Safety of Laser Hair Removal


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Laser hair removal treatments are relatively safe when they are carried out by trained and experienced practitioners. Lasers are dangerous and can cause quite serious injuries, so safety aspects and issues should be taken into consideration when deciding upon laser hair removal treatments. Laser safety is the responsibility of the practitioner, and you should be sure that your chosen practitioner has a good knowledge of laser safety before undergoing any treatments.

Eye Safety

The eyes are areas where you have to be particularly careful where lasers are concerned. Eye protection is absolutely essential and must be worn throughout laser hair removal treatments. The eye protection used must be specific for the laser wavelength being used, if not you are still at risk. The lasers used are designed to penetrate the skin deeply to get to the hair follicles and have strong absorption qualities, so there is a high risk of damage to the retina if the eye is exposed to lasers. Laser hair removal treatment is not normally recommended or carried out below the top of the eyebrow. This and wearing eye protection minimise the risk of eye injuries.    

Cooling Devices

Infections can be picked up from the cooling devices used after laser hair removal treatment. This can be avoided by disinfecting the parts of the device which come into contact with the skin after use. Even though the risk of you picking up an infection in this way is very small, it can still happen and good hygiene practices are important to prevent this. There is also a small risk that you could suffer from cryogenic burns from particular dynamic cooling systems (Candela). Hyperpigmentation is also a concern here. Darker skin tones are more at risk from these complications than those with lighter skin. These can be avoided by cautiously monitoring the use of cooling devices to try and prevent over use on the skin. 

Smells

When hair follicles are treated with lasers, the treatment produces an odour. This odour usually has a sulphur-like smell to it. When produced in large amounts, this sulphur-like odour can irritate your respiratory tract (nose, throat etc). To prevent this from happening and the odour lingering in the air of the treatment room, good ventilation and a smoke evacuator are advised.  

Practitioner Safety Knowledge

It is vital that your practitioner knows and is experienced in laser safety. They should have been properly educated on the hazards of lasers, and should have a good knowledge of all laser procedures they offer and  the safety issues involved. It is also important that your practitioner informs you of the hazards and safety risks associated with your chosen procedure before treatment. This could be in the form of a discussion at your initial consultation, in charts and notices displayed in the practice, or in a booklet/leaflet for your own reference.  

Laser Protection Adviser

A Laser Protection Adviser should be appointed by the laser hair removal clinic. The role of the advisor would be to advice on laser safety matters, ensure safe use of lasers, offer help in achieving compliance with applicable laser safety regulations and satisfy the applicable regulatory authorities.


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