Laser Hair Removal on 15-16 Year Old: Any Risks?

I'm 15yo turning 16 in a bit and I want to have laser hair removal on my bikini, armpit and arm area. My parents don't agree with me having this done because some of their friends have told them is no good for people under 40yo! Is this true? And what kind of risks can a 15yo run when having this treatment done? Thank you in advance!

Doctor Answers 11

LASER hair removal for teenager

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Teenagers can have laser hair removal, provided their guardian (typically parent) consents to the procedure.  LASER hair removal can be beneficial for some teenagers and there are no further risks for a teenager than an adult.

Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 181 reviews

Laser hair removal is safe for all ages.

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Although you need parental consent because you are still a minor, this should not be withheld because if the incorrect notion that it is "unsafe or ineffective for those under 40." What kind of friends gave them this baloney? If they simply don't want you to have it, they should tell you that (and perhaps why) and then you can at least have a discussion about it.

But as far as safety, laser hair removal uses non-ionizing energy, so there is NO risk of skin cancer (tanning beds are actually riskier!), and the worst things that can happen are inexpert treatment causing blisters, burns, or scars. These can occur in any age group, and choosing an expert hair removal provider is critical to minimizing these risks. (Price should NOT be the guiding force here). Properly performed, laser hair removal is safe and effective. You should understand that multiple treatments are need in any given area since the hairs need to be in a proper phase of growth in order to be effectively destroyed.

The cost may actually be the main issue here. Are you able to pay for this yourself? If you are or have saved up the required financial commitment, present your information and reasoning to your parents and do so in the adult manner you wish to be treated in. Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Laser hair removal is done safely on teenagers with parental consent

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The effectiveness and safety is equally good in patients 18 or younger comared with 40+ age group.  If parental consent is given, then treatment may commence with the patient's consent as well.  Risks of hyperpigmentation and scarring, which are rare, do exist and sun protection pre and post laser hair removal is a must.  You must be mature and willing to be fully compliant with these instructions, regardless of age.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Laser Hair Removal in teenagers

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I agree with the other physicians.  We routinely treat teenagers, and they have the same concerns as all our other patients.  If your parents aren't happy with you having the treatment, three years may seem a long time away, but it will be here before you know it!

Yoash Enzer, MD

Yoash R. Enzer, MD, FACS
Providence Oculoplastic Surgeon

Laser Hair Removal for Teenagers

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We routinely do Laser hair removal treatments on teenagers once we have parental consent. The risks of laser hair removal are the same for a teenager as for an adult. These risks iclude temporary or permanent hypo-pigmentation or hyper-pigmentation, blister formation, scar formation, ulceration, hive-like response, bruising, infection, acne flare, and folliculitis. These can occur even when optimal laser treatment parameters are used. You also need to be aware of the importance of strict sun avoidance for a minimum of six weeks before and after each treatment.


Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Giving medical advice to persons under 18 years of age

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Your parents are the ones making medical decisions for you prior to you 18th birthday, so no doctor will undertake treating you for anything that your parents will not want you to be treated for.  We are restricted by law from doing that.

That being said, there is no age restriction on safety of laser procedures in general.  We do not perform laser procedures on pregnant or nursing women as we do not know the side effects.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

Laser Hair Removal and Teens

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Laser Hair Removal is fantastic for the removal of dark brown or black hairs on all skin types, as long as the procedure is doctor-supervised and using the right laser.  Teenagers make great candidates when they have parental consent and stay out of the sun during the treatment schedule.  One other very important consideration is to make sure that any young female candidates are hormonally stable.  Laser hair is greater than 90% effective but is less effective with patients who have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome,  All female patietns should check with yoru doctor that you have regular menses and are hormonally stable before you begin the laser treatments.  You want to get the best treatment and be care free!  Good luck!

Yael Halaas, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Laser Hair Removal

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The risk of laser hair removal in a 15-year old person is no different than the risk in  a 40-year old person.  There is risk of skin discoloration, which is in most cases temporary.  This risk is higher if one has a darker skin tone or is tanned.

Armen Vartany, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Laser hair removal for teens

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In our office, we routinely treat 15 year olds and up with laser hair removal.  There are a couple of cautions.  Laser hair removal is generally uncomfortable, and you need to be able to tolerate the procedure calmly.  It is also mandatory to protect from the sun, so do this during a time of year when you won't inadvertently get sun on the treated area 6 weeks before or after your procedure.  

Because you are a minor, one of your parents would have to sign consent.  So you will need to convince them of your choice!  The teen years are important in developing life time self esteem, and if hair is a problem for a teen, we feel it is safe, effective, and helpful to support a positve self image.

Hope that helps!

Madeline Krauss, M.D.

Madeline Krauss, MD
Boston Dermatologic Surgeon

Laser Hair Removal for Teenager

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There are many rumours regarding laser hair removal. You may have laser hair removal done at 16 however I always recommend that our laser patients have hit puberty, as this gives us a better understanding of your hair growth. Make sure you bring one of your parents to the consultation. There are many risks associated with laser hair removal so it is really important to choose the right medical clinic at which to have your treatments performed.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.