RisksBy Mayo Clinic Staff
Laser hair removal doesn't guarantee permanent hair removal. Some hair could be resistant to the laser treatment or grow again after treatment — although the new hair growth might be finer and lighter in color.
The most common side effects of laser hair removal include:
- Skin irritation. Temporary discomfort, redness and swelling are possible after laser hair removal. Any signs and symptoms typically disappear within several hours.
- Pigment changes. Laser hair removal might darken or lighten the affected skin, usually temporarily. Skin lightening primarily affects those who have darker skin, especially if an incorrect laser is used at an incorrect setting.
Rarely, laser hair removal can cause blistering, crusting, scarring or other changes in skin texture. Other uncommon problems that can occur include graying of treated hair, or paradoxically, hair might begin to grow excessively in or around treated areas.
Laser hair removal isn't recommended for the eyelid or surrounding area, due to the possibility of severe eye injury.
Nov. 30, 2016
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Lasers and flashlamps in dermatology. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed March 10, 2015.
- Shenenberger DW. Removal of unwanted hair. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 10, 2015.
- Gan SD, et al. Laser hair removal: A review. Dermatologic Surgery. 2013;39:823.
- Haedersdal M, et al. Laser and intense pulsed light hair removal technologies: From professional to home use. British Journal of Dermatology. 2011;165:31.
- Laser hair removal. American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/cosmetic-treatments/laser-hair-removal. Accessed March 10, 2015.
- Laser hair removal information. American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. https://www.asds.net/LaserHairRemovalInformation.aspx. Accessed March 14, 2015.
- Hession MT, et al. A review of hand-held, home-use cosmetic laser and light devices. Dermatologic Surgery. 2015;41:307.
- Golden, AK. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 7, 2015.