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Laser Hair Removal Side Effects

Despite laser hair removal’s popularity and effectiveness, there are certain risks associated with this hair removal method. Hence, you must think twice about getting this treatment in the first place. It is important that you know the laser hair removal side effects prior to submitting yourself to such treatment. This is to help you weigh down the risks and the advantages that you can get out of laser hair removal procedure so that you can be guided in deciding whether this is worth it or not.

Temporary Side Effects

When speaking of laser hair removal, you have more chances of developing temporary side effects than permanent ones. Since the side effects are temporary, you can expect them to go away a couple of hours or days after the hair removal procedure. Some of the temporary side effects of laser hair removal include:

  • Pain. It is to be expected that laser hair removal may give you discomfort during and after the procedure. However, an anesthetic cream can help ease the pain during the procedure. Pain experienced after the treatment can be alleviated by using pain relief medication.
  • Swelling. Laser hair removal can give you swelling around the area that was treated. Still this side effect can be relieved using prescriptions from the practitioner.
  • Redness. This is often a problem if the treated area is noticeable, such as the face. Though the redness may go away after a day or so, it can still be embarrassing to go out with your upper lip area red from laser treatment. However, there are topical treatments that can be prescribed by the physician prior to the treatment to avoid redness.
  • Blistering. This is one of the worst temporary side effects of this procedure. Blisters are not only painful and noticeable but they are also embarrassing.
  • Hyperpigmentation. This is the temporary darkening of the treated skin area. This may be caused by the laser light targeting the melanin on the skin rather than the hair. But since this is temporary, there is not much to worry about such skin discoloration.

Photo by mousiekm

Permanent Side Effects

Though there are usually no permanent side effects of laser hair removal, there is still a chance that you may get one or two of them after the procedure. People who cannot accept even thinking of the possibility of permanent side effects are advised not to undergo such hair removal procedure. Some of the possible permanent laser hair removal side effects include:

  • Skin discoloration. This is the permanent lightening of the skin on the treated area. This usually happens to people who are not good candidates for laser treatment such as those with dark skin.
  • Scarring. Overtreatment can cause scarring of the treated area. This is usually a side effect that occurs when the procedure is done by an untrained professional.
  • Burns. Though rare, burns do happen, especially under the supervision of unskilled professionals. Burns are painful and may be embarrassing as well.

What You Can Do

 The good news for you is that there are certain things that you can do to lessen your chances of getting side effects associated with laser hair removal. Check out these following tips prior to submitting to the treatment:

  • Know the practitioner. Take note that most side effects of laser hair removal can be avoided if done by a qualified and skilled professional. Hence, you must do yourself a favor of getting only the best practitioner in the field. Check qualifications, licenses, and even recommendations from other patients.
  • Avoid sun exposure several weeks before the treatment. The lighter your skin tone is, the lesser your chances of contracting side effects are. Hence, it is recommended that you avoid tanning procedures or sun exposure prior to the treatment. You can even ask your practitioner for a bleaching cream to make your skin lighter before laser hair removal.
  • Use anti-viral and anti-bacterial medications. After the treatment, use anti-viral or anti-bacterial medications to lessen the chances of developing blisters. This is especially true for areas that are usually exposed such as the upper lip.
  • Avoid taking certain medications prior to the procedure. Talk to your doctor about all the medications you are taking including external treatments. There are some medications that can affect your skin during laser hair removal. Also, ask your doctor for a list of medications to avoid for side effect prevention and make sure to follow it closely. 

            Now that you know more about possible laser hair removal side effects, do you think this hair removal procedure is still worth it? Share your thoughts in the comments.