Laser Hair Removal Damaging to Thyroid?

I read a question that three doctors answered regarding IPL not being harmful to the thyroid, but I've had about 20 laser hair removal sessions to my entire chest/breast and stomach area. I'm a female and my technician (physician supervised) administered laser hair removal to my ENTIRE chest, except my areola/nipple area and my entire lower abdomen each time. Is it possible that the laser hair removal could have damaged any of my glands? (Sometimes the tech would administer laser hair removal close to my armpits, too). I've recently found out that I have a low-functioning thyroid, and I can't help but think the lasers could have something to do with it as thyroid issues don't run in my family. However, since I was 13 I had hair on my chest. When I turned 25 I decided enough's enough and finally started to treat it. Now, I'm 31 and don't get the hair removal sessions anymore, but I want to if the hair starts to come back. Also, I've gotten many photofacials over the years and I had 3 Smoothbeam/Blue U sessions, which I stopped because the Smoothbeam was so painful. I haven't stopped the photofacials, however, and intend to get a few before summer. In general, what effects do lasers, photofacials, etc. have on our glands and hormones? I hope I haven't damaged my body's balance... Thanks so much!

Doctor Answers 5

IPL treatments do not penetrate deeply

IPL treatments are light treatments that do not penetrate very deeply. It is highly unlikley that they could have any effect on the thyroid or hormones.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Hypothyroidism is very common in women

4.6% of the population has hypothyroidism (6-8 times more likely in women). I don't think that the hair removal treatments caused this. The penetration of the laser is very superficial and only penetrates partially thru the upper skin. It is highly likely to just be one of those things that a certain percentage of the population gets. Fortunately, it is very easy to treat and has no longterm effects when treated.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Laser Hair Removal does not affect Thyroid function

Laser hair removal does not affect thyroid function. Hypothyroidism is more common than one thinks. You are also in the right age group to have hypothyroidism. It is purely coincidental that you have hypotyroidism and you had laser hair removal.

Hratch Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Buffalo Phlebologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

These devices do not penetrate the dermis deeply

I don’t believe that any of the devices you mentioned can penetrate the dermis deeply enough to reach the depth of the thyroid gland. I am not aware of any internal organ damage or hormone imbalance from these devices.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Hair removal will not damage your thyroid

The laser hair removal  will not damage you thyroid. Hair removal targets hair and does not penetrate through the skin. Hypothyroidism is very common and there is no increase in hypothyroidism because of the hair removal.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

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.