Hair Removal

Sensitive Skin & Laser Hair Removal

Will Laser Hair Removal Cause Facial Scarring?

We understand your concern. After all, who’d want a laser in their face? Any laser-based hair removal procedure has the potential to cause some scarring, based on a number of factors, including: 

  • the laser technician’s skill, experience, training, and knowledge
  • your body’s ability to heal
  • the amount of melanin pigment in your skin
  • the type of laser used for the treatment

Many people experience some pigment changes following a laser treatment procedure. This may include darkening or lightening of the skin. While many people believe this is the same as scarring, most of the time it isn’t. The pigment changes that occur after laser hair removal procedures usually resolve themselves within a few weeks or months following treatment.

Experience and Skill Are Key

The truth is, scarring can occur in the laser hair removal process, but when a professional laser hair removal technician performs the procedure, the risk of scarring is greatly reduced, especially for patients who have been identified as suitable candidates for the procedure. This is because the number one cause of scarring resulting from laser hair removal is the incorrect use of the laser device. When an unskilled or inexperienced technician uses a laser improperly, they may penetrate too far into the skin, causing blistering or keloid scarring. Because different skin types require different lasers, it is important that a skilled and experienced technician performs the treatment. They will have the training and expertise to know which laser to use and how to use it appropriately to remove hair while leaving the skin unharmed.

Some groups of people are at higher risk of scarring from a laser hair removal procedure than others. People who tan, people with both dark hair and a dark skin tone, and people with light hair and light skin tend to be more susceptible to scarring. To avoid this increased risk of scarring, it’s essential that your laser technician uses the appropriate laser for your skin type. The Nd:YAG laser is recommended for darker skin tones because it has a longer wavelength that is able to bypass the melanin in the skin, effectively and safely removing hair while leaving the surrounding tissue unharmed.

If you have tanned skin, you should refrain from any laser hair removal procedures until your skin turns to its original color. You should also refrain from tanning while undergoing laser hair removal sessions to reduce the risk of scarring and color changes.


Laser hair removal uses laser light pulses to selectively destroy hair follicles by targeting the melanin in them. The follicle’s pigment absorbs the laser’s light pulse, damaging the follicle enough to significantly slow down hair regrowth. Since the lasers target melanin, coarse, dark hair and light skin combinations tend to respond best to treatment.

The length of a laser hair removal procedure depends on the size of the treatment area, meaning a session can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. Before the actual laser hair removal session, you’ll be given protective eye gear and an elective topical anesthetic. Once the session begins, you’ll feel a stinging sensation, indicating that the laser has been activated. The actual session involves a series of laser pulses that results in a prickling and burning sensation. But don’t worry, the pain isn’t too bad. In fact, it’s similar to that of a rubber band snapping against your skin.

Don’t freak out if you notice any pinkness, redness or itchiness. The laser has done its job in disabling your hair follicles. It has also likely irritated your skin a little bit. Residual itchiness or pinkness might persist for up to 24 hours. Some people describe the sensation as feeling like razor burn. If it lasts longer than that, give your specialist a call; this very well may be normal, but it’s worth calling to ask.


To reduce the risk of scarring and other complications after your laser hair removal procedure, follow these steps:

  • Put on sunscreen. All the areas treated by laser hair removal must be covered with plenty of sunscreen because this skin may be sensitive to darkening, especially for those who have skin that is already sensitive or are dark skinned.
  • Make sure that right after treatment you apply cream, ice or something to keep the area cool and numb in order to minimize discomfort.
  • If you notice any strange changes to the treated area, like blistering, bleeding or scabbing, make sure to call your specialist immediately.
  • Keep track of any medications taken. If you need to go on prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal medications, talk to your healthcare provider about your laser hair removal treatments. Also, call your laser hair removal specialist to find out whether there is a contraindication.

If you make sure that you not only choose an experienced and qualified laser hair removal technician but also follow all aftercare advice given to you, you shouldn’t have any resulting scarring from the procedure.