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Side Effects of Laser Hair Removal

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Side effects of laser hair removal

Redness and irritation

Redness and irritation are common side effects of laser hair removal. The treatment uses strong light pulses to target the melanin in hair follicles, which can cause inflammation in the skin.

This inflammation may result in redness and sensitivity for a few hours or days after the procedure.

redness on the hand

While these side effects usually resolve on their own, severe redness or irritation should be addressed by a medical professional.

To help prevent skin problems, it’s important to get your skin ready before treatment. This means staying away from some skin products and medicines that can make your skin more sensitive or cause irritation.

It’s important to pick a skilled professional who knows how to set the laser right for your skin color and type, to lessen the chance of any problems.


Crusting is a side effect of laser hair removal therapy that can occur when the treated area forms small scabs or crusts. These crusts are usually itchy and sensitive to the touch.

While crusting is not a severe side effect, it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing for some individuals. It is more likely to happen in areas with thin and delicate skin or where the hair has been removed from the root, such as the upper lip or bikini line.

Crusting happens because the body’s immune system responds to damage caused during treatment. Some mild crusting is normal, but if it becomes severe or extensive, it could indicate an underlying problem.

Skincare professionals recommend regularly keeping your skin clean and moisturized to minimize crusting after laser hair removal therapy.

Healing is a delicate process, and experts urge individuals to refrain from tampering with scabs. A scab is the body’s natural bandage, protecting a wound during the critical healing phase. Removing a scab prematurely can reopen the wound, making it susceptible to bacteria, which increases the risk of infection. This can not only delay the healing time but also lead to inflammation and potentially more noticeable scarring.

It’s essential to keep the healing area clean and to apply any recommended ointments or treatments as advised by a healthcare professional. Moreover, keeping the skin hydrated can prevent scabs from becoming too dry and itchy, which is a common cause of scab-picking. If you find that a scab itches, resists scratching; instead, try gently tapping around the area or using an anti-itch cream, if appropriate.

If you’re concerned about a scab or the way a wound is healing, it’s always best to consult with a doctor or dermatologist. They can provide tailored advice and treatment options to ensure the wound heals properly while minimizing the chances of negative outcomes such as infections or unsightly scars. Remember, patience is key to wound care, and allowing the body to heal at its pace is integral for the best results.

Changes in skin color

Changes in skin color, specifically hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation, are common side effects of laser hair removal.

Hyperpigmentation refers to the darkening of the skin due to excess melanin production in certain areas. This can result in darker patches that may fade over time but can be permanent in rare cases.

Hypopigmentation, on the other hand, is a loss of pigment in an area of the skin. This causes lighter patches that are more noticeable on darker skin tones. Like hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation typically resolves over time but may be permanent in rare instances.

It’s important to note that these changes are more likely to occur in individuals with darker skin tones due to higher melanin levels. However, they can still happen for those with lighter complexions as well.

While changes in skin color may appear concerning, they are generally not dangerous and often resolve without treatment over time.

Eye injury

As laser hair removal therapy involves the use of a laser beam to target hair follicles, there is a risk of eye injury during the procedure. 

The laser beam can cause severe damage to the eyes if protective goggles are not worn by both the patient and the technician performing the procedure.

The eyes are especially vulnerable during facial treatments when laser hair removal is being carried out on the forehead, cheeks, and upper lip. Goggles must be worn at all times to protect against any stray beams that might come into contact with unprotected eyes.

Risk of skin infection

The risk of skin infection is a possible side effect of laser hair removal therapy. This can occur when bacteria enter the skin through ingrown hairs or small cuts or wounds.

Symptoms may include redness, swelling, pain, and itching around the hair follicle. If you notice signs of infection, it is important to consult with your physician for prompt treatment.

To minimize this risk, follow proper aftercare instructions provided by your technician or doctor such as avoiding sun exposure and using harsh products on the treated area for a few days after treatment and keeping the area clean and dry.

Rare side effects

There are a few rare side effects that are worth mentioning. 

These side effects may occur in less than 1% of cases and may vary from person to person depending on individual factors such as skin type, hair thickness, and other underlying medical conditions.

One rare side effect of laser hair removal is the development of blisters or burns on the treated area.

This may happen when the laser used for hair removal heats up the skin excessively, causing damage to the surrounding tissue.

While this is typically uncommon, it can happen if proper precautions are not taken during treatment.

Another rare but possible side effect of laser hair removal is hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation.

Hypopigmentation occurs when the treated area becomes lighter in color than its surrounding skin due to reduced melanin production. Hyperpigmentation happens when there’s an excess production of melanin, resulting in dark spots or patches on your skin.

Some people may experience bruising following laser hair removal, which usually subsides within a few days after treatment. However, if you experience excessive bruising or bleeding at the treated site with no apparent cause, it’s essential to seek medical attention promptly.

While these side effects are relatively rare and often mild in nature, it’s still crucial to discuss all possible risks with your provider before beginning any laser hair removal therapy to decide whether this procedure is right for you. 

Remember that everybody reacts differently and that what might be normal for someone else might not be right for you. Always communicate openly with your provider about any concerns you might have during your treatment sessions!

Burns and blisters

skin burn

Burns and blisters can be potential side effects of laser hair removal therapy. They may occur if the laser used is too powerful or if the treated area was not properly prepared before the procedure.

While these side effects are usually temporary and fade within a few days, they can also lead to permanent scarring or skin discoloration in some cases.

To prevent burns and blisters, it is important to choose a licensed and trained technician for the procedure.

Additionally, avoid exposing your skin to sunlight or tanning beds prior to the appointment as this increases sensitivity to heat from lasers.


Scars are a potential side effect of laser hair removal therapy, though they are relatively uncommon. When they do occur, scars can range from mild to severe, and some may be permanent.

The risk of scars is higher for those with darker skin tones or those who have previously experienced scarring from other types of damage to the skin. The lasers used in hair removal therapy can cause injury to the skin in certain situations.

Scar on the back of a woman

This is particularly true if the technician uses too high a setting on the laser or if the skin is not adequately protected during treatment. When an injury does occur, it can cause scarring as the body attempts to repair itself following the trauma.

In some cases, scarring may be preventable with proper care before and after treatment. This includes staying out of direct sunlight for several weeks before and after treatment, avoiding harsh chemicals on the treated area, and keeping the area clean and dry while allowing it time to heal.

If scarring does occur despite these precautions, there are treatments available that can improve its appearance over time. Talk to your doctor about what options may be right for you if you experience scarring following laser hair removal therapy.

Factors that Affect laser hair removal Side-Effect Occurrence

Several factors that affect the occurrence of side effects during laser hair removal therapy include skin type, hair color, medical history, and the skill of the person performing the treatment.

It is important to discuss your skin type and any concerns with a professional before undergoing treatment.

Darker-skinned individuals are more likely to experience hyperpigmentation, while those with fair or sensitive skin may experience redness and irritation.

People with darker hair colors tend to experience more discomfort during treatment. Choosing a qualified technician who has received certification can help minimize potential side effects

Precautions to Mitigate Potential Risks:

Before You go into the treatment, Know Your Body: 

It is important to be transparent with your doctor or laser hair removal technician about your medical history, lifestyle habits like smoking and sun exposure, and any medications you are taking.

Some medical conditions may prevent you from getting this treatment, so it is crucial to share all relevant information

Avoid Tanning Before Treatment:

Before undergoing a laser hair removal procedure, avoid sun exposure for at least two weeks, as this can cause hyperpigmentation (darkening) of the skin and increase the risk of burns and blisters during treatment. Also, avoid tanning beds or spray tans and ensure that during post-treatment recovery you remain indoors until your skin has fully healed.

Adjust The Settings To Suit Your Skin Type:

To achieve better results without complications, a laser technician should adjust settings that suit individual patients’ needs based on various factors like skin tone and texture, as well as hair type. This not only decreases any chances of having burnt patches but also helps in delivering quality services with minimal side effects.

Wax or pluck hairs from the skin.

Avoid plucking or waxing hair in areas where you plan to have laser hair removal treatments done at least six weeks prior to your appointment since they damage the roots required for proper targeting by lasers, hence rendering such areas undesired outcomes.

Elisha Paul

This website belongs to Elisha Paul, a well-known expert in the field of hair removal, with a specialization in waxing and laser hair removal. With over five years of practice, Elisha Paul has gained immense knowledge and proficiency in offering fruitful and quick hair removal solutions.