One of the most common questions asked in a laser hair removal consultation is “is laser harmful & does it cause cancer?”
Firstly lets breakdown what laser hair removal is.
Laser Hair removal is an intense beam of light which passes safely through the upper layers of the skin & targets the colour centre in the hair follicle (the colour being the pigment or melanin in the hair). This process, called selective photothermolysis, causes the follicle to heat up, cauterizing the blood vessel which feeds the follicle, this then disables or destroys it preventing further hair growth & resulting in successful hair removal or reduction.
The laser only goes as far as the depth of the follicle, due to the varying depth of hair follicles, it is important that the light is able to penetrate to the hair bulb of the deepest follicles. The depth of hair follicles on the upper lip is approximately 1mm, whereas it averages 5mm on the underarm or bikini areas.
No research has shown that the light energy used to treat hairs can cause cancer or skin cancer.
As a laser hair removal practitioner, I love laser hair removal & have had the treatment myself, I can tell you that according to the USA Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the laser energy used for laser hair removal treatment does not produce any ionizing radiation. Rather it produces only non-ionizing radiation.
The light energy which comes from this laser treatment remains superficially. And it also remains at the skin level all the times. So yet there is no possibility to be a victim of cancer by using laser hair removal as this laser does not cause any DNA damages as well as DNA mutations.
When attending the clinic for your skin assessment & test patch, your practitioner will highlight any risks or side effects involved with the treatments.
These are mainly guidelines & aftercare advice such as no swimming or exercise for 24 hours after your treatment, keeping the areas cooled & moisturised, avoid direct UV exposure to areas treated immediately after your treatment.
In conclusion as long as you stick to the advice given to you by your practitioner, Laser Hair Removal is a very safe, effective & can be a permanent way of removing unwanted hair.