Laser Hair Removal Cause Cancer

Can Laser Hair Removal Cause Cancer? We Debunked It

Laser hair removal is a popular cosmetic procedure for removing unwanted hair from various parts of the body. It works by using concentrated light beams (lasers) to target and destroy hair follicles.

One concern that often comes to mind for potential patients is whether this procedure carries any risk of cancer. This article aims to clarify the relationship between laser hair removal and cancer risk.

What is Laser Technology in Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal utilizes non-ionizing radiation, which is a type of radiation that doesn’t carry enough energy to ionize (remove an electron) from an atom or molecule.

This means that the laser used in the procedure doesn’t damage DNA, and therefore, cannot lead directly to cancers, in contrast to ionizing radiation from X-rays or ultraviolet light which can lead to DNA damage.

What Research Says

Extensive research to date has not shown a direct link between laser hair removal and an increased risk of developing cancer. The lasers are designed to pass through the skin and selectively target the melanin in the hair follicles, leaving the surrounding tissues unharmed.

It’s the heat from the laser that damages the follicle, inhibiting hair growth, but this localized effect is not known to induce any sort of cellular changes that could lead to cancer.

Safety and Side Effects

While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved laser hair removal devices as safe for use when operated by a qualified and trained professional, the procedure can still carry some risks and side effects.

These can include:

  • Skin irritation
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Temporary changes in skin pigmentation
  • Rarely, blistering and scarring

Precautions and Protective Measures

To ensure safety during the procedure, protective eyewear is worn to shield the eyes from the intense laser. Operators of the laser devices undergo training to provide safe and effective treatments while minimizing side effects.

Cosmetic Laser Regulations

In the United States, cosmetic lasers are regulated by the FDA, and manufacturers must demonstrate the safety and efficacy of their devices before they can be marketed for hair removal. These devices are then classified and must comply with performance standards.

Other Considerations

It’s important to note that while the laser treatment itself doesn’t cause cancer, there’s a theoretical risk associated with certain types of pigmented lesions.

If a cancerous lesion is mistakenly treated as a benign pigmented spot, the heat from the laser might mask the growth of cancer cells. Therefore, it’s crucial for a thorough skin examination to be performed by a qualified professional before undergoing laser treatments.


Based on the current evidence, laser hair removal does not cause cancer. It uses non-ionizing radiation, which does not have the capability to damage DNA.

The FDA-regulated procedure is widely considered safe when performed by a trained professional, although like any medical treatment, it can carry certain risks and side effects.

On the other hand, if you have concerns about the safety of laser hair removal or your risk of cancer, consult with a healthcare provider or a dermatologist to make an informed decision.

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