By Shannon Campbell
The days of shaving your legs with dollar-store razors are over - instead, many women around the world are finding better alternatives for hair removal that last longer and don’t affect your skin as badly. These typically include waxing, plucking, epilating, and even bleaching.
But laser hair removal is one method that is really gaining traction amongst modern women. The treatment is by far the longest-lasting in terms of regrowth, and in some cases, it can reduce your hair growth considerably in the long-term. Not to mention, you also have the option of either clinical laser hair removal sessions or at-home treatments with certified equipment.
And though laser hair removal is a safe and reliable hair removal process that is becoming increasingly common, just like the majority of body treatments it isn’t without its downsides. So let’s take a look at the possible side effects of laser hair removal.
Common Potential Side Effects
There are a few common side effects of laser hair removal that can occur depending on your hair color, skin type, and pre and post-treatment care.
- Redness and irritation: After laser hair removal you may experience redness, swelling, irritation, or discomfort. These side effects are minor, and not dissimilar to side effects you may also experience with waxing or plucking. Redness and irritation should subside within a few hours. Ice packs can be applied to reduce swelling and discomfort.
- Pigmentation changes: Some people notice changes in skin color after treatment. This is more common for dark-haired people. It is also more likely to occur in people who don’t avoid sun exposure before and after treatment, which is a recommended precaution. Fortunately, this side effect is also temporary and not a cause for concern.
- Crusting: Crusting of the skin can sometimes occur, which is inconvenient and sometimes unsightly, but is only a minor issue. Be sure to use moisturizer after treatment if this occurs, as soothing the skin should prevent scabbing or scarring.
Rare Side Effects
There are also a few very rare side effects that are more serious than those mentioned above. Again, they are highly unusual and can be treated.
- Burns and blisters: This can occur when laser hair removal equipment is not used correctly.
- Scarring: It is possible for scarring to occur, particularly if your practitioner is not qualified to operate laser hair removal equipment. It can also happen if correct after-care precautions aren’t taken. You should always moisturize treated areas after a session, and keep them out of direct sun exposure for a day or two.
- Eye injury: Eye injuries have occurred when the face is being treated. This is one of the main reasons that at-home treatment is not recommended for the face.
- Skin infections: Infected skin can possibly occur after most hair removal treatment, and is not exclusive to laser hair removal. Damaged hair follicles can lead to infection, which is why you need to keep an eye on the treated skin. Make sure to use antibiotic cream if you suspect an infection.
Again, these particular side effects are rare, but important to be aware of. If you are showing any symptoms of these issues, be sure to contact your doctor.
The important thing to remember is that not everyone experiences these side effects. It’s unlikely you’ll experience all of them, and very possible that you won’t experience any.
You shouldn’t let these possibilities scare you from trying this treatment, which has streamlined hair removal for many women. As long as you follow the advice of experts and practitioners, and take the necessary pre and post-treatment precautions, you should see the results you want.