Are You Concerned?
For some women, laser hair removal treatments are worth the big price tag. For others, concerns about the safety of the fuzz-free procedure may cause them to hesitate.
In terms of cancer risk, x-rays and gamma rays are the most dangerous and are known as high-frequency ionizing radiation. For example, nuclear power plants create this type of radiation for nuclear energy, and medical imaging test like CT Scans use x-rays to produce pictures of areas inside the body.
Ionizing Radiation VS Non-Ionizing Radiation
When ionizing radiation passes through the body, it can cause direct damage to a cell’s DNA and potentially lead to cancer later on. The FDA states the laser energy in hair removal procedures use non-ionizing radiation.
The light energy from these lasers actually remains superficially, it remains at the level of the skin. Dr. Whitney Bowe, a dermatologist in New York City, stated: “These lasers don’t cause DNA damage and they don’t cause DNA mutations.”
No Risk to Reproduction
The pulse of light energy used in laser hair removal treatments are only designed to heat and destroy hair follicles. Although some women continue to be concerned about treating areas near their reproductive organs, experts say there is no additional risk.
The light used does not penetrate beyond the depths of the hair follicle and internal organs are in no way affected, nor is fertility. Dr. Zakashansky, a gynecologic oncologist stated: “As of now, no research has shown the light energy from hair removal lasers can cause cancer.” But there are some risks involved, like redness, scarring and discolouration, in the treated area.
Treatment After Laser Hair Removal
Icing the area immediately following treatment is key…cold milk compresses are amazingly soothing. Popping an Aleve or Ibuprofen after treatment can decrease swelling and redness, but avoid Tylenol. If the redness lasts longer than a few hours, be sure to tell your laser technician so they can be more conservative with the settings at your next session.