Laser Hair Removal: Weighing the Risks & Benefits

beachcoupleIn life, there are two sides to everything. Just as with any cosmetic procedure, laser hair removal involves both benefits and risks. For those considering treatment, it’s important to weigh both the good and the bad to determine if laser hair removal is right for you.

The Benefits
 Permanently reduces unwanted hair
 Safe, quick treatment
 Appropriate for most areas of the body, including the face, legs, back, chest, bikini area, underarms, and other areas
 Few side effects
 Minimal recovery
 No downtime

The Risks
 Some patients may not be good candidates for laser hair removal, for instance individuals with dark or tanned skin and/or light hair.
 Darker skinned individuals may be at an increased risk for pigmentation changes.
 Though rare and more often associated with an incorrectly performed procedure, blisters and burns are a potential complication.
 Must avoid sun exposure and wear sunscreen after treatment.
 Treatment may involve some discomfort, requiring a numbing cream or other anesthetic.

laser-hair-removal-beachIt should also be noted that the cost of laser hair removal is pretty affordable at a national average physician fee of $358 per session according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ (ASPS) 2011 statistics. However, as most patients require a series of treatments for more complete hair removal – anywhere from 5 to 15 sessions – the overall treatment costs can get up there. For most patients, the overwhelming benefits of permanent reduction in unwanted hair well outweigh any potential risks or disadvantages.

Contributed by Dr. David Goldberg of New Jersey.