"A few months ago I started laser hair removal on a private person. During my first treatment, I got total burns all over my body and face. The woman who treated me said it was totally normal and it would go away. In fact, the burns on my face are completely gone and I don't have any prints. But it's very different with my legs. The burns healed after 1-2 weeks, but I still have a lot of brown marks all over my body. Is that normal? What can you do about it? Does anyone have similar experiences?"
-----Asked by Emma in Reddit
A large number of people undergo laser hair removal treatment every year all over the world. However, there are risks associated with this treatment, such as, for example, that laser hair removal can burn us. Yes, as you read it, laser hair removal burns are very common if you receive treatment from an inexperienced or unqualified technician.
Are you suffering from the same experience of laser hair removal burns as Emma? Do not panic, they are usually not serious burns that are easy to heal, and that, if you follow the instructions, should not leave a mark. In this article, we are going to tell you what is laser hair removal burns, what causes this problem as well as what to do when this happens.
What are laser hair removal burns?
Laser hair removal burns can vary depending on the laser hair removal machine used. In addition, they also depend on the length of the sessions and the power to which the laser is put.
However, the burn from the laser is often very slight, mainly a reddish tone can be observed in the area that later turns brown, in rare cases blisters are generated. They usually always have the shape of the head used, which can be circles, squares, rectangles.
In the beginning, you will feel a bit of burning in the treated area, but after a few days, as these are minor burns, you should not feel too much pain.
Here is a picture showing what laser burns look like:
Source from goodskindays.co.uk
How do I tell if I've been burned?
It's normal for your skin to feel some levels of burning, irritating, or tearing after the laser hair removal procedure but these effects will only last 2-4 hours. If you don't feel better until get home, you might have been burned. Don't hesitate to call the clinic as soon as you suspect a burn.
Why do laser hair removal burns happen?
Laser hair removal burns are considered a risk factor. But laser hair removal burns are not common. Here are three factors that need to be addressed:
● Improper and poorly executed procedures
● Incorrect selection of laser equipment
● Improper skincare
● Unqualified and inexperienced technicians
● Incorrect heat used during treatment
Laser hair removal works by targeting the pigments at the hair root. If you have dark skin, you are more likely to be hurt or burned. Fortunately, you should not worry: they are first degree, the mildest, so good care of the affected area will be enough to get rid of them.
Read also: does laser hair removal hurt?
How long do laser hair removal burns last?
Typically, laser hair removal burns will go away within 10 to 15 days. Over the days, the burn evolves and has an appearance of a scab that will peel off. In around 10-15 days the scab will have completely detached and then it will be possible to see that the skin of the affected area has a whiter appearance than the circulating skin (as you can see in the photo below). You should not worry because the skin will gradually recover its color, naturally, in a few months.
Source from realself.com
How to treat laser hair removal burns?
The first thing you should do before a laser burn is to contact your beauty center immediately. A specialist must evaluate the severity of the burn based on its appearance and symptoms. In this way, it will be possible to determine if with the basic care indicated by the professional your skin will recover quickly or if, on the contrary, other more specific care or medical treatment is necessary.
If your case is that of slight redness, you can take care of them yourself at home by following these treatments:
● Avoid applying very hot water to the area, as it could further irritate the area.
● Don't wear clothes that fit right where you have your burn.
● Take an anti-inflammatory for the first few days, if the pain becomes unbearable.
● Do not expose the affected skin to the sun. If it is not possible to avoid being under ultraviolet rays (for example, if the burn is on the face), we will have to apply sunscreen with a high protection factor throughout the day or wear a hat to go outside.
● You can apply ice which is a very effective natural painkiller.
● Apply creams containing aloe vera to the area. Aloe vera is a powerful cell regenerator and will prevent scarring.
● Don't apply Aquaphor Healing Ointment or Vitamin E oil unless instructed by your laser practitioner or doctor. Because these oily ointments will trap your skin in the heat, making the burned area more serious.
If it is a more serious burn, the doctor who has examined the condition of the skin will be able to advise us on the most appropriate guidelines and care. In these cases there are skin lesions that can be more or less serious, but that in any case should be treated in a medical center to minimize the chances of a scar remaining.
How to avoid laser hair removal burns?
It is clear that once you are burned, there is no going back. But, for that very reason, that "prevention is better than cure" must be applied in life. It is a risk that must be taken when we undergo a laser session, but, of course, you can prevent it and we will tell you how.
● Tell the laser practitioner if you are taking any type of drug or dermatological cream in the area to be treated.
● Avoid tanning your skin before and after each session. In fact, it is advisable not to tan your skin while we are undergoing treatment.
● Try to shave the area to be waxed well before the session. If there is any loose hair, it could burn and cause a burn.
● Make sure to have the laser procedure by a licensed technician.
How to get rid of laser burn marks?
Laser hair removal burns may take some time to heal, but once healed, the main goal is to prevent any scars or marks. Therefore, it is important to protect the affected area from the sun, but it is also important to use the correct cream recommended by the doctor.
It can also reduce the risk or prevent and treat a condition called hyperpigmentation, which is dark skin discoloration. Doctors will recommend topical creams that are rich in vitamin C and other elements that promote collagen production. For any older scars that you may have left after laser hair removal surgery in the past, you may need to perform some kind of chemical peeling.
I have developed skin blisters after laser hair removal - what can I do?
If your skin blisters after laser hair removal burns, you need to keep these blisters intact. Poping burn blisters will allow bacteria to enter the wound and lead to infection. Don't bother about blisters. Eventually, they will rupture on their own. After that, the excess skin of the blisters may bruise or become troublesome. You can safely trim dead skin with clean scissors that have been disinfected with alcohol.
After the blisters heal, they can cause skin discoloration or scarring. You can't do much to prevent this from happening at home, so if you are concerned about this potential side effect, please see your doctor.
Can you sue for laser hair burns?
Yes, you can claim for a laser hair removal burn compensation when the laser treatment produces a serious burn or, without going so far, when the treatment does not comply with what was agreed. (for example, it is not capable of removing all the hair)
If burns have occurred due to the person responsible for applying the treatment, it would be claimed based on the malpractice of the professional, which may be motivated by not having previously carried out the study of your skin type, by the bad quality of the equipment used, due to the lack of preparation of the professional or not having set the correct intensity to the laser, among others.
When you initiate a claim for laser hair removal burns, you can claim for a variety of different damages. This includes the pain you have suffered from physically. You can claim for any psychological trauma you have experienced.
What are the common problems associated with laser hair removal?
The risk of side effects of laser hair removal varies with skin type, hair color, treatment plan, and compliance with pre-and post-treatment care. Other common side effects of laser hair removal include:
Skin irritation. This is a very common or even inevitable side effect after a laser hair removal session. The heat emitted by the laser causes an automatic reaction of the skin: it ignites, reddens, itches and heats for a few hours after the session.
Pigment changes. It can happen that the laser depigments the skin, this mainly concerns skin with a high phototype, that is to say dull, mixed, and black skin. Melanocytes, cells responsible for melanin present in the skin can be destroyed by the laser. As it disappears, the skin becomes thinner. These kinds of side effects are short-lived and go away over time.
Small crusts. Sometimes crusts form in the follicular pores a few days after the laser session. Apart from their unsightly appearance, they pose no danger and fall off after a few days. It is not recommended to perform laser hair removal on the eyelids, eyebrows, or the surrounding area, as this may cause serious damage to the eyes.
Are there any alternatives to laser hair removal?
Yes. A home IPL hair removal device is the best alternative to laser hair removal, which also completely and permanently destroys the hair or the hair roots. The IPL technology is based on the application of high-energy light. Light impulses are conducted through the hair to the roots and destroy them. Similar to the laser procedure, IPL can be used on the face, legs, or back. The main difference between laser and IPL is the type of light. IPL is a broadband pulsed light source, whereas laser works more selective and very high powerful. Therefore professional laser will be more effective than IPL, but its high energy will result in pain and burns. IPL devices have lower fluency than the laser, which makes it possible to be safely used at home. Read more about IPL hair removal benefits.
Can an at-home IPL device cause burn too?
In short, it depends. There are a large number of home laser hair removal equipment on the market today, but unfortunately, their quality varies.
If you are interested in at-home IPL hair removal equipment, it is important to do your research. Buy from an honest and reputable company, such as MissPeachy, which provides the FDA-compliant home IPL handset that can offer proven hair results in only four weeks. MissPeachy IPL laser hair removal handset has 7 energy level settings that can be adjusted according to different skin sensitivity. This machine makes your skin smooth and hair-free, but it is also extremely gentle and safe to use on your skin.
Laser hair removal is a very effective hair removal method that can prevent the growth of unwanted hair. However, laser hair removal can be dangerous if not carried out properly. Laser hair removal burns are one of the common side effects. They can make your skin feel hot, painful, and even leave unsightly scars. Many people will tell you that this feeling is similar to a mild sunburn. The best way to avoid laser hair removal burns is to ensure that you received laser treatments with experienced and qualified technicians or to get a safer alternative like MissPeachy IPL hair removal handset.