So, you’re getting laser hair removal. If you’re wondering what laser hair removal pre- and post-treatment instructions are we have outlined a simple guide below.
About Laser Hair Removal
Due to hair growth patterns, it takes six to eight sessions to completely treat a single area. The sessions are several weeks apart, making fall and winter the best seasons to have your treatments — you’ll be ready to go for the summer! Learn more about pre-treatment and post-treatment to help you feel more confident in your skin.
Avoid sun exposure or spray tan
Avoid the sun exposure or spray tanning for 4 weeks before treatment. Do not bleach, pluck, or wax for six weeks before surgery. This removes the hair follicle which is necessary for hair removal to be effective. Tan skin will have to be treated at lower settings which may reduce the effectiveness of your treatment. A spray tan cannot be treated.
Cold sore treatment
If you’ve had a history of perioral herpes, prophylactic antiviral therapy may be started the day before treatment and continued one week after treatment. Contact our office if you are in need of a prescription.
Please shave the area to be treated the day of your appointment. Excess hair can increase discomfort during your treatment. Remember not to pluck, wax, bleach, or use depilatory treatments.
Lotions and deodorant
Please avoid using any lotions, underarm deodorant, or makeup the day of your treatment. If you do need to wear makeup, it can be washed off at the time of your treatment. Makeup may be applied immediately after your treatment.
Please stop all Retinol/Retin-A and hydroquinone 3 days prior to treatment. You may resume 3-5 days after treatment depending on how sensitive your skin feels.
What to expect
Immediately after treatment, there should be redness and swelling at the treatment site, which may last several hours. The redness may last up to 2-3 days. The treated area will feel like a sunburn for a few hours after treatment. Ice application the first few hours after treatment may reduce the discomfort and swelling.
While advances in laser hair removal technology have reduced pain significantly there is still a natural, mild amount of pain and discomfort that most patients will experience. The best way to address this is to simply apply aloe vera gel or ice after treatment to help reduce discomfort and cool the skin.
Makeup may be used immediately after the treatment., but remember to be gentle when removing makeup from a treated area.
If you develop blistering, start antibiotic ointment and notify our office immediately. Do not apply makeup over any blisters.
Avoid sun exposure to reduce the chance of complications. Use sunscreen (SPF 30 or greater) at all times throughout the course of treatment to prevent any sunburn damage.
Avoid picking or scratching the treated skin. Do not use any hair removal treatments or products (waxing, electrolysis or tweezing) that will disturb the hair follicle during treatment. Shaving is allowed.
After the axillae or underarms are treated, use a powder, instead of deodorant, for 24 hours after the treatment to reduce skin irritation.
There are no restrictions on bathing except to treat the treated skin gently, as if you had a sunburn, for the first twenty-four hours. Using gentle pressure, especially when removing makeup or anything over the treated skin, will help avoid discomfort.
New hair growth will not occur for at least three weeks after treatment. Anywhere from 5-14 days after the treatment, shedding of the surface hair may occur. This will appear as new hair growth. You can clean and remove the hair by washing or wiping the area with a wet cloth or Loofa sponge.
Call our office with any questions or concerns you may have after treatment. Be sure to schedule your follow-up treatment within four weeks for facial areas and six weeks for body areas. It is important to maintain this schedule. Varying from it will negatively impact your hair clearance.
Laser hair removal is the ideal solution to unwanted body hair, and taking care of your skin before and after treatment is an important part of seeing the long-term results you will love. Follow pre- and post-treatment instructions to help ensure a quick, healthy and glowing recovery.