In recent years, laser energy has become a popular treatment method for various concerns. But whether used in medical or cosmetic procedures, patients often wonder whether receiving laser treatment will increase their risk of skin cancer.
Cosmetic Laser Treatments
The frequency used in laser therapy for cosmetic purposes, such as to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, scarring, and sun damage, scarcely penetrates the skin. The very small amount of radiation involved in cosmetic laser treatments only impacts the surface of the skin. As a result, these laser treatments haven’t been found to increase patients’ risk of developing skin cancer.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is another common cosmetic treatment that uses laser energy. Specifically, laser hair removal uses a concentrated light source with an extremely precise laser beam. Again, the laser energy in laser hair removal doesn’t involve the UV wavelengths of sunlight, which have been shown to cause cell DNA damage and increase one’s risk of skin cancer, so ongoing laser hair removal treatment hasn’t proven to increase skin cancer risk.
IPL stands for intense pulsed light, and it’s a form of light therapy that can be used to eliminate skin imperfections and unwanted hair. IPL treatments haven’t been shown to produce a legitimate cancer risk. IPL treatments don’t involve wavelengths under 500nm, meaning that the wavelengths in IPL treatment aren’t within the carcinogenic spectrum for UV light.
Laser surgery can provide benefits in medical treatment, including greater precision, less blood loss, and improved wound healing. Since laser surgery (like cosmetic laser treatments) only uses non-ionizing radiation, it doesn’t involve the same dangers as ionizing radiation, such as x-rays.
Laser Treatment Safety
Although laser treatment hasn’t produced any significant evidence of increasing skin cancer risk, there’s more research to be done relating to the long-term impact of ongoing laser treatment. Additionally, improperly administered laser treatment can have many harmful effects, including skin burns and permanent skin injuries, so it’s crucial to only receive laser treatment from a highly experienced medical professional.
For meticulous screening skin examinations and other skin cancer treatments, contact The Bowman Institute today.