Is Laser Hair Removal Safe For Diabetics?

Health & Medical Articles

Laser hair removal treatments are an effective way to get rid of unwanted hair on almost any part of the body. While the procedure is generally safe, it's not the best or safest method of hair removal for everyone. In particular, people with diabetes have to be especially cautious with this treatment as it can lead to some adverse outcomes due to how the disease affects the body. Here's more information about problems you may run into with laser hair removal.

Altered Pain Sensitivity

Laser hair removal causes about the same amount of pain as waxing. A certain amount of pain is necessary because it helps the dermatologist configure the laser to the appropriate level needed to adequately remove the unwanted hair. Diabetes can complicate things because high sugar levels damage the nerves and can make skin more sensitive. This increased sensitivity may result in the laser being set too low which, in turn, may mean the treatment won't be as effective.

You may be able to mitigate this problem by using an anesthetic cream or taking a pain reliever before undergoing the procedure. However, talk to your doctor or the dermatologist prior to doing so to ensure it is safe.

On the other side of this issue, uncontrolled blood sugar levels can also lead to diabetic neuropathy. This is a condition where the nerves in the body become so damaged that they cease to function properly and may result in decreased pain sensitivity and even numbness. This may cause the opposite problem to occur where the dermatologist ends up setting the laser too high, resulting in burns and blisters.

Diabetic neuropathy is typically irreversible, though there are some medications that may help mitigate symptoms. It's best to avoid getting laser hair removal treatments in areas affected by this condition.

Increased Chance of Infection

Another issue you may encounter with laser hair removal is an increased chance of getting an infection, particularly if the skin is burned or damaged during the procedure. This is because diabetes has a negative effect on the body's natural healing capabilities.

Diabetics with poor blood sugar control typically have problems with their circulation, which means it may take longer for white blood cells to treat wounds. This leads to slow healing times during which an infection can set in. Couple that with the fact diabetes compromises the immune system and you have a situation where a simple hair removal procedure can lead to illness and amputation.

Controlling your blood sugar levels and exercising regularly to stimulate circulation can help improve your natural healing ability. If your skin is damaged during laser hair removal treatment, tell your doctor about it immediately so he or she can keep an eye on the wound and prescribe antibiotics or other medications to stop infection from setting in.

Adverse Drug Interaction

Some medications may change the body in a way that increases the risk you'll have an adverse reaction to the laser hair removal treatment. For instance, some medications may make your skin more sensitive to light, which can be problematic since a laser is essentially focused light.

If you're set on having laser hair removal treatments, talk to your doctor about the medications your taking and make the appropriate adjustments.

Generally, laser hair removal treatments are only a problem for people who have uncontrolled diabetes or some form of nerve damage. A healthy person with tight control over their blood sugar levels and no nerve damage should be able to undergo the procedure safely. However, it's essential that you talk to your doctor and the dermatologist about your condition before doing so to address any issues that may develop.

Click here to read more about dermatological services, and for more information about laser hair treatments or how diabetes affects the skin, contact a dermatologist in your area.


10 September 2015

Tips for Living a Great Life with Chronic Illness

I was always very healthy throughout my childhood, but when I became a teenager, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness. Thankfully, I had the support of my loving family to help keep me upbeat during a time that could have led to me experiencing the depression that some do after they first learn they will have an illness for life. I am very grateful for the advice I have gotten throughout my life, so I decided to create a blog where I can share all of the advice that has helped me live a happy, healthy life, despite having a chronic illness. Since I am on a medication that suppresses my immune system, I have also studied up on many other illnesses and tips for avoiding them and treating them. I plan to post health tips for people of a variety of ages and suffering with various illnesses!