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Lasers - Can They Cause Cancer?

Dr. R.Brahmananda Reddy 88% (10 ratings)
Diploma In Dermatology, Fellowship In Aesthetic Medicine
Dermatologist, Hyderabad  •  5 years experience
Lasers - Can They Cause Cancer?

Today, Laser treatment is no longer as rare as it once was. Laser treatment is in fact the third most common type of cosmetic surgery performed. However, it is still surrounded by a number of misconceptions. One such doubt that many people have is whether Lasers have the ability to cause cancer. To understand this, one must first understand what laser therapy is.

Laser is a short form for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. There are many different kinds of lasers and laser mediums. These lasers can be used by doctors for cosmetic and surgical procedures as well as by engineers at constructions sites etc depending on the type of Laser. Though simple lasers are easily available, they should be used carefully.

With some lasers, radiation is emitted as a form of light. In others, this radiation may be in the form of ultraviolet or infrared rays and thus be invisible to the naked eye. This radiation should not be confused with the radiation from radioactive substances or microwave and radio waves. The radiation emitted by lasers is largely considered to be safe and does not harm the human body.

This radiation emitted by lasers does not use the same ultraviolet wavelengths as the UV radiation of sunlight. Radiation from laser beams is known as non-ionising radiation. It stays at the surface of the skin and does not penetrate into the cells. When laser treatment is used for hair removal it only penetrates to the hair follicle and no further. Thus, it does not cause skin cancer and does not damage our cellular DNA. Keeping this in mind, laser treatment can also be used for hair removal around the reproductive area without a worry.

Lasers used for cosmetic procedures are known to be every effective in the treatment of wrinkles and fine lines. It can also be sued to reverse the damage caused by excessive exposure to sunlight such as sun spots and dark patches on the skin. For these types of treatment, lasers may either be used to vaporize the top most skin layer or resurface the skin and remove wrinkles without peeling the skin. Both these types of lasers, promote the formation of collagen which is what actually helps reduce wrinkles and fine lines. Lasers are also often used to treat and remove pre-cancerous lesions. Thus, instead they can reduce a person’s risk of developing skin cancer. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dermatologist.

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