Is Getting Laser Hair Removal on Underarms Safe?

I got my first treatment of laser hair removal about 1 month ago on my legs and noticed a huge difference. My mom noticed too and she is happy. However, I do have a lot of hair on my underarms that I would like to get lasered as well. My mom on the other hand, does not want me to get laser hair removal there. She isn't sure that it is safe. Also, is laser on the underarms more painful than the legs? I think another reason is that she doesn't like to see me in pain. I'm mature and can handle pain

Doctor Answers 7

Laser Hair Removal on Underarms Safe

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Laser hair removal in the underarm area is very safe if done by a highly skilled, experienced doctor. Each laser light pulse removes the unwanted hair from the underarm region. The laser targets the hairs which are just growing. Hair growth may have cycles, so multiple hair removal sessions may be needed to remove all underarm hair permanently. Laser hair removal for underarms is quick. Since the armpits are a comparatively smaller area, removal of underarm hair using laser is one of the fastest procedures. The procedures requires only several minutes of treatment.

Summit Emergency Medicine Physician

Laser hair removal for underarms Is it Safe?

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Laser hair removal is safe for the underarms, provided you find the right laser provider in the right setting with a laser system equipped with a smoke evacuator.

Everything You Need to Know for Safe Effective, Laser Hair Removal

1)Laser Hair Removal should only be performed in a medical office

A medical office means the facility is owned and operated by a physician who is on site. Lasers are medical devices and they require physician oversight as per the NC Medical Board.

2)No single laser works effectively on all skin types.

The Alexandrite laser has been evaluated as the most effective laser for light to medium skin types and the long pulsed nd yag has been evaluated in medical journals as safest and most effective for darker or tanned skin. If the correct laser is not used, the treatment won't work, and it could possibly mean permanent discoloration to the skin

3)NEVER Sign up for a laser "series" or package

People respond to lasers differently. Multiple treatments are required for complete clearance, but not everyone requires the same number of treatments. A laser center confident with their lasers, providers, and protocols will be confident that you will come back for laser treatments without asking you to pay up front

4)Laser hair removal results cannot be guaranteed

Even medical offices that perform thousands of laser treatments each month with outstanding outcomes cannot guarantee results, because physicians are prohibited from offering guaranteed results for medical procedures. If a guarantee is offered for a medical procedure, it should be brought to the attention of the medical board.

5)IPL is not a laser. And it doesn’t work for hair removal

There has never been a peer reviewed medical study that determined IPL to be more effective for hair removal than lasers. Research has shown that IPL can permanently damage the skin

6)Size matters

The larger the spot size, the deeper the laser can penetrate, allowing the laser energy to disable even the deepest root of unwanted hair. A large (18 mm) spot size also makes for a much faster and effective treatment.

7)The Cooling device makes all the difference in a comfortable treatment

A Dynamic Cooling device (DCD) is the only way to provide consistent cooling to the skin, . A DCD sprays cryogen immediately prior to the laser to cool and protect the skin for the most comfortable treatment

8)Always schedule a complimentary consultation - and don't pay up front

The first step in the consultation process is being assessed and given medical clearance by a Nurse Practitioner or PA to be sure you are a good candidate for laser hair removal, and to determine which laser frequency will provide best results for you. A complimentary test spot should be available if you wish You should never feel pressured to schedule a service, pay up front, or worst of all get financial "pre- approval" for packages that may not be right for you. Do not pre-pay during your consultation. Reputable laser centers don't offer specials available only the day of your consultation, not do they

9) Always check the NC medical board website to learn about the physician who owns and operates the facility

There should never be any hesitation about providing the name and specialty of the physician who owns and operates the practice .

10) Smoke evacuators ensure safety and a more pleasant treatment for patients and providers

Medical studies have demonstrated that laser hair removal releases potentially harmful toxins into the air. The plume, or smoke, created by laser hair removal could be dangerous to both patients and providers. The particle size of the smelly black smoke is so small that masks cannot prevent inhalation of the potentially toxic plume . Confirm that smoke evacuators are in use before receiving a treatment.

Laser hair removal can be a wonderful, life changing experience for men and women. It can be performed on virtually any area of the body or face It can permanently eliminate hair that causes embarrassment and even discomfort. Between laser sessions, the right laser will keep skin smooth for weeks at a time. Laser hair removal is a medical treatment. Do your research about who you are trusting with your health and well-being.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Laser Hair Removal Safe For Underarms

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As long as your laser hair removal is performed by a highly skilled, experienced technician, it should be 100% safe to get laser hair removal on your underarms. Also, it should not be more painful to receive the treatment under your arms versus your legs. Best of luck. 

Laser hair removal for the underarms

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Laser hair removal in the underarm area is very safe if done by an experienced technician.  I use the LightSheer DUET laser which has a large handpiece with a vacuum that pulls the hair closer to the light and is more comfortable than other lasers.  Find a physician's office that offers this laser treatment and you will be very happy with the results.

Martie Gidon, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologist

Laser hair removal pain and safety

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Laser hair removal performed at a medical clinic is incredibly safe and based on the training, expertise and equipment of the people performing laser hair removal, the discomfort can actually be quite minimal. Each area of the body in each person has a different amount of sensitivity. Do a test patch at a reputable medical clinic to see the amount of discomfort involved. At our clinic, we use the Light Sheer Duet laser hair removal system and with our highly trained staff, we find pain to be essentially a thing of the past as far as laser hair removal is concerned.

Benjamin Barankin, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon

Laser Hair reduction for underarms is very safe!

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Thanks for your question! 


Yes, laser hair removal is extremely safe for underarm hair growth! In fact, some of my happiest patients are those treated for hair reduction in their underarms. The reduction even takes away that shadow look many women notice even after they shave. All laser procedures at Pasadena Surgeons are done by physicians which increases the safety and expertise for each patient. 

It may feel more tender in the underarms because the skin is thinner there, but it is a shorter procedure because it's a smaller area! It usually takes 6 treatments about 2 months apart to get the kind of permanent reduction that will change your life! Good luck!

Shankar Lakshman, MD
Pasadena Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Safety of laser hair removal for the underarms

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Laser hair removal, when properly done, should be equally safe for any area of the body. Lasers create a beam of highly concentrated light that is absorbed by the pigment located in the hair follicles. The laser pulses for a fraction of a second, just long enough to destroy numerous follicles at a time and leaves the surrounding skin and deeper structures unaffected. The degree of discomfort varies with each person, depending on your pain threshold. A topical anesthetic may be requested based on individual tolerances. This should be applied 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to treatment. In our office, discomfort is also minimized by Candela’s Dynamic Cooling Device (DCD) technology where cryogen is sprayed onto the skin a fraction of a second before each laser pulse.

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