There are concerns regarding burns and eye safety on IPL / laser hair removal treatments. Several organizations have laid down guidelines to ensure the safety of both the clients and technicians. These organizations include The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, The American National Standards Institute, The Food and Drug Administration, The Center for Devices and Radiological Health, and The Society for Clinical and Medical Hair Removal.
The following problems may occur with the hair removal system.
1. However slight, there is a risk of scarring.
2. Short-term effects may include reddening, mild burning, temporary bruising or blistering. Hyper-pigmentation (browning) and Hypo pigmentation (lightening) have also been noted after treatment. These conditions usually resolve within 3-6 months, but permanent color change is a rare risk. Avoiding sun exposure before and after the treatment reduces the risk of color change.
3. Infection: Although infection following IPL / Laser Hair Removal Treatments is unusual, bacterial, fungal and viral infections can occur. Herpes simplex virus infections around the mouth can occur following a treatment. This applies to both individuals with a past history of herpes simplex virus infection and individuals with no know history of herpes simplex virus infections in the mouth area. Should any type of skin infection occur, additional treatments or medical antibiotics may be necessary.
4. Bleeding: Pinpoint bleeding is rare but can occur following IPL / laser hair removal treatments. Should bleeding occur, additional IPL / laser hair removal treatments may be necessary.
5. Allergic reactions: In rare cases, local allergies to tape, preservatives used in cosmetics or topical preparations have been reported. Systemic reactions (which are more serious) may result from prescription medicines.
6. Compliance with the aftercare guidelines is crucial for healing, prevention of scarring, and hyper-pigmentation.
There may be some degree of discomfort, I.E., stinging, pin pricking sensation, hotness and or tightness, along with tenderness, mild “sunburn” like effects that may last a few hours to 3-4 days or longer.
Pigment changes hypo-pigmentation or hyper-pigmentation on the skin lasting 1-6 months or longer may occur. In addition, freckles may lighten and/or temporarily or permanently disappear in treated areas. IPL / laser hair removal treatments can cause eye injury and protective eye-wear must be worn during treatment. Serious complications are rare, but possible.
The client should receive a thorough and detailed consultation, pre and post care instructions, and a patch test before the IPL / laser hair removal treatments begins. It is also important that the client understands the benefits and risks of the treatment. Call your physician’s office with any questions or concerns you may have after the treatment.