Hair removal can be quite an annoyance for women who want to maintain smooth, hairless skin. Part of looking sexy and feminine is being free of coarse body hair and having silky-smooth skin. No matter how many times a women shaves, the hair will always grow back. However, there are in fact two methods of permanent hair removal: Electrolysis and laser hair removal. While both accomplish the same goal, most women who are good candidates for laser hair removal will choose that option over electrolysis, because electrolysis takes about sixty times longer than laser hair removal does. However, many women worry about laser hair removal risks. While most women who have an experienced doctor perform the procedure will respond quite well to treatment, you should still be well informed about all of the risks associated with laser hair removal. In this article, we will discuss the most common laser hair removal risks, and how you can avoid them.
Avoid Laser Hair Removal Risks by Making Sure you are a Good Candidate
Not everyone is a good candidate for laser hair removal. The ideal candidate is someone who has young, healthy skin with hair that is significantly darker than the skin underneath. Because laser hair removal works by using a heated laser to attack the melanin (pigment) underneath the skin, it is much easier if the hair is darker than the skin. Also, you should have healthy skin, and ideally, be a non-smoker. If your skin is very dark, you will most likely not respond well to laser hair removal (even if the hair underneath is also very dark) and should consider other options for hair removal, such as electrolysis. If your hair color is only slightly darker than the skin underneath, you should meet with a highly skilled and experienced doctor to get their professional opinion, and proceed with extra caution.
Hypopigmentation and/Hyperpigmentation (Changes in Skin Color)
Hypopigmentation/Hyperpigmentation, or skin darkening or lightening, is by far the greatest risk of laser hair removal. Hyperpigmentation is when melanin production is stimulated by the laser, causing the skin to darken, just like a sun tan. And like a sun tan, hyperpigmentation will usually fade with time. Hypopigmentation is when the skin is lighter than it was before, because the laser actually destroyed melanin production underneath the skin. Hypopigmentation, unlike hyperpigmentation, is generally not reversible. This is the biggest laser hair removal risk you will have to worry about, as the damage will likely be permanent. Through a series of visits with a dermatologist as well as trying other treatments, you may some degree of success at treating the hypopigmentation, however, once you have it, it will likely be permanent.
A slightly less common laser hair removal risk is that the laser will be set too high, and it can result is fairly nasty burn. These burns can come in varying degrees but if they are serious enough, they could result in permanent scarring. This is a fairly uncommon laser hair removal risk, however, there are reported cases of serious burns occurring. The risk of a burn from laser hair removal is more common on people with dark skin. This is due to the fact that with really dark skin, the skin may absorb the light of the laser, rather than the hair follicle. If this occurs, it will result in a burn.
How to Avoid Laser Hair Removal Risks
The two best ways to avoid these laser hair removal risks are to:
- Make sure you are a good candidate (have hair that is a good deal is darker than skin tone)
- Do a LOT of research and find a very highly skilled doctor to perform the procedure
Making sure you are a good candidate
Again, most laser hair removal risks are associated with people who were not ideal candidates for it in the first place. The ideal candidate would be someone with extremely fair skin and extremely dark hair, however, as long as the hair is a good amount darker than the skin tone, you are probably in the clear. People who have really dark skin, even if their hair is also really dark, will probably not respond well to laser hair removal and are at a much greater chance for laser hair removal risks such as burns, changes in skin tone (hypopigmentation/hyperpigmentation), skin irritation, or just not having the treatment work at removing the hair.
Researching and choosing a skilled doctor
There are no general licensing standards for laser hair removal as of yet, so it really comes down to the individual experience and expertise of the doctor. Because there are several laser hair removal risks that you have to worry about, it is extremely important to thoroughly research many doctors before deciding which one to go with. Laser hair removal risks are decreased greatly when choosing a doctor who is highly experienced and renowned for his successful results.