Laser hair removal risks can be unpredictable. The laser beam targets and damages the dark pigment inside hair follicles beneath the skin, because melanin has the tendency of absorbing thermal energy induced by laser beam. Which means risks of side effects vary with skin type, because patients with darker skin tone are going to response less expeditiously than the ones with lighter skin.
Common side effects
Dangers of side effects change with not only skin type, but also hair color, treatment plan and adherence to pre-removal preparation and post-removal recovery. The typical side effects of laser hair removal involves: pain, blistering, swelling, redness, infection, itchiness, among others. Any signs and discomfort generally went away within a day.
Laser hair removal may change the color of the treated skin. These symptoms may be impermanent or persistent. Skin changing to a lighter color most likely troubles the patients who could not stay away from sunlight pre and post-treatment as well as the patients with darker skin such as African-Americans.
On rare occasion, patients who underwent laser hair removal reported blistering, crusting, scarring or abnormal changes in skin surface. Other uncommon side effects involve turning gray of treated hair or hair overgrowth around treated regions, especially on patients with darker skin.
Laser hair removal risks
As laser hair removal becomes popular, an increasing number of patients chose to remove their hair at home with a portable laser device. This can be good and bad.
On the upside, these less powerful at-home hair removing device is safe to use even for people with minimum training and knowledge. Any adult should be able to quickly learn how to use it after reading the manual. Then, the downside is that less power output means weaker thermal energy level, which means the home-kit laser device only cover a small area per session, requiring more treatment sessions over an extended period of time.
In reality, you might first find doing-it-yourself is fun and satisfying. But after a few sessions, you may quickly lose track of when and where has been done. It won't be an easy task for everyone – I mean it.
Many hirsutism patients and beauty enthusiasts would still prefer laser hair removal at clinic because each treatment session can cover a much larger area of skin comparing to what you can do with a handheld device. Moreover, the patients at a clinic are likely putting themselves in trusted hands, because many states require qualification and/or certification from physicians who specialize in hair removal. In other words, it gives a bigger bang for your buck.
Laser hair removal isn't suggested for eyelids, eyebrows or encompassing regions, because of the chance of serious eye injury.