The aftercare instructions for laser hair removal may vary depending on the individual's skin type and the specific laser treatment used. However, some general aftercare instructions for laser hair removal include:
- Avoid sun exposure 4-6 weeks before and after treatment until your healthcare provider allows it. Epidermal melanocytes compete with melanin in the hair.
- Your provider may ask you to stop any topical medications or skin care products 3-5 days prior to treatment.
- Avoid bleaching, plucking or waxing hair for 6 weeks prior to treatment. The melanin-containing hair must be present in the follicle as it is the “target” for the laser light.
- If you have had a history of perioral or genital herpes simplex virus, your provider may recommend a prophylactic antiviral therapy. Follow the directions for your particular antiviral medication.
- If you have a tan or have a darker Fitzpatrick Skin Type, a bleaching regimen may be started at least 2 weeks before treatment.
- RECENTLY TANNED SKIN CANNOT BE TREATED! If treated within 2 weeks of active (natural sunlight or tanning booth) tanning, you may develop hypopigmentation (white spots) after treatment and this may not clear for 2-3 months or more.
- The use of self-tanning skin products must be discontinued one week before treatment. Any residual self-tanner should be removed prior to treatment.
- The skin is cleaned and shaved prior to treatment. The use of a topical anesthetic is optional.
- When treating the upper lip, the teeth may be protected with moist white gauze. The gauze also serves to support the lip during treatment, allowing a surface to push against.
- The DCD cryogen cooling device or air cooling will be used with the laser to cool the skin during treatment.
- Safety considerations are important during the laser procedure. Protective eye wear will be worn by the patient and all personnel in the treatment room during the procedure to reduce the chance of damage to the eye. In addition, your Provider will take all necessary precautions to ensure your safety.
POST TREATMENT CARE
- Immediately after treatment, there may be erythema (redness) and edema (swelling) of each hair follicle in the treatment site, which may last up to 2 hours, or longer. The erythema may last up to 2-3 days. The treated area will feel like a sunburn for a few hours after treatment.
- Your provider may use an optional cooling method after treatment to ensure your comfort.
- A topical soothing skin care product such as aloe vera gel may be applied following treatment if desired.
- Makeup may be used immediately after the treatment as long as the skin is not irritated.
- Avoid sun exposure to reduce the chance of hyperpigmentation (darker pigmentation).
- Use a sunblock (SPF 30+) at all times throughout the course of treatment.
- Avoid picking or scratching the treated skin. Do not use any other hair removal treatment products or similar treatments (waxing, electrolysis or tweezing) that will disturb the hair follicle in the treatment area for 6 weeks after the laser treatment is performed. Shaving only should be done between treatments.
- Several days to weeks after the treatment, shedding of the treated hair may occur and this appears as new hair growth. This is NOT new hair growth. You can clean and remove the hair by washing or wiping the area with a wet cloth or Loofah sponge.
- After the axilla (underarm) is treated, you may wish to use a powder instead of a deodorant for 24 hours after the treatment to reduce skin irritation.
- There are no restrictions on bathing except to treat the skin gently, as if you had sunburn, for the first 24 hours.