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11 Dos and Don’ts of Laser Hair Removal Aftercare

Kristina Cadwell  
April 20, 2022  

Laser hair removal is one of the few hair removal methods whose results last for years and in some cases, forever. It involves using a laser device to damage or destroy the hair follicle, impeding future hair growth.

The treatment is considered safe when performed by trained skin professionals in a clean environment. However, patients can expect side effects such as redness, pain, and swelling. To ensure the side effects are mild and short-lived, cosmetic providers instruct their patients to take precautionary measures after the treatment.

This article goes through 11 laser hair removal aftercare tips for safe and successful treatment results.

Laser hair removal aftercare tips

Laser Hair Removal Aftercare Dos

To ease potential pain and discomfort, follow these laser hair removal aftercare tips.

1. Apply Cool Compresses

Cool compress after laser hair removal

Apply a cold compress or ice wrapped in a dry cloth to soothe pain and minimize swelling. Keep the compress on the treatment area for 5-10 minutes several times a day until the side effects subside.

2. Wear Loose Fitting Clothes on the Treatment Day

The hair follicles often retain heat from the laser for a few days after the laser hair removal treatment. Wear loose-fitting clothes during that time to avoid friction and skin irritation.

3. Use Cool or Lukewarm Water for 48 Hours

Using lukewarm water after laser hair removal

Hot water can burn and blister the skin after a laser hair removal treatment. Use only lukewarm water when you shower and wash your face to avoid skin irritation.  

4. Wait at Least Four Weeks Until the Next Treatment

Most patients need at least six treatments to achieve long-lasting results. The sessions need to be spaced four to six weeks apart for optimal results.

Laser Hair Removal Aftercare Don'ts

Avoid the following activities and products to minimize side effects and achieve the desired effects after a laser treatment.

1. Avoid Sun Exposure, Saunas, and Hot Baths for Several Days

Avoiding sun after laser hair removal

Like hot water, the sun and heat can burn and irritate the skin after laser hair removal so avoid both for several days. If you do spend time outdoors, make sure you apply an SPF 30+ sunscreen.


Note: Learn why you need to apply sunscreen every day, how to choose a sunscreen, and which are the best sunscreen products.


2. Avoid Tanning Lotions for Several Days

After a laser hair removal treatment, the skin is sensitive and needs time to heal. Don’t apply self-tanners for several days to avoid burns, rashes, bumps, and irritation.

3. Avoid Lotions with Perfumes and Fragrances for 48 Hours

Perfumes and fragrances are harsh on the skin and can cause redness and discoloration if used after a laser hair removal treatment, when the skin is very sensitive. Avoid products with these ingredients, including underarm deodorant.

4. Don’t Apply Pressure to the Treated Area for Several Days

No skin rubbing after laser hair removal

Allow your skin to heal properly after a laser treatment so avoid rubbing, scratching, scrubbing, tweezing, waxing, and other activities that involve the application of pressure on the treated area.

5. Avoid Body Scrubs for 48 Hours

Body scrubs contain abrasive components that exfoliate the skin. They can cause redness and irritation when the skin is sensitive. Wait until your skin has healed before you use body scrubs.


Note: Learn how to use a body scrub correctly.


6. Don’t Go Swimming for 48 Hours

Swimming pools contain chlorine, while lakes, rivers, and the sea harbor bacteria and algae that can irritate the skin. Wait at least 48 hours (or longer) before going for a swim.

7. Avoid Cosmetic Treatments in the Treated Area for Two Weeks

Though minimally invasive, chemical peels, IPL photofacial, and microdermabrasion are too harsh on the skin after laser hair removal. Wait about two weeks before you schedule any of these treatments.  

Can You Shave After Laser Hair Removal?

Shaving after laser hair removal

Shaving is necessary before laser hair removal to avoid surface skin damage, but skin experts advise against it for several days after the laser treatment. Wait until redness, swelling, and itching are gone to shave again.  

When Should You See a Doctor?

Side effects after laser hair removal are usually mild and short-lived. However, you should contact your medical provider immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Burns, blisters, or scars
  • Skin discoloration
  • Swelling that doesn’t subside after three days
  • Pain that can’t be relieved with medication
  • Infection

Conclusion

Laser hair removal is one of the most popular hair removal methods today. It is quick, effective, and provides lasting results. Make sure you follow the best aftercare practices to ensure the desired effects.

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About the Author:
Kristina Cadwell
PA Kristina Cadwell graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She then completed the Physician Assistant program at A.T. Still University graduating with a Masters of Medical Science degree. Kristina has been working in the Aesthetic Medical field for over 10 years. She is certified in neurotoxin cosmetic injection, dermal fillers, Plasma Pen skin tightening, chemical peels, and laser therapy. She is known for producing natural results and has extensive knowledge in diet and exercise allowing her to help you achieve vibrant skin from the inside out.
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