Background on the Safety of Laser Hair Removal
Over the years, we’ve seen many patients with concern over the relative safety of laser hair removal. Some people hear the word ‘laser’ and wonder, “does it cause cancer?” or “can it cause damage to my organs?” The short answer is, no, it does not cause cancer, nor does it cause any damage to your organs.
We have performed over 1,000,000 laser hair removal procedures since 2002. Our patients represent over 52 nationalities from around the world, which means we have treated a vast spectrum of skin types. We’re proud to say we’ve never had a major complication in our office.
Potential Complications from Laser Hair Removal
The most common complication from laser hair removal is hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is the temporary darkening of the skin. This can occur in patients with lighter skin tones that have had sun exposure and their skin is tan.
Hyperpigmentation is less common in darker skin types. Hyperpigmentation is not a burn and it does not last. It usually resolves on its own over the course of several days. In rare instances it can last several months, but that is extremely rare.
We will not treat people whose immune systems are compromised due to use of various strong medications like those given post organ transplant or for cancer treatment. We take a medical history on each and every patient to look for any medications and/or past medical issues that may affect the laser hair removal process.
Expunging Myths of Laser Hair Removal Safety
It Doesn’t Damage Underarm Sweat Glands/Lymph Nodes
We have been asked if laser hair removal to the underarm area can damage the underarm sweat glands or lymph nodes. Your hair follicles are located very superficially under the skin, just a few millimeters under the skin. Lymph nodes and sweat glands are located much deeper and the lasers depth of penetration is too short to reach them.
No Studies Have Shown Laser Hair Removal Causes Cancer
Patients have also inquired if laser hair removal causes cancer. To date, there are no studies showing a cause and effect relationship between laser hair removal and skin cancer. There are Radiation Physics Societies that have websites indicating that laser hair removal is a perfectly safe procedure.
Laser Hair Removal Doesn’t Damage Reproductive Organs
Women have asked if having laser hair removal on the bikini area can damage reproductive organs. The answer again, is NO! While we prefer not to treat pregnant women; The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology published a paper indicating it is safe to have laser hair removal during pregnancy and that it will have no effect on the baby.
Experience & Training Matters
There is no shortage of facilities offering laser hair removal. When deciding where to go for your laser hair removal treatments, always know who will be performing your procedure, their experience and in the event you were to have an issue, who would be able to care for you.
You should be treated by a trained medical professional who has a Cosmetic Laser License from the Georgia Medical Board. These practitioners know what type of laser and settings to use on your particular skin type, so that it is both safe and effective.
At WIFH, all of our medical professionals are licensed laser practitioners and have been personally trained by Dr. Kulkin. Dr. Kulkin oversees each and every patient’s treatment and monitors his or her progress. He makes himself available to every patient in case there is ever a question or concern.
In short, when researching laser hair removal services:
- Make sure your laser operator is a licensed laser practitioner, medically trained, fully qualified and has extensive laser hair removal experience.
- In the event you experience an issue, know who will treat and care for you.
- Make sure you understand what laser device is being used on you and that it is safe for your skin type.
- Read reviews.