Is it true that laser hair removal causes cancer?
This is a pretty common concern for people. So we did the research, and we think you’re going to like the answer to this laser hair removal question.
The myth that laser hair removal treatments can cause cancer is unfounded. The lasers used to remove unwanted hair are specifically designed to target the hair follicle without damaging the surrounding skin tissue. During a treatment, the pulses of light energy used are designed to heat and destroy hair follicles only.
While the lasers used to perform laser hair removal treatments do produce a small amount of radiation, it is not enough to be harmful. Currently, no research has produced evidence that would suggest that laser hair removal causes skin cancer.
That’s not to say that laser hair removal doesn’t have other potential side effects, besides a reduction in unwanted hair of course, but they tend to be pretty mild. Some of the most common include slight redness, swelling, or temporary discoloration of the treated area.
To give our readers a more in-depth, scientific answer to whether or not laser hair removal causes cancer or exposes you to bad radiation, we reached out to the laser hair removal experts at Milan Laser Hair Removal. Here’s what they had to say:
…laser energy used in laser hair removal treatments does not produce any ionizing radiation.
Answers From the Experts
Radiation is a generic term for any energy emitted from a source in either waves or particles. Often misunderstood, all radiation is not dangerous. There are two main categories of radiation: ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation. Let’s talk about the difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.
Ionizing radiation is a term for high energy radiation that can cause atoms to change and molecules to break apart. This can have a devastating impact on the human body by affecting our cells and DNA. Ionizing radiation is known to cause cancer. Examples of ionizing radiation are found in x-rays, gamma rays, and cosmic rays from the sun and space. Exposure to this type of radiation is purposefully limited since it can have lasting effects on the body.
Non-ionizing radiation is lower energy radiation that could cause atoms and molecules to heat up or become active but doesn’t change their composition. It does not carry enough energy to cause the breakdown of molecules, affect DNA, or cause cancer. Examples of non-ionizing radiation are light from household lamps, radios, and TVs.
So, where do the lasers used for laser hair removal fall within this spectrum? According to the FDA, the laser energy used in laser hair removal treatments does not produce any ionizing radiation. Rather it produces only non-ionizing radiation and therefore does not affect the body on a cellular level or affect DNA—meaning that it does not cause cancer.
After reviewing the most up-to-date research being done in the laser hair removal industry and speaking with the experts at Milan Laser, we can confidently say that laser hair removal is a safe, FDA-approved treatment that holds no risk of exposure to harmful ionizing radiation, and thus does not cause cancer.