For centuries, women have been very conscious about their looks and they have spent a lot of time trying to find ways to which they can look absolutely stunning. They have found methods to make their skin look better and their hair looks shiny and silky. And the one problem that has existed since time immemorial is that of unwanted body hair. In the past, women used to apply several concoctions on their skin to remove hair, then came shaving, but the truth was that none of these methods were permanent and over time, hair would regrow. There was no method for permanent hair removal, until the recent past and now this particular method has become all the rage!
Laser hair removal, in its most primitive form, has its roots in 1970, because, for almost two decades, doctors and scientists were experimenting on the procedure, trying to perfect it. It was only in the 1990s, that the procedure received all the requisite approvals and was offered to the public. However, from the time it became an approved procedure, women, as well as men, have been opting for it, to get rid of unwanted hair. But as is the case with almost all medical procedures, there are bound to be some side effects and the main side effects of laser hair removal include:
7 Side Effects of Laser Hair Removal
1. Pain – Once the procedure has been completed, there is a chance that there will be pain and numbness. This is actually one of the most common side effects of laser hair removal and even when done by the most experienced professionals, this is something you can expect. In most cases, the pain subsides after a while, but in case it doesn’t, here is what you need to do:
- You can apply some ice to the area where the pain is the most and that should give you some amount of relief.
- Your doctor or the person who did your procedure would most probably prescribe a topical gel for such situations, which you can apply for relief.
- Your regular over the counter aloe vera gel could also help with the pain and numbness, but you should consult with your laser hair removal technician.
2. Redness – This again is a very common side effect and normally does not last for more than a few days. Whether you are going for only your face or full body permanent hair removal, a numbing cream will be used, but despite that, there are several people who have redness on the treated parts of the body.
- Ice should be helpful for this problem too, and you can keep applying it intermittently.
- Do not apply any of your regular cosmetics for a few days.
- Stick to the soothing gel or lotion that your doctor has prescribed or a clear aloe gel.
3. Itching – Yet another common side effect of laser hair removal and while this too lasts temporarily, it can lead to other problems. If you scratch the places where it is itching, it could lead to serious problems, because your skin would be really tender post-treatment.
- If there is itching, ice will prove to be your best friend; apply it as and when required.
- Do not scratch, no matter how uncomfortable it might get. You could use a soft towel that has been dipped in cold water as a compress.
- Steer clear of any and all cosmetics till the itching subsides completely.
- Keep applying the aloe gel or topical medication prescribed to you.
4. Infection – This is a rare side effect of permanent hair removal, but if it does happen, then there is little cause for worry. Normally infection is caused because of unhygienic conditions, which could be at the clinic where you are getting the procedure done, or even because your skin was not cleaned properly. After the procedure has been completed, your face or treated area should be cleaned properly or else the chances of infection are high.
- In case there is an infection, you will have to go back to your doctor, who would most probably prescribe a course of antibiotics.
- You will be asked to refrain from going out in the sun for a few days.
- You will also be asked not to apply any cosmetics or creams, apart from what has been prescribed.
5. Problems with pigmentation – If the procedure has been done by someone who has plenty of experience, then this should not be a problem, however, this is not an uncommon side effect. A few days after the procedure you might notice that your skin is either lighter or darker than it usually is. In most cases, the skin should come back to its natural color within a week or so.
- If you are noticing pigmentation, do get it checked with your doctor, because only they will be able to confirm the same.
- Try avoiding sunlight and cosmetics for a few days.
6. Blisters – For people with extremely sensitive skin, blisters are a possible side effect and if you are choosing laser as your method of permanent removal of hair, this could be a possible scenario. However, in most cases, blistering happens when the professional is not experienced enough or if the procedures have overlapped each other.
- In order to avoid such problems, get your treatment done from a reputed clinic.
- Ensure that your procedure is being done under hygienic conditions.
- Keep a gap between the procedures.
7. Burns – When the hair removal is not done properly, there is the chance of your skin getting burnt – this happens when the skin absorbs the energy, as opposed to the hair follicles. Studies have shown that this happens more with people with dark skin, as the dark skin absorbs laser faster.
- If your burns are mild, you should be able to treat them at home with ice and medications that will be prescribed for you.
- If the burns are severe, you will need to see a specialist.
- Avoid chemicals and cosmetics on the burns.
Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat in the form of hot showers and saunas.