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What Are The Side Effects Of Laser Treatments?

Laser treatments, from laser hair removal to skin resurfacing and pigmentation reduction, are generally very safe procedures. When offered by a trained technician, laser treatments offer long-term solutions to skin concerns such as pigmentation issues, as well as hair removal and beyond. As with any treatment, however, there are side effects that may occur and understanding what they are can help you spot any signs of an issue early.

Minor Side Effects

Side effects from laser treatments, whether laser hair removal or skin treatments, are typically minor in nature. They are typically uncommon when your treatment is done by a qualified practitioner and if they do occur, are typically easy to resolve.

  • Redness – minor redness is a usually harmless side effect of laser treatments, that may go away quickly, or last for several months in severe cases
  • Mild Itching – The treated skin may be swollen and itchy, typically in cases where a previous skin condition has been aggravated by the treatment.
  • Pigmentation Changes – In some cases, you may experience changes to the pigmentation of the treated area, including the darkening or lightening of the area. This is more usually seen in those with darker skin tones. Depending on the laser type used, this may either be temporary, or a longer-term side effect.
  • Crusting – Crusting is a minor, but often inconvenient and disheartening side effect of laser treatment, which may lead to scarring or scabbing if not cared for effectively. Treating the skin as you would a sunburn, with moisturisers and keeping it out of the sun, can prevent any crusting from getting worse or causing scars.
  • Eye Injury – While a qualified and well-trained professional will take every care to keep their client safe, protection is crucial to protecting the eyes from any potential injury. The lasers used are powerful, and any errors, particularly when working on the face, could cause damage.
  • Minor Infection – Laser treatments effectively damage and destroy the hair follicles, which poses a risk of infection if not cared for properly following the procedure. You should treat the area as a wound, including keeping it clean and applying moisturisers to prevent dryness.

Rare Side Effects

While side effects are uncommon and often resolve either by themselves or with the help of simple treatments, there are some rare side effects that are considered ‘major’ in comparison. From burns and blisters, to infections and effects on the eyelids, here are some rare side effects:

  • Burns and Blisters – if laser hair removal or laser treatments aren’t done correctly, you may be at risk of burns and blistering. They may occasionally occur when being treated by a well-trained, qualified practitioner depending on your skin type and other underlying conditions, however this is rare. Laser treatments use a high-heat laser to break up either pigment, or hair follicles so to prevent burns and the effects of the heat on the skin, practitioners may use a cooling device before the treatment.
  • Scarring – Scarring is a very rare side effect of laser treatment, however errors or incorrect use of the laser device can lead to scars. Incorrect aftercare can also lead to scarring, so it’s important to ensure that you follow all aftercare instructions provided by your practitioner.
  • Major Infection – Minor infections aren’t common, and major ones are even more rare, though not unheard of. The heat from the laser can flare up underlying infections such as the herpes virus (which causes coldsores). Major infection can also occur when the skin is improperly cared for following the treatment, or where burns have occurred and are not treated.
  • Ectropion – Ectropion is the turning of the eyelid and this can be triggered by the user of lasers close to the lower eyelid. This is a rare side effect however if you do  experience this following treatment, speak to your practitioner regarding the next steps for treatment.
  • Change In Skin Texture – If you have recently used a tanning bed or spent a lot of time tanning in the sun, you may be at increased risk of changes to skin texture following laser treatment.

Our technicians are highly trained professionals with decades of experience between them. We take every precaution to prevent any of the above side effects and provide support in cases where underlying conditions may cause problems following treatment. For more information, feel free to get in touch with a member of our team, today.