Laser Hair Removal - Aftercare Advice
A few side effects can appear after laser hair removal. Most side effects are minor and temporary. Serious complications related to laser hair removal are rare. Anyone experiencing lasting side effects should seek medical advice.
Redness and irritation
Laser hair removal damages the follicles of the targeted hairs. The body reacts to this, and many people experience redness and irritation in the affected areas. The skin may tingle or feel tender, and may even appear to swell slightly.
The symptoms are usually short-lived. The affected area may look similar to skin that has just been waxed or plucked.
Irritation should ease after the initial reaction, usually within a few hours of the treatment. Swelling and redness may respond well to ice packs or a cool bath.
Some people may experience skin crusting in the affected area. This is typically a minor issue but can be inconvenient.
Crusting can sometimes lead to scabbing or scarring. By taking care of the treated area after laser removal, such as by using a moisturizer, a person may prevent any lasting issues from this treatment.
Changes in skin color
Some people may notice minor color changes to the treated area of skin. It may get slightly darker or lighter, following laser hair removal.
People with lighter skin may be more likely to experience darker pigmentation changes. People with darker skin tones may be more prone to lighter pigmentation changes. These changes tend to fade away over time, and the skin returns to normal.
The hair removal procedure involves the use of powerful lasers. This means there is a risk of potentially serious eye injury, especially if the procedure is carried out on, or near, the face.
Both the person receiving the treatment and the practitioner should wear protective eye equipment to help prevent injury while the procedure is carried out.
Risk of skin infection
As with other cosmetic hair removal methods, damaging hair follicles with a laser can create an infection risk.
The affected area should be treated as a wound while it heals. Please seek medical advice for any sign(s) of infection.
Rare side effects / risks:
Burns and blisters
There is a low risk of burns and blisters as laser hair removal uses high-heat lasers.
Scars are typically not a side effect of laser hair removal, however it can sometimes occur. Scars may also form if you do not care for the treated area(s) correctly afterwards. The affected skin should be treated as if it had been sunburned to avoid further damage. This means keeping it moisturized, protected from light, and checked regularly for signs of infection.
What to expect after laser hair removal
The recovery time after the procedure is minimal and most patients can return to life as normal directly after. Wearing sunscreen after the procedure is important as this will help prevent further irritation.
You can expect to see a reduction in the number of hairs in the treated area immediately after the procedure. Two to eight weeks after laser hair removal, you may begin to notice an increase in hair growth in the treated area. The reason for this is that not all hair follicles respond equally to the laser. Most patients see a 10 to 25 percent reduction in hair after the first treatment. It typically takes between three and eight sessions for permanent hair loss. The evaluation with your specialist before the procedure will give you a better idea of how many treatment sessions you may need. Also, you will likely need a touch-up session yearly to maintain effect.
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