Laser hair removal is among the techniques used to eliminate unwanted hair. Although it is convenient, it's important to remember that this procedure is not trivial and it's not suitable for everyone. Here is a non-exhaustive list of contraindications to consider for your own safety.
Laser Hair Removal: Are there any contraindications?
- Contraindication No.1: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Contraindication No. 2: The intake of gold salts
- Contraindication No. 3: The use of photosensitising medications
- Contraindication No. 4: Herpes
- Contraindication No.5: The presence of moles
- Contraindication No. 6: Recent wax hair removal
- Contraindication No. 7: Tattoos
- Contraindication No. 8: Light-coloured hair
- Contraindication No. 9: Tanned Skin
- Contraindication No.10: Puberty
- Contraindication No. 11: The use of anticoagulant medications
Contraindication No.1: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Although there is no evidence that laser hair removal is harmful to your future child, it is generally not recommended as a precaution. Pregnancy hormones tend to causehyperpigmentation, as well as hypersensitivity. Moreover, during pregnancy, the level of androgen is higher, which leads to the acceleration of hair growth. Furthermore, this technique is also to be avoided during breastfeeding. Therefore, it is advised not to undergo laser hair removal during this period, as the procedure may not yield the results you expect.
Contraindication No. 2: The intake of gold salts.
Gold salts (chrysotherapy) are typically used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis or in certain types of blistering dermatoses. However, a study has shown that the combination of laser treatment and the intake of gold salts can induce chrysiasis, a deposit of gold in the skin.
Contraindication No. 3: The use of photosensitising medications.
Photosensitivity is one of the side effects of certain medications such as diuretics, anxiolytics, cough syrups, etc. If you are taking a medication that contains at least one photosensitising agent, it is better to avoid laser hair removal as your skin will be more sensitive and will tend to show signs of burns after the hair removal session.
Contraindication No. 4: Herpes.
Herpes and cold sores are considered contagious skin diseases. Therefore, it is advised against using laser hair removal in cases of herpes and cold sores, as the laser can trigger new outbreaks. Indeed, it is possible that the dormant virus remains asleep and reactivates due to local stress exerted by the laser. In cases of known history, it is recommended to take precautions by consulting your doctor to prevent the disease before hair removal sessions.
Contraindication No.5: The presence of moles.
There is no evidence to suggest that laser treatment can alter a mole and make it cancerous. However, it is advisable not to remove hair from an area containing moles, as well as any other skin lesions such as acne spots, warts or psoriasis.
Contraindication No. 6: Recent wax hair removal.
Laser hair removal targets the hair follicle. As waxing removes the hair root, it is generally recommended to wait two weeks before undergoing laser hair removal. If you wish to get rid of unwanted hair between sessions, consider other alternatives such as shaving and depilatory creams.
Contraindication No. 7: Tattoos.
Laser hair removal can be performed on areas of the body that are free from tattoos. However, it is not recommended to carry out this type of hair removal on tattooed areas, as it could potentially cause the tattoo to fade. If you have a tattoo and are considering laser hair removal, it is advised to consult a healthcare professional.
Contraindication No. 8: Light-coloured hair.
Laser hair removal specifically targets the melanin present in hairs. However, blonde, white, or grey hairs, which contain a low amount of melanin, generally do not respond effectively to this method. In these cases, there is a risk that the laser may instead target the melanin in the skin, which could potentially cause skin burns.
Contraindication No. 9: Tanned Skin.
Individuals with a deep tan tend to have a higher melanin level. Consequently, the laser may struggle to differentiate between the hair and the skin, leading to potential skin burns and reduced effectiveness.
Contraindication No.10: Puberty.
Puberty is characterised by a period of significant hormonal changes that can influence hair growth. However, these hormonal fluctuations can make the results of laser hair removal less predictable, as new hairs may appear over time. Therefore, it is preferable to wait until the hormonal fluctuations of puberty stabilise before starting a laser hair removal treatment.
Contraindication No. 11: The use of anticoagulant medications.
Anticoagulant medications can make the skin more fragile and more sensitive to treatments, including laser hair removal. This could increase the risk of irritation or burning. Furthermore, anticoagulant medications can heighten the risk of bleeding or bruising.Seek advice from your doctor before any hair removal session.
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