Whether you’re tired of shaving your legs or armpits, waxing your bikini area, upper lip, chest, or back, or plucking random chin hairs, laser hair removal can give you smooth, bare skin just about anywhere — and help you say good-bye to shaving, plucking, and waxing for good.
Although advances in aesthetic laser technology have made today’s laser hair removal treatments gentler and more effective than ever before, you may experience a temporary increase in skin sensitivity following each session. Proper skin care can help you minimize your risk of unwanted side effects.
Here, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Adrienne Stewart and our skilled team of medical aestheticians at Aesthetic Surgery and Dermatology of Cherry Creek offer a complete list of skin care dos and don’ts following each laser hair removal session.
Laser hair removal uses the focused energy of pulsed laser light to effectively “flip the switch” on active-growth hair follicles, rendering them permanently deactivated and unable to produce hair. While the treatment is safe, fully tested, and FDA-approved, it carries a risk of unwanted side effects like skin irritation and pigment changes.
Luckily, the right post-treatment skin care approach can help you minimize your risk of skin problems following laser hair removal. To calm your skin and prevent unwanted side effects, simply follow our skin care dos and don’ts:
Before your laser hair removal session, our team provides detailed aftercare guidance, which may include specific instructions about your unique skin care needs. In general, we recommend that you:
It’s normal to experience skin redness and swelling immediately following laser hair removal, but these side effects tend to be mild and brief, typically disappearing within a few hours. You can ease any temporary skin swelling and discomfort by applying a cold compress (an ice pack wrapped in a towel) to the treatment area for up to 20 minutes at a time.
If you experience a more severe skin reaction in our office, we may apply a topical steroid cream to immediately reduce inflammation and ease skin sensitivity. If we advise you to get a prescription anti-inflammatory cream, be sure to use it as directed.
On the rare chance that your treated skin area blisters, give us a call. In most cases, applying an antibiotic lotion to the area can promote faster healing and help prevent scarring.
After laser hair removal, your skin is more sensitive to the effects of ultraviolet (UV) light rays. As such, it’s important to protect the treatment area from sun exposure whenever possible; not doing so can cause temporary or permanent pigmentation changes in your skin, including areas of obvious lightening (hypopigmentation).
To protect your skin and prevent pigmentation changes, avoid normal sun exposure for one month before and one month after your laser hair removal treatment. If you can’t keep the treated area covered when you are outdoors, use a broadband sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 or above to protect your skin.
Given that your skin is more sensitive following laser hair removal, there are a few things you should avoid doing. To facilitate optimal skin recovery with minimal irritation, we advise you to:
While you can gently shave the treatment area beginning 24 hours after your session, you want to avoid removing hair from the root by force (i.e., waxing, plucking).
If you have questions about any aspect of aftercare following your laser hair removal session, we can help. Call our expert team at 303-333-6060 today, or click online to schedule your next laser hair removal session at Aesthetic Surgery and Dermatology of Cherry Creek in Denver, Colorado, any time.