Is Cosmetic Laser Treatment Safe?

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Laser beauty treatments are becoming more popular by the day. Once the thought of being “zapped” with electro-magnetic radiation for smooth skin was only for the brave. Now clinics across the country are offering a wide variety of laser treatments, promising enduring and impeccable results. But how much do we know about cosmetic lasers? And are they really worth it?

Case Study: Laser Hair Removal

Among the most popular laser beauty treatments is laser hair removal. According to British Institute of Lasers, laser hair removal works by emitting powerful light radiation to target individual hairs. The light is absorbed by pigment in the skin, which causes damage to the hair follicle, preventing growth. Laser hair removal is considered semi-permanent as a series of regular sessions can let you stay hair-free for several months at a time. At the moment, laser hair removal machines are the most effective on fair skin tones that are matched with darker hair. Having said this, results are always individual so your consultant should be able to advise on your results.

One of the most common apprehensions about any laser treatment is that it will hurt. Thankfully, this seems to be a wide misconception due to intimidating nature of the technology! Most people report feeling no discomfort at all, or at the most a feeling likened to a rubber band snapping against the skin. Before the treatment commences, your consultant should talk you through the treatment, and apply a cooling gel to soothe the skin.

Is It Safe?

Overall Laser hair removal is considered safe. However, it’s important to restrict your visits to qualified and trained practitioners only. They should be working in clean and sterile environments. If you have any concerns about the laser treatment provider, it’s best to postpone treatment. If you’re looking for more information about the safety procedures around laser hair removal, visit

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

If you’re interested in laser hair removal, then chances are that you’ve come across ‘IPL’. This acronym stands for intense pulsed light treatment. It’s often confused with laser treatment, although IPL does not actually involve a laser. Instead it uses broad emission light therapy to target wider areas of the skin than a laser hair removal machine. As a result, this form of treatment can be used for both hair removal and photo rejuvenation of the skin. If done correctly, it has been shown to alleviate symptoms of acne, rosacea, skin pigmentation issues and sun damage. IPL is also widely considered a safe form of treatment and is available at clinics and in a more limited form as hand-held devices for home use.

The Verdict

Laser hair removal and IPL are highly effective forms of preventing hair growth. When done correctly, they can keep skin smooth for months and even treat a range of unsightly skin conditions and blemishes. However, it’s imperative that an experienced practitioner does the ‘lasering’. Only they will be able to assess the unique qualities of your skin and plan treatment accordingly. Finally, bear in mind that hair grows in cycles and laser treatment is still more effective on some skin tones than others. So all in all, it’s a beauty treatment that’s definitely worth exploring, albeit with managed expectations!

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