May 27, 2007

The Potential Danger of Laser Hair Removal

By Antoinette Boulay

Short term dangers of laser hair removal do exist; this includes redness, as well as swelling. It typically lasts only a few days, although in rare cases, or if a procedure is incorrectly performed, a patient can also face other dangers. One potential danger of laser hair removal is the risk of laser hair removal burns.
When the laser hair removal procedure is not correctly performed, there is a risk of getting burnt, because the skin, rather than the hair follicle, absorbs the energy and heat of the laser. Before going through laser hair removal it important to decide whether this sort of treatment is suitable for you, to minimize any danger of laser hair removal, and other possible side effects.
Another frequent danger of laser hair removal is when a particular cream is used to numb the skin before the laser hair removal. This cream has been

implicated in the recent deaths of two college students. Shiri Berg, a North Caroline State University student, allegedly died in early January of a Lidocaine overdose.
Lidocaine cream had been applied by Berg prior to getting laser hair removal treatment at a North Raleigh spa. An autopsy showed that the cream that had been absorbed into Berg’s bloodstream, causing her to first go into seizures and then cardiac arrest, leading to lack of oxygen to her brain. Lidocaine overdose is a serious danger of laser hair removal. It can cause allergic reaction; one should carefully weigh all factors with one’s doctor, prior to usage.
The rapidly building trend of spas going high-tech, offering the latest laser hair removal treatments, and making claims that the procedure is 100% risk free with no side effects is also a big problem. The truth is far from the hype and many patients could develop second and third degree burns, experiencing severe pain.
Other intrinsic dangers of laser hair removal treatment also include operator error and inexperience. Often technicians performing laser hair removal procedures may have only minimal training using the laser. There is a chance of receiving inadequate or improper treatment that may cause, in the worst case, permanent damage.
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