As with any laser treatment, complications can occur with laser hair removal. Both the physician and the patient must be aware that they may occur and be able to identify them and treat them appropriately. With laser hair removal, redness and swelling of the hair follicle, known medically as erythema and perifollicular edema, are “normal” events seen with most laser hair removal procedures. On occasion, pain and discomfort will occur with laser hair removal – most of this can be easily treated with over-the-counter pain medicines. Excessive pain during the procedure, especially during successive laser hair removal procedures, should be brought to the laser technician’s attention immediately, so laser settings may be adjusted. Other adverse events, although rare, are seen and should be reported immediately to the physician in charge. These include blisters and burns, which can occur with every one of the devices on the market, and especially if there is a recent history of sun exposure or if one goes into the sun immediately after the procedure. Patients should be advised to avoid direct sun exposure for at least one week following all laser hair removal procedures. Blisters and burns, although rare, do occur, and on occasion, will lead to either too much or too little pigment remaining in the skin, conditions known as hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation. And even rarer, true scarring results, with raised red scars known as hypertrophic scars and keloids.
All patients should be warned of these risks prior to laser hair removal procedures and all facilities should be well versed in how to handle these complications. Dermasurgeons are well versed in handling any of these complications, making these highly trained physicians and their facilities ideal locations for laser hair removal procedures.