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The Side Effects of Laser Hair Removal on the Face

author image Kathy Mayse
Kathy Mayse began her writing career as a reporter for "The Jackson-County Times Journal" in 2001. She was promoted to assistant editor shortly after. Since 2005, she has been busy as a successful freelancer specializing in Web content. Mayse is a licensed cosmetologist with more than 17 years of salon experience; most of her writing projects reflect this experience.
The Side Effects of Laser Hair Removal on the Face
Laser hair removal may cause pigment changes in the delicate skin of the face.

Once of the most common and worrisome side effects associated with laser hair removal involves hair regrowth in the treatment area. Although touted as a permanent hair-removal technique, laser therapy does not guarantee permanent hair removal. Most people experience regrowth within six months, but the hair that grows back is often finer and lighter. Successive treatments enhance the permanence of laser hair removal.

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Redness and Minor Irritati

Minor pain and redness at the treatment site is very common and entirely benign for most people. Patients who experience localized redness and swelling should not expect to be any worse for the wear after the specified healing time has passed.


According to a website called Laser Hair Removal, 10 percent of people treated with long-pulsed ruby and alexandrite lasers can expect crusting at the treatment site. While bothersome, crusting generally does not lead to any long-term issues. Adequate aftercare ensures that crusts and scabs do not become infected or cause scars in most patients.

Slight Risk of Infection

There is always the possibility of infection with any form of cosmetic hair removal. Although the risk is slight with laser therapy, infection can set into any wounds sustained during the treatment. Proper follow-up care reduces the risk.

Eye Injury

Eye injury can occur if safety glasses are not worn during the procedure. This is especially true when treating areas of the face. Always wear eye protection during treatment.

Pigmentation Changes

Pigmentation changes can occur in the skin after laser therapy. The skin may become temporarily lighter or darker in the treatment area. Usually, the discoloration gradually fades back to normal. However, permanent discoloration can occur in some patients. This is especially true of dark-skinned patients.


Although extremely rare, burns and blisters can occur at the treatment site as a direct result of unskilled or overlapping laser applications. Once the skin is cooled properly before application of the laser, burns should not occur. Check to make sure your operator is experienced.


Scarring usually does not occur, but when it does, it is permanent. Scarring can occur due to operator error during the treatment itself or because of the other side effects mentioned here. Scarring should not occur as long as the operator is skilled and uses the proper setting and laser for your skin type and the treatment area. Proper follow-up care minimizes the chances of scarring.

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