This article is co-written by Sarah Gehrke, RN. Sarah Gerke is a registered Texas nurse. She received a master's degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix in 2013.
The number of sources used in this article is 15. You will find a list of them at the bottom of the page.
Laser hair removal is becoming more and more popular with modern people who do not like to shave unwanted vegetation on their bodies or remove hair with wax, tweezers and a depilator. In recent years, laser hair removal has become one of the most popular procedures in beauty salons. If you follow simple skin care instructions after laser hair removal, including taking care of your skin and choosing the right skin care products, this will help ensure a quick and complete restoration of your skin.
The content of the article:
The essence of laser hair removal is that the light waves of the device affect the melanin contained in the hairs, the heating of which destroys the hair follicle. The more this pigment in the bulb and the less in the epidemic, the more effective the procedure will be, which is why laser hair removal especially helps people with fair skin and dark hairs on the body. At the same time, this method leads to heating of the skin, as happens during intense tanning, so the result of using this method of hair removal can be redness and peeling at the sites of laser exposure.
Skin Care After First Hair Removal
- Exclusion of hot tubs. Cosmetologists do not recommend taking a hot bath or shower on the first day after an hair removal session. A bathhouse and sauna are prohibited until the irritation characteristic of laser exposure has passed, which can take from several days to a week. On the first day, it is better to limit water procedures altogether, and if necessary, take a short cool shower, trying not to apply any detergents to the epilated skin. This will prevent the development of irritation. In general, thermal effects are best reduced to a minimum at first. Also, until the upper layer of the skin is completely healed, it is recommended not to swim in the pool, since chlorine stimulates the epidermis.
- UV protection. After the procedure, it is not recommended to take sun baths for several weeks, and if you can’t avoid sunlight, use a sunscreen with a high protection factor, which is especially important to apply to the skin after hair removal on the face. A visit to the solarium is also prohibited. The epidermis was already damaged during the procedure, it needs care and hydration, and not the additional exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
The increased content of melanin in the skin after tanning will reduce the effect of the next hair removal session. In addition, burns are possible with laser hair removal on tanned skin.
It is best to relieve irritation products that contain panthenol or aloe juice in the composition.
The consequences of improper skin care after the first hair removal
Beauticians are not in vain recommending not to injure irritated skin after laser hair removal with hot water, ultraviolet light and improperly selected cosmetics. Otherwise, the exposed epidermis can heal much longer, and it will not look too beautiful.
So, non-compliance with proper care after the first laser hair removal can lead to the following consequences:
- the appearance of red or brown spots on the skin,
- prolonged irritation
- the appearance of wounds, crusts and even scars,
- severe itching
- allergic reaction
- the appearance of burns, swelling and blisters, which happens after sunburn or prolonged heat exposure.
If the listed symptoms do not go away after a week, even if you follow the rules for skin care after hair removal, it is important to contact the cosmetologist who performed the procedure, or a dermatologist.
What to do after hair removal
Immediately after the procedure and for the next three to five days soothing cream must be applied to treated skin areas such as Panthenol, Pantoderm, or Bepanten. If the skin dries up, moisturizers can be applied several times a day as needed.
If you have special sensitivity, allergic reactions, or any doubt about the choice of cream, you should consult with a cosmetologist or your doctor.
The cream in the first days after laser hair removal should be as light as possible, because too heavy and oily substances clog pores, as a result of which small acne rashes may appear on the skin. In addition, you should make sure that the creams you use do not contain retinol and glycolic acid, these substances are contraindicated for the skin after laser hair removal.
Regardless of what time of the year you did hair removal, the skin after the procedure should be especially protected from direct sunlight. Therefore, before going out, be sure to treat the “surviving” hair areas of the skin sunblock with an SPF factor of at least 30 (in summer or in intense sun use creams with maximum protection).
After laser hair removal, sunscreens must be used no less than for three months.
Another tip: for a few days after the procedure, when taking a shower, use gels and foams instead of a solid soap. Water should be warm, not hot.
What doesn’t need to be done after laser hair removal
During the day after laser hair removal, you should try not to wet the treated skin areas, and during the next two to three, do not rub the skin with a washcloth.
Further, in order to avoid inflammation, after laser hair removal it is impossible:
- sunbathing (even with sunscreen) - at least two weeks (more),
- visit a solarium, sauna, bathhouse, use an ultraviolet lamp - at least three weeks,
- swim in pools and take a jacuzzi and any long water procedures - at least one and a half to two weeks,
- to play sports and all that is associated with strong physical exertion, in order to avoid intensive work of sweat glands - at least a week,
- take an intense hot shower and, especially, a bath - at least two weeks,
- use scrubs and other skin irritants (including those containing alcohol, abrasives, etc.) - at least two weeks.
In addition, it should be borne in mind that Do not massage during the first few days after laser hair removal (with the exception of light massage of the skin, which is allowed starting from the second day after the procedure).
During this period, you should refrain from any stressful loads on the body, including smoking and drinking alcohol.
Any new drug prescribed at this time is also a reason to exercise caution and consult a doctor in addition.
Any gross removal of regrowing hair reduces the effect of laser hair removal, at the same time, gently shaving them with a machine tool, on the contrary, gives a positive result, which is why after laser hair removal you can neither pull out the hair with tweezers, nor remove them with wax, sugar paste, vibroepilator, etc.
Laser hair removal: possible complications after the hair removal procedure
Unfortunately, with all its effectiveness, laser hair removal sometimes still leads to certain complications. Usually they occur immediately after the procedure and after a while pass by themselves, without requiring any additional intervention or treatment. It is important to be prepared for what can accompany this type of hair removal procedure, and not to panic if this happens.
So, slight redness and some swelling of the skin - a completely normal phenomenon after laser hair removal. The same applies to color change (both towards the dark and towards the light) or the appearance of age spots on treated areas of the skin - such an incident can occur as a short-term side effect after laser hair removal.
Sometimes a procedure can also cause skin burn, which, of course, cannot be considered the norm, and yet the situation is standard and, as a rule, not dangerous. Of the serious consequences worth mentioning the appearance of scars and scars, with special skin sensitivity and low skill of the master, this is theoretically possible, but very unlikely.
In order to understand in which cases it is worth worrying, we will understand the causes of such phenomena and learn how to minimize their consequences on our own.
Causes of complications and their treatment (burns, irritations and other troubles)
Any complication after laser hair removal, as a rule, can be explained by one of two reasons or their combination: the first is the individual characteristics of your body, the second and the main one is an incorrect procedure (poor specialist or poor-quality equipment).
But subjective features, including an individual pain threshold, have not been canceled either. If you feel uncomfortable during hair removal, this does not necessarily mean that a quack works with you.
Propensity to allergies, features of the hair structure and skin properties are those factors that affect the likelihood of complications and the nature of their manifestation after laser hair removal.
Early complications after laser hair removal
So, the first complication is feeling of pain. We have already mentioned its reasons, now we will figure out what can be done with this. The simplest recommendation is cool compresses, under normal conditions, they completely help relieve pain.
With increased sensitivity, it is recommended to “freeze” the skin by applying ice for some time before hair removal, to make the procedure less painful, and immediately after, to prevent the development of pain.
If you cannot bear the pain at all, it might be worth talking to your doctor about anesthesia (lidocaine is usually used for this). If the pain persists after the procedure, and ice compresses do not help, you can take an anesthetic such as "Ibuprofen", "Ketanova", "Solpadeina", etc.
Second moment - redness or irritation of the skin after laser hair removal. “Panthenol” or other similar means helps to cope with this, helping to accelerate the healing process of burns and damage to the epidermis. Typically, these effects are gradually reduced and, finally, completely disappear within a week or two. If the effect persists for more than a month, this may be due to the excessively high exposure of the laser to the skin, but just in case you should see a doctor.
Swelling after laser hair removal can last up to two days. If the procedure was carried out on the face and caused swelling, cold compresses should be applied to the face and sleep with your head on a high pillow.
Quite often, after the procedure, dry skin is felt, sometimes accompanied by burning or itching. This is a completely normal reaction to the laser (after a long exposure to the sun, we feel the same).
In addition, the skin may darken and even begin to peel off, which is not very good, but also not scary. The treatment methods are the same as with sunburn: Panthenol, moisturizing creams, folk methods such as lubricating the skin with kefir, and after a while everything will go away.
The appearance of burns after laser hair removal - in most cases, the result of the work of a layman. Although not a reason to panic. The cause of the burn, in addition to improper technique or too strong a laser pulse, can be very sensitive to the sun or, on the contrary, too tanned skin, but a specialist should not allow such an effect in any case.
A burn after laser hair removal is especially unpleasant in sensitive places such as a bikini area or armpits, because such areas are especially difficult to protect from constant friction and leave completely open.
To avoid burns from laser hair removal, you should not carry out the procedure, having arrived from a sunny resort, it is necessary to give the skin a break from stress and "relieve" the tan. The standard burn control is Panthenol or other similar drugs.
After laser hair removal, various manifestations are also possible. allergic reaction - itching, rash, cyanosis, etc. Usually, you can get rid of them with antihistamines, but in severe cases, you should consult a doctor.
In any circumstances, it is necessary to notify the specialist before carrying out the next session about this side effect and refrain from the procedure until the exact cause of the allergy has been established (for example, the drug used to anesthetize may cause an allergy, in which case it should be replaced with another )
Another complication after laser hair removal is folliculitis (specific skin inflammation). Usually this happens when ignoring the rules of conduct after the procedure, in particular, prolonged exposure to water.
Rarely, but still happens, when the result of laser hair removal is acne, herpetic eruptions and other skin problems.
Usually unpleasant consequences after laser hair removal, no matter how serious they may seem, gradually pass without a trace. But if one or another painful symptom lasts several weeks - this is an occasion to consult a doctor.
Perhaps the exception is the visual apparatus, which sometimes occurs as a result of laser hair removal of the eyebrows (especially if, in violation of safety precautions, the eyes were not protected).
Neglecting simple rules can, at best, cause conjunctivitis, and at worst, lead to photophobia, inflammation of the choroid, and greatly impair vision.
Late troubles after the procedure
A burn after poor quality laser hair removal may remain dark spots - lighter or, conversely, darker areas of the skin. The likelihood of such a nuisance increases dramatically if we neglect the ban on sunbathing in the first months after the procedure. As a rule, the problem can be dealt with, but not independently, but with the help of a professional cosmetologist.
Another unpleasant consequence of a burn after hair removal - scarring. Their appearance is almost guaranteed if the burn area festering or the patient tore off the crust from the wound when it began to heal. Paradoxically, some types of scars after laser hair removal are eliminated again with a laser.
A rather rare, but still likely complication after laser hair removal - abnormal increase in hair growth. The condition has the nature of the disease and is treated with medication, so if such a nuisance happened, do not panic, but simply consult a doctor.
Even more exotic effects of laser hair removal - excessive sweating with a particularly unpleasant odor (sometimes occurs after underarm hair removal), graying hair.
Finally, a serious nuisance after hair removal is considered birthmarks and melanomaswhich are always undesirable, because one way or another is associated with the formation of atypical cells.
Black dots after laser hair removal - don't panic
Black dots after laser hair removal are nothing more than improperly removed hairs that began to grow inward (under the skin).
It looks ugly and, in addition, can cause inflammation, so you need to get rid of the problem - with a needle or tweezers.
Required sanitize the instrument before the procedure and do not pick out the hairs with your hands, so as not to bring any infection under the skin!
If you notice that after each hair removal the number of ingrown hairs increases, you should think about changing the method of getting rid of excess hair.
From the foregoing, we can conclude that laser hair removal is really effective, relatively painless and quite affordable way to remove hair, but for this you need to adhere to two conditions: choose a trustworthy institution (preferably a medical one) and strictly observe all skin care rules before, during and, most importantly, after the procedure.
In the video, the specialist talks about the recommendations of the salon on skin care after laser hair removal