Can Laser Hair Removal Cause Cancer?

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Can Laser Hair Removal Cause Cancer? RoseSkinCo IPL Laser Hair Removal Can Laser Hair Removal Cause Cancer? RoseSkinCo IPL Laser Hair Removal

If you’re considering getting laser hair removal treatment but are concerned that it may cause cancer, allow us to ease your mind right now: 

There is no scientific evidence that concludes or suggests that laser hair removal causes cancer.


We’ve all come in contact with cancer fear-mongering – all kinds of ingredients, products, and chemicals that may cause cancer or may turn out to be just fine. Since laser hair removal is a powerful treatment that utilizes light, lasers, and radiation, it makes sense why people might think it would cause cancer. But while other side effects of laser hair removal do exist, cancer is not one of them. Laser hair removal does not cause cancer.


That being said… you shouldn’t take our word for it. We’ll go over details about laser hair removal technology, specific scientific studies and findings that affirm that laser hair removal is not linked to any type of cancer, and other permanent hair removal alternatives that also do not cause cancer.

Can Laser Hair Removal Cause Skin Cancer?

No, laser hair removal does not cause skin cancer.


But we see how that myth may have come to be. Laser hair removal treatment utilizes powerful lasers, or very narrow beams of light, to target hair follicles. Considering how too much sun exposure can indeed cause skin cancer, it makes sense that people would be suspicious of laser treatment.


Laser hair removal uses different wavelengths. Ultraviolet or UV light is the most common and preventable cause of skin cancer, either from the sun or from artificial sources like tanning beds. Laser hair removal does not utilize UV light. What’s more, laser treatment targets hair follicles, not the skin itself.


Clinical research has not found a compelling link between laser hair removal and skin cancer. One literature review concluded that “The existing evidence base of over 25 years of laser use to date has not raised any concerns regarding its long-term safety; therefore, there is no evidence to suggest that there is a credible cancer risk.” What’s more, the Skin Cancer Foundation reported that not only lasers do not increase the chances of developing skin cancer, but some lasers can even aid in treating precancerous lesions to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer. Laser hair removal is also clinically tested and FDA-approved to permanently reduce hair growth.


All of that being said, laser hair removal can make your skin more susceptible to sunburn, which  can in turn lead to skin cancer. If you get laser treatment, be sure to follow all laser hair removal aftercare best practices and limit direct sun exposure after laser hair removal for at least two weeks.


Laser hair removal has also been observed to affect the appearance of moles. While this does not cause skin cancer, it could potentially cause a benign mole to appear cancerous, or, worse, cause a melanoma to appear benign. If you’re concerned about skin cancer, it may be a good idea to have any suspicious moles checked before beginning laser hair removal treatment.

Can Laser Hair Removal Cause Other Types of Cancer?

No, laser hair removal does not cause any other type of cancer, either.


But, again, it makes sense why some people might be concerned that it would. This likely stems from a misconception about lasers and radiation.


Did you know that the word “laser” is actually an acronym? It stands for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.” Lasers used in hair removal treatments do produce a small amount of radiation, which may sound scary. A specific type of radiation known as ionized radiation is known to cause cellular damage and affect DNA strands in ways that have been associated with cancer development.


Laser hair removal radiation is a low-level, non-ionized radiation that does not affect DNA strands or penetrate deep enough to harm tissue. 


There is no evidence to suggest that laser hair removal causes breast cancer or any other type of cancer.

IPL: A Safe Laser Hair Removal Alternative

You should also know: IPL, one of our favorite laser hair removal alternatives, does not cause cancer either.


Similar to laser, IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) treatment destroys hair follicles with targeted light pulses, without damaging the skin. While laser hair removal should only ever be performed in a clinic by a professional, IPL treatment is easy and safe enough to do at home. Like laser hair removal, IPL hair removal offers a permanent reduction in hair growth over time – you’ll see full results in just 8-12 weeks.


IPL devices filter for harmful UV lights, so they do not cause skin cancer or any other type of cancer. IPL handsets like Lumi are FDA-cleared to offer safe, effective permanent hair removal.