Can A Person Get Hurt from a Laser Treatment?

Are laser treatments for hair removal proven safe?

Doctor Answers 3

4 laser treatment risks you should know

Risks of laser treatmentst will depend on which laser is used and the purpose.

  • 1) Skin burns

Lasers work by imparting energy. Certain lasers, such as the CO2 or erbium laser, are designed to completely remove the outer layer of skin to varying depths. When used by trained physicians, these lasers can be very effective at reducing wrinkles and improving skin pigment. They can be equally effective, when used inappropriately, at permanently scarring the skin.

Other lasers are designed to target certain colors of cell, such as pigment or blood. If the energy in the laser is high enough, they too can produce burns and permanent scarring.

It is very important when undergoing laser treatments that appropriate safeguards are in place to protect the patient. People with darker skin, such as African Americans, are particulary susceptible to burning from certain types of lasers. These patients should be extra cautious about any laser treatments as they can cause permanent scarring.

  • 2) Skin color changes

Some laser treatments can produce a permanent lightening or even darkening of the skin. Darkening of the skin can often be helped with other treatments while lightening of the skin can be a permanent and often untreatable condition.

  • 3) Eye damage

When undergoing facial laser treatments, be sure to wear goggles and close the eyes. Lasers do have the potential to cause blindness.

  • 4) Pain

Again, depending on the type of laser used, pain can be anything from feeling like a rubber band popping, to burning that is best controlled with either local or general anesthesia.

Newer lasers in use today are very safe and often have built in safeguards to protect patients. It must be remembered that these are destructive devices that, when used incorrectly, can cause permanent scarring. When used correctly, they can produce excellent results, often with minimal side effects and down time.

As always when undergoing a cosmetic surgery procedure, be sure it is done by or under the direct supervision of an experienced and trained physician.

Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Safety depends on machine, training, and probability

The most important aspect of safety is the user- see a laser dermatologist or a Specialist. The second aspect is the machine - stick to well known brands like CO2 CORE, Synderon Candella, Gentlase Max 755 (Candella), BBL Scition, Fraxel. These machines give reliable outputs and predictable responses. 

The third aspect is probability and possibility- laser, like any other procedure carries risks- your physician can tell you about risks such as infection, skin colour changes etc... depending on your skin type, general health and your occupation. 

My advise to you is to seek a Specialist for advice and go from there...

Dr Davin Lim
Aesthetic and Laser Dermatologist
Brisbane, Australia

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Laser Treatment and Safety

Medical and Cosmetic Laser treatments are very safe in general, with some procedures being more "risky"- such as full face laser resurfacing, and others being extremely "safe"-- such as laser hair removal.

The MOST important factor in your safety is to be properly evaluated and treated by an experienced laser and aesthetic surgeon who is Board Certified (see the American Board of Medical Specialties) in an accepeted aesthetic field, such as Dermatology or Plastic Surgery.  We ensure that the proper treatment for the appropriate condition is used, with only the best technology.  Remember that nothing is worth the price of a bad result--- Good luck!

Jeffrey C. Poole, MD
Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 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.