If you’ve got unwanted hair that you’re tired of plucking, waxing, or shaving, you may be considering laser hair removal as an alternative. It’s a great way to get long-term hair removal and smooth skin, but is it risky? Because it’s a medical procedure, laser hair removal is not without the risk of side effects. Fortunately, this risk can be minimized with some simple precautions. Here’s what you need to know about laser hair removal.
First of all, what is it and how does it work? During the laser hair removal procedure, your practitioner will apply a concentrated beam of light to your skin, using a handheld device. This beam damaged your hair follicles and causes new hair to grow more slowly. It can be used on just about any body part, except the area around your eyes, because eyes can be damaged by a laser.
The most common side effect of laser hair removal is just some mild skin irritation. Some people experience redness and swelling, too, but that can be easily treated using an ice pack or cold compress. You may experience mild pigmentation changes, with light skin getting darker and dark skin getting lighter. Fortunately, this usually goes away in a matter of days.
If you’re concerned about side effects with laser hair removal, there are some precautions you can take to minimize the risk. First, think about your own, unique skin. If it scars easily, this might not be the right procedure for you. It’s also wise to avoid tanning for at least six weeks before going in for laser hair removal. Some people who tan before their procedure end up with changed to their skin texture.
One thing that has not been linked to laser hair removal is skin cancer. There’s been no evidence that laser hair removal could cause skin cancer, even though this is a myth that’s been circulated. It could be that people are nervous that the lasers use ionizing radiation, which can pass through the body and cause gene mutation. However, the process of laser hair removal uses non-ionizing radiation, which is not harmful.
If you’re considering laser hair removal, make sure you visit a reputable dermatologist who is experienced in performing the procedure. Whenever you need hair removal or just expert advice and help caring for your skin, contact Arlington Dermatology. For over 40 years, our Board-Certified dermatologists have been serving patients, making the health and welfare of our patients our top priority. We offer innovative methods of treatment, using state of the art medical equipment, in our conveniently located, patient-friendly facility in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. Contact us or call 847-392-5440.