Are Your Children Candidates for Laser Hair Removal

Are Your Children Candidates for Laser Hair Removal

Can children be candidates for laser hair removal?

We are often asked by concerned parents whether or not laser hair removal can be safely performed on their children or teens for unwanted hair.

Are their children candidates for laser hair removal? Their primary concern is safety. As many people know, lasers used to remove unwanted hair in adults are known to be very safe and well tolerated.

What are the limitations, if any, for young people?

It is well known that some children have conditions such as hirsuitism and hypertrichosis resulting in excessive unwanted hair. Sometimes the cause is a hormonal imbalance. This can lead to significant psychosocial distress. This can cause parents to advocate plucking, shaving, trimming, bleaching, sugaring and waxing to solve the dilemma.

Increasingly some parents often mistakenly turn to these older alternative treatments other than laser hair removal. Parents try to help protect their children from the extreme embarrassment that often results in teasing, harassment and even bullying. That can be mortifying for their kids and teens because of their unwanted hair.

Adolescence is a terrible and awkward time to grow a mustache especially if you are a sensitive young girl. Self esteem and sometimes even wishes of being born a boy instead of a girl come across the mind of some young girls. Heredity or hormones can result in hair growing in the wrong places.

The upper lip, chin, sideburn area of the face, nipples, or abdomen are commonly affected areas that are very concerning to young people. And now removing hair, like getting braces, is making the transition from vanity to necessity for increasingly more parents and their girls and boys.

Social reprisals in the form of not only teasing but even ostracizing your children because of abnormal hair growth is not unusual. Normal peer acceptance is extremely important during these impressionable years.

In a study written in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, British researchers described 24 children under the age of 16 who had laser hair removal. Other doctors agree that laser hair removal in children is safe.

They revealed that only two children experienced discomfort that required adjusting the strength of the laser beam. This was the only side effect. The mean age of the children was 12.3 years.  No incidences of blistering, infection, color changes of the skin or scarring occurred. The conclusion of the authors of this academic research was that laser hair removal is safe and well tolerated in children under the age of 16.

We have treated many girls and a few boys at the Happel Laser & Vein Centre who had excessive hair growth including our own children beginning at the age of eight.

Our own daughter had it done for cosmetic concerns and wanted the convenience of not shaving. Our son wanted it done to theoretically swim faster.

In all cases, our young patients and our own children did very well. They were extremely pleased with their results as were their parents. The young girls tolerated the treatments very well and had great results, but most importantly the girl’s psychological self image was greatly improved so they no longer felt self conscious and their tormentors were silenced.

Conclusion

The truth is that children are good candidates for laser hair removal.

Presently a very interesting fact according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, an organization of board-certified plastic surgeons, is that hair removal by laser is the most popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedure among minors.

To find out more about this commonly requested and safely performed procedure for your children, call us at the Happel Laser & Vein Centre at 724-969-0600 for more information.

About The Author

Dr. John Happel

Dr. John Happel has been in practice as a surgeon since 1986 in the Pittsburgh region. He specializes in vascular surgery and has subspecialized in the treatment of varicose and spider veins since 1999. Dr. Happel is board certified in vascular surgery and recertified in vascular surgery in 2012. He was chosen in 1985 to fulfill the position for the vascular surgical fellowship at the world renowned Mayo Clinic.