Let’s Talk About Laser

A powerful beam of concentrated light. In the right hands, can be used efficiently and effectively by doctors for many types of treatments, including skin problems. But its use for hair removal has caused more problems than it has helped for many patients.

We have all heard the horror stories of patients being burned and scared by laser treatments for hair removal. Along with pigment lesions and discolorations such as darkening of light skin and lightening of dark skin tones. But they are just some of the problems with lasers for hair removal.


One of the biggest concerns is the long-term effect of laser on human skin. Laser is about ten years old now, what will happen to a patient treated with laser in 20 or 30 years down the road? We just don’t know yet. We do know that laser changes the cellular structure of the skin, and some patients are having laser treatments as young as the early teens.

The technology is not precise enough to target the germinating cells of the follicle and must pass through the skin to get to the hair. The high risk of side effects on the skin make the desired results difficult, if not impossible to achieve for some patients.

Another problem with laser is that it requires very specific skin and hair criteria. The color of the hair, the color of the skin, or a combination of the two can determine weather or not the treatment should be done at all. Also taking into account if the patient has been tanning in the sun, a tanning bed, or using self-tanners can make a difference in the pre-treatment preparation and post-treatment restrictions.

Along with all these problems, laser is not a permanent solution for hair removal. The FDA does not approve it for permanency; the hair grows back. So after spending time and money for treatments, the patient is left with, in some cases, the same amount of hair they started out with.

Patients have also reported excruciating pain during the application of laser to the skin, even when using topical anesthetics to reduce the sensation. So do your research, get educated and make sure you see an expert if your willing to take the risk.

Note: Laser should never be used around the eye area, and protective eyewear should be used at all times when lasers are in operation.


Cheryl has advanced training and years of experience with Thermolysis. Understanding growth cycles of hair and pre-treatment preparation are key elements for permanent results. She maintains strict sanitation and sterilization of instruments and environment. Cheryl also gives each patient her complete attention during the treatment session. I myself have had permanent hair removal with Thermolysis along with many of my staff and patients. Martha Gonzalez, M.D., M.P.H.