Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Can Laser Hair Removal Cause Scarring

It’s a question that many people, especially those considering laser hair removal for the first time, ask. The answer is yes. In fact, there are several types of scarring that can occur as a result of this treatment.

The most common form of scarring from laser hair removal is called hypertrophic scarring, which occurs when the skin heals too quickly and causes thickened or raised scars. This can happen anywhere on your body where you’ve had a procedure done—whether it’s just your face or your whole body—but it’s especially common on parts of your body that are more prone to scarring, like your thighs and bikini area.

Hypertrophic scars can be red in color and feel rough to the touch like sandpaper due to their increased thickness compared with normal skin tissue. They’re also more susceptible to sun damage than regular skin so they may have an unusual appearance if left untreated over time (such as becoming darker than surrounding skin). In this post, we will answer all those question can laser hair removal cause cancer and side effects of laser hair removal on bikini area.

Can Laser Hair Removal Cause Scarring

Millions of men and women all over the world have undergone laser hair removal treatments and found it to be a safe medical procedure, if accompanied with some tolerable discomfort. However, there are some patients who experience side effects after their sessions.

So can laser hair removal cause permanent scarring? Generally, scarring is considered to be a rarer side effect of laser hair removal. It is possible but it doesn’t happen often; in some cases, another side effect like burns results in scarring. Skin damage due to laser hair removal usually occurs at the hands of unqualified practitioners. 


Laser hair removal is one of the most popular procedures for reducing unwanted hair. Common treatment locations include the legs, armpits, upper lip, chin, and bikini line, although you can treat unwanted hair in almost any area except around the eyelids.

The laser machine used for this treatment works by targeting the pigment in the hair. Once the hair absorbs the laser’s light, it heats up and the follicle is destroyed without damaging surrounding tissues. Most modern machines also have a built-in cooling system so problems are avoided. 

Can Laser Hair Removal Cause Scarring Before and After

Patients who have had laser hair removal done for years don’t experience any long-term problems or health risks. In the hands of qualified practitioners, side effects are usually mild and temporary. More severe side effects, like scarring, are typically not supposed to happen but may occur due to one of two things: 


Scarring or wounds may occur if your practitioner is not qualified to perform laser hair removal. According to one study, non-physicians performing the procedure experienced adverse events like burns or discoloration more frequently because they didn’t receive enough training or supervision from qualified medical staff.

Ideally, your practitioner should be a medical physician who is board-certified for cosmetic surgery. However, training and certification can also be given to non-physicians as well. Training and practice are crucial for handling a laser machine because there is a steep learning curve. Contrary to a false belief, laser devices are not so simple to use that even advanced users can still run into problems or commit mistakes. 


Scarring could happen if the treatment area was not correctly cared for before or after the procedure. A patch test can help physicians determine if you’re fit for the procedure or not, while a treatment plan can guide them on how they will schedule and perform laser hair removal on your skin. 

Aside from pre-treatment instructions, aftercare is also crucial for lessening risks. Your skin will need to be treated as though it were sunburnt to avoid damages caused by the laser. The treatment area should be protected from light, kept cool and moisturized, and checked for signs of infection, as postoperative infections can lead to scarring as well. 

If evidence of scarring is found, patients should return to their physician or practitioner for early treatment. 


Even if you have found a highly-qualified physician who is well-trained in cosmetic surgery, scarring and other side effects can still emerge depending on your skin type, hair color, treatment plan, and adherence to pre- and post-treatment care. Here are some risks and side effects that may happen as a result of laser hair removal:

Skin irritation The powerful light emitted by a laser machine can cause skin irritation, swelling, or redness as your body reacts to the damages done to the follicles of targeted hairs. However, this discomfort is usually temporary and disappears within several hours. Topical anesthetic cream, cool ice packs, or cold water can minimize reactions. 
Depigmentation or hyperpigmentationDepigmentation refers to the lightening of the affected skin while hyperpigmentation refers to the darkening of the treatment areas. Both pigment-related side effects could either be temporary or permanent; these conditions often affect patients who didn’t avoid sun exposure before or after treatment. Laser hair removal risks are always greater when there is little contrast between hair and skin color because the laser machine might not be able to properly target the pigment in unwanted hairs. 
Eye injury As lasers emit a powerful light, eye injuries can occur if the laser is targeted at the face. Direct exposure of the laser beam into the eye or a reflection of the beam can damage structures in the eyes significantly, causing permanent blindness. Fortunately, eye injuries are a rare side effect as long as patients wear protective, opaque eye equipment. 
InfectionAll cosmetic hair removal procedures run the risk of infection as the follicles in the skin are damaged. The treatment area should be treated like a wound in these cases. Skin crusting is a similar but rare issue, which can also lead to scarring or scabs. 
Burns or blistersBurns and blisters are uncommon side effects but could still happen if the hair removal was performed incorrectly. High-heat lasers can cause painful first-degree and second-degree burns, although most laser machines have cooling functions that prevent burning the skin. 


If you’re interested in getting this cosmetic procedure done, you will have to prepare ahead for it by: 

  • Choosing a board-certified physician: Ideally, your practitioner is a board-certified physician who specializes in dermatology or cosmetic surgery and has plenty of experience with laser hair removal on your skin type. 
  • Schedule a consultation: A consultation with your physician can help them create an appropriate treatment plan for you. This is also a good time to review your medical history and discuss risks, expectations, or costs. You can raise your own questions as well. 
  • Practice proper skin-care: Prior to your treatment, you have to stay out of tanning beds and minimize sun exposure. You will also need to avoid other hair removal methods such as waxing and plucking. Shaving is allowed and encouraged, however. You will also need to avoid blood thinner, like alcohol and anti-inflammatory medications. 


People who are interested in having laser hair removal treatment done should always find a fully-qualified practitioner to perform the procedure. 

The medical staff at Ethos Spa are certified laser experts and technicians who have plenty of experience in dealing with various skin and types. We are committed to providing safe and effective laser hair removal with the latest technologies and techniques. Call us to book your consultation today. 

Laser hair removal may not remove hair completely, can cause skin damage and permanent scarring
(Photo: Unsplash/Katarzyna Grabowska)

MELBOURNE: Unwanted facial and body hair can affect the way we feel, our social interactions, what we wear and what we do.

Options to camouflage or remove unwanted hair include plucking, shaving, bleaching, using creams and epilation (using a device that pulls out multiple hairs at once).

Longer-term options include electrolysis, which uses an electrical current to destroy individual hair follicles, and laser therapy.

Laser Treatment

Lasers emit a wavelength of light with a specific single colour. When targeted to the skin, the energy from the light is transferred to the skin and hair pigment melanin. This heats up and damages the surrounding tissue.

(Photo: Unsplash/Mel Poole) ​​​​​​​

But to remove hair permanently and to minimise damage to the surrounding tissue, the laser needs to be targeted to specific cells. These are the hair follicle stem cells, which sit in part of the hair known as the hair bulge.

As the skin surface also contains melanin, which we want to avoid damaging, people are carefully shaved before treatment.

Permanent reduction in hair density means some hairs will regrow after a single course of therapy and patients will need ongoing laser treatment.

Permanent hair removal means none of the hairs in the treated area will regrow after a single course of therapy and no ongoing laser therapy is needed.

Whether hair is removed permanently or just reduced in density is influenced by: The colour and thickness of the hairs being treated, the colour of the patient’s skin, the type and quality of the laser used, and the competence and training of the person operating the laser.

However, if you have grey hairs, which have no melanin pigmentation, currently available lasers don’t work.

What It Depends On

The number of treatments you’ll need depends on your Fitzpatrick skin type. This classifies your skin by a number of characteristics, including its sun sensitivity and its likelihood to tan.

(Photo: Unsplash)
  • For instance, those with dark hair and pale skin can usually achieve permanent hair removal with four to six treatments every four to six weeks. 
  • Others with darker skin and dark hair may need six to ten treatments every four to six weeks. 
  • Re-treatments must be long enough apart to allow new hair growth to reach the level of the bulge.

Side Effects and Complications to Be Aware Of

  • You will be advised to wear goggles during the treatment to prevent eye injury.
  • You will also experience some pain during treatment, especially the first few. This is mainly due to not removing all hair in the area to be treated before the procedure. 
  • Hairs missed while shaving absorbs laser energy and heat the skin surface. There is less pain with repeat treatments at regular intervals.
  • Your skin will feel hot for 15 to 30 minutes after laser treatment. There may be redness and swelling for up to 24 hours.

More serious side effects include blisters, too much or too little skin pigmentation, or permanent scarring.

These generally occur in people with a recent suntan and the laser settings have not been adjusted. Alternatively, these side-effects can occur when patients are taking medications that affect their skin’s response to sunlight.

Does the Type of Laser Matter? 

The type of laser not only influences how well it works, it influences your chance of side-effects.

Intense pulsed light (IPL) devices are not laser devices but flash lamps that emits multiple wavebands of light simultaneously. They work in a similar way to lasers, albeit less effectively and they are much less likely to permanently remove hair.

To minimise the risk of damage to melanin-producing cells on the skin surface, the choice of laser and how it’s used should be matched to your skin type.

(Photo: Unsplash/Sarah Comeau)

To control the spread of heat and unwanted tissue damage, short laser pulses are used. The energy of the laser is also adjusted: it needs to be high enough to damage the bulge cells but not so high to cause discomfort or burns.

Be Cautious when Using Home Laser Device

While home laser devices and IPL home devices are available, they don’t tend to work as well and you need to use them repeatedly to maintain hair reduction.

Most set parameters for people with fair skin and dark hair. For safety, energy settings are capped. 

And in inexperienced hands, complications may still arise. This includes burns, pain, blistering and changes to skin pigmentation.

By contrast, medical-grade lasers are usually required to be registered with regulators. There are also regulations about the facility where the laser is used, compulsory laser safety training requirements and state-based qualifications and licensing for laser operators in many countries.

So, a safe and regulated laser in the hands of a skilled professional is recommended.

Not all excess hair is cause for concern. But severe, excess growth of dark and coarse hair over areas of the body where it ordinarily wouldn’t grow or excess hair growth for someone’s age or sex can be clues to an underlying illness. Your GP can investigate these.

Laser Hair Removal Side Effects Cancer

Cancer of the Skin and Laser Treatment
You may be worried that being exposed to laser light during treatment will trigger a skin cancer outbreak. Overexposure to specific UV wavelengths has been linked to the development of skin cancer. Sunlight and some forms of artificial lighting, like tanning beds, expose us to ultraviolet radiation. The human eye cannot detect this high-energy wavelength.

The DNA in our cells is vulnerable to the UV light that penetrates the atmosphere. Damage to the wrong section of DNA can turn normal skin cells malignant. This usually happens after years of being exposed to UV rays from the sun or other sources. Wrinkles and other telltale signs of aging are also the result of this type of damage.

Despite the fact that laser hair removal uses light energy, no ultraviolet light is involved in the process. Hair follicle-targeting wavelengths are longer and weaker in intensity. Having laser hair removal won’t raise your risk of skin cancer because it doesn’t pose any danger to your cells’ DNA.

What Other Cancers Might Be Linked to Laser Treatment?
Hair-removal lasers cannot cause skin cancer because they do not emit ultraviolet light. You may be concerned, however, that the treatment will increase your risk of developing a different cancer.

Laser hair removal is an incredibly safe method of hair reduction when carried out by a qualified medical professional in a reputable facility. Laser treatment has not been shown to increase the risk of cancer or any other disease. We have been using lasers to remove unwanted hair for many years, and our patients have never reported any adverse reactions.

Side Effects of Laser Hair Removal on Bikini Area

A laser beam’s light can be converted to heat, so it can be used for hair removal, says Dr. Nivedita Dadu, dermatologist, founder and chairman of Dr. Nivedita Dadu’s Dermatology Clinic. Melanin, a dark pigment in hair, attracts light. At this point, the dark pigment is doing its job by soaking up the sun’s rays and turning them into heat. Heat also damages hair follicles, which inhibits hair growth.

Damage to a hair follicle’s bulb, which is where blood travels to the hair shaft carrying oxygenated blood, can result in its destruction. The hair-regeneration stem cells also need to be eliminated. A temperature of around 70 degrees is required for this. The more pigment the hair can hold, the more light it can absorb, and the darker the hair will appear.

  1. Skin may experience mild irritation, blistering or crusting for a short period of time
  2. Slight flushing of the skin
  3. Temporary changes in pigmentation, more so in people of darker skin tones.
  4. Mild localized swelling at the site of treatment
  5. Many patients have compared the sensation of laser hair removal to a rubber band snapping against the skin.
  6. Sixth, because they can enter the bloodstream, they can cause serious side effects like irregular heartbeat, slowed breathing, and other problems.
  7. Seven, both electrolysis and laser hair removal have potential side effects, including scarring, keloid scars, and skin discoloration in the treated area, as well as burns, scarring, and acne-like breakouts.

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