Laser hair removal has a long term track record of being safe and effective for adults but what about laser treatment for children and is there a safe cut off age? Recent studies done in 2009 by Rajpar in the journal, Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, showed that laser hair removal for children under the age of 16 (the mean age was 12.3 years of age) is safe and well tolerated. Alternative methods such as plucking, waxing and shaving are not as well tolerated and can result in more psychological trauma.
The fact is that children with excessive body or facial hair can suffer serious psychological damage because of the ruthless ridiculing and brutal teasing which results from this unwanted hair. Tweezing, waxing, and anything else that rips hair out of the follicle has been shown to cause thickening and darkening and may stimulate more hairs to grow in that area.
Children are physically maturing at a much earlier age. While menstruation used to start around age 12, it is believed that possibly because of chemicals in the food or changing nutrition patterns that puberty is coming earlier. “It’s not uncommon for girls to get their period at 9 or 10 years old, and with that development comes increased hair growth,” said Dr. Doris Pastor, a clinical associate professor of pediatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital. In some cases this earlier hair growth seen in some children is secondary to some type of trauma in the past. Sometimes drugs like cyclosporine, dilantin or minoxidil may be the cause.
Laser hair removal is successful for children but it does require their cooperation. Call our office at 724-969-0600 for a medical evaluation and treatment options for this increasingly common problem which is seen more than ever in pre-teens and teenagers.