Underarm skin can be sensitive, but laser hair removal is surprisingly gentle.

© iStockphoto.com/John Boylan

Many women will shave their armpits hundreds -- maybe even thousands -- of times during their lifetime. The idea of abandoning this tedious task may seem appealing, and you may wonder if laser hair removal is a good alternative. But as sensitive as your underarms are, is laser hair removal safe?

Although laser hair removal may sound harsh, it's actually safe for your underarms. In fact, it's relatively gentle on your skin, and there's little pain during the procedure or afterward. Because underarms are a small area, the treatments often take less than 10 minutes -- this is why some people suggest trying laser hair removal on the underarms before larger areas of skin [source: Idaho Health].

The laser targets hair in the follicle to prevent future growth from that follicle. However, laser hair removal can affect only hair that's in the growth phase, so touch-up treatments are necessary to remove all hair in the targeted area [source: Idaho Health]. While underarm laser hair removal is safe and effective, there are some side effects. You may experience redness, swelling or a sunburned feeling in the treated area [source: Lalji].

Dark hair is most receptive to laser hair removal because the laser is attracted to melanin. Laser hair removal may not be as effective on red, blond and gray hair [source: Idaho Health].

To learn more about laser hair removal for underarms, see the links on the following page.