Laser side effects and long-term issues

From a reader:

</font><blockquote><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>quote:</font><hr /><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”> If you look under Disadvantages on the Laser Hair Removal page the following statement appears: “recent data suggest other skin structures are often affected by laser radiation…”. Can you direct me to such data as I have been unable to find any such information, or any data suggesting possible long term consequences of laser radiation?
</font><hr /></blockquote><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>The main issues are that laser unpredictably increases or decreases oil production in the skin (some more, some less).

Some studies have suggested that laser at low fluences increased hair growth in some patients.

Other studies have suggested changes in melanocytes in some patients. This can lead to hypo- or hyper-pigmentation. While this usually clears up in a few months, if improperly treated this skin can remain permanently discolored, like a scar or burn.

Long term effects constitute what they call in medicine an “unknown risk.” There is not enough long-term data to make a definitive statement one way or the other.


Manuskiatti W, Dierickx CC, Gonzalez S, Lin TY, Campos VB, Gonzalez E, Anderson RR. Laser hair removal affects sebaceous glands and sebum excretion: a pilot study . Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 1999 Aug;41(2 Pt 1):176-80.

Weisberg NK, Greenbaum SS. Pigmentary changes after alexandrite laser hair removal. Dermatol Surg. 2003 Apr;29(4):415-9.

Ye JN, Prasad A, Trivedi P, Knapp DP, Chu P, Edelstein LM. Pili bigeminy induced by low fluence therapy with hair removal alexandrite and ruby lasers.
Dermatol Surg. 1999 Dec;25(12):969.

[ April 10, 2004, 02:24 PM: Message edited by: Andrea ]

Actually scientific literature suggests that Diode lasers & alexandrite have produced cases were compensatory hypertrichosis has occurred meaning thereby Diode has produced good results at the treatment site but has produced more hair growth at other body areas. Hyper pigmentation by diode in Asian skin type is a very common complains. Many clinics are advertising claims but they are giving up such equipments in darker skin race.