Some normal side effects may occur after laser hair removal treatments, including itching, redness, and swelling around the treatment area. These side effects rarely last more than three days. The most common serious side effect is change in skin pigment.
Some level of pain should also be expected during treatments. Numbing creams are available at most clinics. Use of strong numbing creams over large skin areas being treated at one time must be avoided, as this has seriously harmed, and even killed, patients.Typically, the cream should be applied about 30 minutes before the procedure. Icing the area after the treatment helps relieve the side effects faster.
Unwanted side effects such as hypo- or hyper-pigmentation or, in extreme cases, burning of the skin call for an adjustment in laser selection or settings. Risks include the chance of burning the skin or discoloration of the skin, hypopigmentation (white spots), flare of acne, swelling around the hair follicle, scab formation, purpura, and infection. These risks can be reduced by treatment with an appropriate laser type used at appropriate settings for the individual’s skin type and treatment area.
Some patients may show side effects from an allergy to either the hair removal gel used with certain laser types or to a numbing cream.
Rare side effects include blistering, scarring and skin texture changes.