laser instrument will also add extra comfort during treatment.
After your laser hair removal treatment, it’s common for the treated areas to be a bit red or perhaps a bit swollen, especially in sensitive areas or if you’ve had a large area treated. You can apply ice packs to the treated area, and your doctor may also suggest cooling aloe gel or an over the counter pain reliever to help keep you comfortable.
After treatment is when you play a part in your own laser hair removal safety. Follow your doctor’s orders to keep your treated areas out of sun exposure, either in natural light or especially in a tanning bed. Those are big Don’ts when it comes to post laser hair removal treatments, since you could experience extra irritation or even skin discoloration.
Use sunscreen if you must be in the sun and your face, arms, legs or other treated areas will be exposed to the sun and its rays, which is a smart lifestyle choice with or without laser hair removal treatment.
Over the next month, your treated hair will fall out, which some people call ‘shedding.’ That’s not new hair growth. It’s treated hairs falling out because their follicles are dead, due to the success of your laser hair removal treatment.
If you have a dark complexion, you may experience blisters, but that’s quite rare and you should contact your doctor if you have this or any other side effect that concerns you. Your doctor can prescribe additional medication to help your skin heal from treatment, so that you’re happy with the results of your hair removal treatment.
Redness may occur for 12 – 24 hours after treatment, and if you experience any discoloration, that too warrants a call to your doctor, even though most pigment changes do resolve over time.
And let your doctor know if you are using any topical retinoid cream like Retin A that he or she did not provide, since that medication could potentially cause problems for your treatment and recovery, and if you have a history of cold sores or herpes simplex infections, your doctor needs to know about that too, since laser treatments can potentially cause a recurrence of your cold sore or herpes flare-ups.
Over all, the main ingredient in laser hair removal treatment safety is that it is performed by a qualified physician in a doctor’s office, and not at some salon mentioned in a Groupon offer. The expense is worth it when you consider that this is your skin, and your appearance in question, and you want this and all other cosmetic treatments performed by the best possible, qualified physician, for your ultimate safety and satisfaction with the results.