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Does laser hair removal affect skin?

Question posted by Raj from Toronto, Ontario

I am interested in permanent hair removal.  I have dark skin and worry the laser will affect my skin. Is that an issue and which technology is the best?

Doctor's Response

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One thought on “Does laser hair removal affect skin?

  • Dear Raj,

    Thank you for your clinical
    post.  Laser hair removal involves the
    use of specific and focused lasers who emit a photon of light energy that
    travels across the skin barrier, down the hair shaft, into the hair follicle.  The selective energy that is released
    generally kills the hair follicle so that a subsequent hair shaft cannot be
    produced.  Laser hair removal has been
    around now for almost 15 years and is extremely safe and efficacious.  In general, for light skin patients with dark
    hair or dark skin patients with dark hair after 5 treatments, once every growth
    cycle, up to 75% of the hair shafts will never grow again.  The rest of the hair that has been treated
    becomes synchronized, that is they all grow at once, miniaturized with a less
    coarse shaft and can all be treated at once intermittently throughout the year.

    If, however, excessive energy is used
    or parameters are aberrant there can be excess energy delivered to the skin in
    treating the hair follicle and hair shaft and this results in thermal injury to
    the surrounding skin, which can result in hypopigmentation, hyperpigmentation
    or even scarring.  At a certified laser
    hair removal centre with a physician/medical director overseeing quality
    control this complication is rare.  In
    general, most laser hair removal patients achieve excellent permanent reduction
    without any effect on local skin.

    Seek out a centre with a lot of years
    of experience of hair removal using a laser and a medical director who is
    knowledgeable and reputable.

    To schedule a consultation or find
    out more, please visit:

    R. Stephen Mulholland, M.D.

    Certified Plastic Surgeon

    Yorkville, Toronto

Additional Information

Laser Hair Removal (Light Based Hair Removal and Laser Hair Reduction)

Read about the procedure

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