August 4, 2006, Newsletter Issue #48: Laser Hair Removal: Disadvantages

Tip of the Week

Long-term data on the safety and effectiveness of laser hair removal have not been accurately established. Neither have response and regrowth rates (which can't be predicted due to numerous variables).

Laser hair removal is usually not as effective on gray, red, or blonde hair. It must be used cautiously (if at all) on darker skin tones or on consumers who tan themselves. Improper laser hair removal treatment can cause burns, lesions, skin discoloration lasting several months, or patchy/patterned regrowth.

Recent data suggests that laser irradiation affects other skin structures—so long term effects constitute an unknown risk. Laser hair removal requires eye protection and can be expensive. Some people find treatment painful. Regulation varies among states, so controls to ensure competent practitioners are inadequate. Even some ideal candidates do not respond to treatment.

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