When Laser Hair Removal Goes Wrong

laser hair removal

There are hundreds of laser hair removal horror stories online, but what most of these stories don’t explain are the factors that contributed to these results.

Not all laser clinics are one and the same, and you need to do research before choosing where to get your laser treatments. When laser hair removal goes wrong, that usually means the most severe side effects were experienced. This can be blistering, severe burns, scarring, scabbing, and bruising, some of which might even be permanent.

If stories surrounding laser hair removal have you second-guessing, be sure to learn the factors that led to those nasty side effects.

Laser Hair Removal Doesn’t Require Medical Knowledge Everywhere

In the United States, laser hair removal is only considered a medical practice in 35 states, and of those 35 states, only 26 require medical personnel to supervise laser treatments being performed by employees without a medical degree or license. New York, Virginia, and Georgia are the only states who do not recognize laser hair removal as a medical procedure, leaving the rest of the United States without a law regulating it at all. Without these laws in place across the country, it allows just about anyone to operate a laser and claim they can provide laser hair removal services.

States that don’t require medical degrees for laser hair removal will be full of laser spas in addition to reputable laser clinics, making it difficult for people to know who to trust when looking into laser services. To make things even more confusing, doctors will have laser machines in their offices and offer laser services after simply reading the laser’s manual, without undergoing any proper training. This makes people believe they can trust them for their services, but they can end up leaving their patients burned and scarred.

The same goes for those who receive laser hair removal treatments overseas. They don’t hold their laser clinics to the same standards, and the majority of the horror stories published online come from Europe.

There Are No Regulations on Lasers Usage

Each laser is designed for a specific procedure, whether it be permanent hair removal, tattoo removal, skin rejuvenation, or another form of laser treatment. However, that doesn’t keep some laser clinics from using a laser designed for laser tattoo removal for your laser hair removal treatments. Not only does this not provide you with the best results, but it can also lead to permanent side effects and injuries.

In addition to there being no regulations on what specific lasers need to be used for each kind of treatment, there are also no unified training requirements. Specific laser clinics might have their own training requirements, but even then it’s impossible to know if the training was done on the specific lasers they’re using in their office. Each laser is different, and being trained on just one is hardly sufficient.

Skin Conditions Are Overlooked

Whether due to a lack of experience on the part of the laser technician or neglect on the client’s end, skin conditions do occasionally go overlooked. Those who experience trouble healing or develop keloid scars when wounded might not be proper candidates for laser hair removal, and should be honest and upfront about this right away.

Your medical licensed laser technician should go over your medical history prior to your first laser treatment, likely during your consultation. This includes learning what medications you’re taking, how easily your skin burns after being out in the sun, whether you have diabetes, and much more. If this isn’t discussed prior to your first laser treatment, consider it a red flag and don’t go back to that location.

How to Ensure Your Laser Hair Removal Goes Right

To avoid becoming one of these horror stories, you’ll want to do the research. Just like you would do before purchasing any new product or checking out a new restaurant, you want to be sure reviews are mostly positive. Here are a few things to look for in a trustworthy laser hair removal clinic:

  • A laser clinic that requires their laser technicians to have a medical degree and receive training from the manufacturers of their currently used laser system
  • Make sure they’re using the highest quality lasers on the market
  • Check that the lasers they’re using weren’t designed for different laser procedures
  • Ask for proof of qualifications
  • Be sure that their laser hair removal process is customized to your skin type
  • Ask them to try laser hair removal on a small area and see how your skin reacts
  • Do not have laser hair removal treatments less than 8 weeks apart

Now that you know what qualities to look for in a qualified laser clinic, learn exactly how laser hair removal works in this video.