Are there any Complications with Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal works by directing a concentrated beam of light at the hair follicle, damaging it and thereby reducing further hair growth. The procedure is relatively uncomplicated; the hair is prepared, an aesthetic cream is generally applied and the laser is directed at the selected area. It is essential to ensure that the laser hair removal clinic used is reputable and that the right laser is chosen for the individual. This is because different lasers are required for different skin types in order to minimise the risks involved.

Naturally, complications can arise with any laser procedure but it should be highlighted that they are rare with laser hair removal. Mild discomfort can be expected during the treatment, although the level of pain varies from person to person and it is generally agreed that it is much more comfortable than electrolysis. Some patients can experience no problems at all although common side effects immediately after laser hair removal are redness or swelling of the skin; typically these are temporary and resolve themselves with a few days.

Other complications can occur with laser hair removal and it is worth bearing this in mind when considering treatment. These include bruising, crusting, infection and even some temporary pigment change whereby patches of the treated skin can become lighter or darker. Patients with Black or Afro-Caribbean skin need to be particularly cautious of laser hair removal as the high level of melanin in their skin means that it is more likely to burn or scar as a result of treatment. In the past, this meant that laser hair removal was not available to those with very dark skin although new lasers mean that many clinics do now offer this possibility. Nonetheless, great care should be taken and it is vital to ensure that the laser technician is skilled in dealing with darker skin types.