Lasers for hair removal have been used effectively on people ever since it was approved for use for this purpose in the year 1997 by the FDA. Ever since, many improvements have been made to the laser light sources to make it more effective for use as well as helpful in eliminating the occurrence of side effects and complications with laser hair removal.
But, despite this there is still the possibility of the occurrence of side effects and complications.
Another factor that matters is the ability of the professional providing the treatment. Let us now see the adverse effects and possible complications that can occur from the use of lasers for hair removal. I recommend going to a doctor & not to your local hair dresser.
Although the occurrence of side effects and complications have greatly reduced due to the improvement of laser light sources for hair removal as well as due to the increased abilities of professionals providing the treatment, some of the following side effects and complications can still occur, some temporary and some permanent.
Temporary Adverse Effects of Laser Hair Removal
When undertaking laser therapy for hair removal or reduction, some temporary adverse effects might occur. These side effects are however temporary and will disappear after some time after the therapy but time taken might differ from person to person.
* Blisters following treatment are one of the most common of side effects that are seen after the procedure. However, the use of cooling devices or other cooling agents have greatly reduced the occurrence of these side effects. Also, these blisters are quite painful.
* Pain is another common side effect and can occur when the procedure is being done and afterwards too. However, the use of topical anesthetics is helpful in reducing the pain from the procedure.
* Swelling and redness is also commonly seen temporary side effect. These side effects are also minimal when topical creams are applied following the procedure. Also, skin changes like Hyperpigmentation (skin darkening) is also seen in some persons treated with lasers for hair removal.
Permanent Adverse Effects of Laser Hair Removal
Hypopigmentation (skin lightening) is a problem that is seen in dark skinned persons and this side effect is often permanent. Scar formation is another side effect that is seen in some patients and is often seen when the treatment is performed by an inexperienced person. When treatment is done by an inexperienced professional, the possibility of burn is also higher.
How to Minimize these Laser Side Effects
In order to minimize the occurrence of side effects, it is first and foremost essential to get the therapy done with a qualified and experienced professional trained in laser. Discuss with the treating professional all the expected side effects and also discuss what steps are being followed to minimize the occurrence of side effects. Also, get to understand what instructions you need to follow prior to the procedure and also during and after the procedure so that these side effects will be minimal or absent.
The treating professional will on their side need to use the right equipment to help minimize the occurrence of side effects. Based on the skin tone and the type of hair present, the appropriate laser source with the right wavelength will be selected to carry out the procedure. The effectiveness of the device is weighed against the possibility of side effects to determine the correct device and the duration of treatment for every session.
Many cooling mechanisms are used along with these laser devices to prevent damage to the skin and also help in minimizing the occurrence of side effects. Check with the treating professional what measures are employed in their practice. Some examples of cooling mechanism are laser devices fitted with cooling mechanisms, use of cryogen sprays, use of ice pack or cold compress, placing a skin soothing gel, etc.
Also, an experienced professional will use the optimum amount of these light sources to get the best desired effects. Too little or too much use can also lead to problems of unsatisfactory treatment or side effects from over treatment respectively. Some professionals also use grids for determine which areas need to be treated so that it does not cause any damage from over treatment.
Care Taken by the Person after Laser Hair Removal
Many instructions will be provided that needs to be followed right from before the procedure and some will be necessary to be followed while the procedure is being undertaken and some after it.
The person undergoing the procedure should inform the treating professional about correct medical history, medications if any, presence of any illness or allergies as some of these might have an influence on the outcome and occurrence of side effects. The procedure should be avoided during pregnancy and if you are pregnant, it is a must that you should let the treating person know about it.
The person undergoing the procedure should realize that multiple treatment sessions will be necessary to get the desired results and should turn up for the procedure sessions as and when instructed to get the best results and to minimize the occurrence of side effects. Prior to performing the procedure, the person will be advised to avoid getting into the sun and to avoid tanning treatments. Also, no other hair removal methods should be employed within a day or two before the treatment is scheduled.
During the procedure, the patient and all the other personnel in the treatment room will be asked to wear protective glasses and these should not be removed at any time to avoid causing damage to the eyes. Pain during the procedure will be minimized by the use of creams or certain numbing sprays.
Ice packs or cold compresses might be placed in order to minimize the occurrence of side effects like pain, redness and swelling. After the procedure, the patient might be instructed to continue the use of ice pack if appropriate and also might be advised to apply some soothing creams at the site to help in the healing of the skin.
If proper care is taken by the treating professional and the person undergoing treatment, then it is definitely possible to minimize the occurrence of side effects. Many people undergoing the procedure will see no side effects or some temporary side effects that usually disappear on their own. Also, the fear of side effects should not drive you away from undertaking the procedure as the advancement of laser light sources used for treatment and experience of the treating professionals have helped negate the occurrence of side effects to a large extent.
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