Cosmetic Surgery Tips

How To Treat Folliculitis After Laser Hair Removal

The laser hair removal professional will inform you before to the treatment that some bumps could develop. The bacteria that has been left behind in the hair follicle is what causes these lumps, which are known as folliculitis. These pimples can be painful and ugly, but they are readily treatable with a few straightforward actions.

What is a folic ulcer?

A hair follicle becomes inflamed with foliculitis, leaving raised, red lumps on the skin. The face, neck, chest, and back are the areas most frequently affected. Folliculitis frequently develops when regrowing hairs get caught in clogged pores or damaged skin. This kind of illness is brought on by bacteria that develops in the skin’s pores and feeds on sebum (oil).

How Does Folliculitis Occur?

Any kind of hair removal, including electrolysis and laser hair removal, can cause folliculitis. Nevertheless, folliculitis is more frequent in those who have undergone laser hair removal since there are more opportunities for germs to thrive in their follicles as a result of scarring brought on by burning tissue during treatment.

In this post, we’ll also consider how to remove dead hair follicles after laser and how to treat ingrown hair after laser.

Have you ever noticed red (sometimes painful) bumps on the skin, usually a few days after shaving? If you answered yes, you’ve most likely experienced ‘folliculitis’! Folliculitis is a skin condition caused by an inflammation of the hair follicle. It’s often confused with ingrown hairs and keratosis pilaris, however differs in cause & biology.

The most common areas to experience folliculitis is on the underarms, legs, pubic area, and arms. This is because the hair is generally thicker and therefore causes more irritation when the hair is removed. It’s a common occurance in both men & women, at any age. ‘Shaving bumps’ on the face, neck, and scalp are similar in appearance, however are referred to as ‘Pseudofolliculitis‘.

Folliculitis isn’t dangerous. However it can be extremely uncomfortable and embarrassing – especially if it’s on your arms or legs! Regardless of its appearance, we recommend treating it ASAP to prevent it from spreading and developing into a more severe infection.

Why am I getting folliculitis?

Folliculitis is caused by bacteria entering damaged follicles. Therefore it usually occurs after hair removal procedures. Regardless of whether you are waxing, shaving, or epilating, you’re still damaging the follicle. Consequently, you are still at risk of getting this bothersome condition.

Whilst not as common, it can also be caused by the friction of your clothing. If the friction is strong enough to damage your hair follicles, it can then cause the infection.

This skin condition is not usually contagious, however some forms of it can be. So we recommend avoiding skin to skin contact or sharing towels until it has completely cleared.

Try not to worry – mild cases will alleviate on their own!

How can I treat it?

There’s no such thing as ‘folliculitis removal’, however it will generally clear by itself (assuming you have a mild case). However if it’s developed into a severe condition, we recommend visiting your GP who will prescribe you with relevant medication.

To speed up recovery of mild cases and to prevent future folliculitis, Laser Hair Removal is the answer!


The laser beam generated by the Candela GentleLase travels to the infected follicle, destroying the bacteria causing the skin condition. By destroying the bacteria, your symptoms should relieve within just a few days post-treatment!

Will it come back after laser hair removal treatments?

You’re likely to experience folliculitis even after laser treatments, if you do not complete your course of treatments. Laser hair removal (LHR) works by damaging your hair follicle until it is damaged enough to stop hair production. Although you’ll notice thinner regrowth after your first few treatments, it will return to its original state if left untreated.

For each location vulnerable to folliculitis, the following therapies are advised:

9–12 therapies for pubic hair folliculitis, including anus folliculitis.
9–12 therapies for underarm folliculitis
Treatment for folicilitis on the arms or legs: 6 to 9
20+ therapies for foliculitis on the face, neck, or head (scalp)

In your LHR consultation, your skin therapist will assess your suitability for treatment and explain the treatment process. If you’re not suitable for LHR, your therapist will provide alternative hair removal procedures and preventive measures.

How else can I prevent folliculitis?

Whilst this condition is sometimes inevitable, there are some things that you can do to prevent future folliculitis infections:

After your hair removal surgery, avoid touching the region with unwashed hands. Being a bacterial infection, folliculitis, it’s crucial to maintain your skin as clean as possible.
Shower after your workout.
If your perspiration remains on your skin for a long time, it may accumulate and lead to folliculitis.
Take care when dressing.
As was already said, wearing tight clothing can irritate your skin and harm your hair follicles.
Razor less.
Even if you don’t have folliculitis, shaving often causes skin irritation. The less shaving you do, the better.

  • Wash your clothes and bath towels frequently. Wearing clean clothes and using clean bath towels will help prevent any damaged follicles become infected.
  • Use an antibacterial soap. Particularly within two weeks after any hair removal procedure (including shaving).
  • Laser Hair Removal. Laser is the only hair removal method that will not only prevent but also treat folliculitis.

White Pimples After Laser Hair Removal

After your laser hair removal session, acne and pimples may appear on treatment areas including your upper lip, legs, armpits, or bikini line. This post-treatment breakout is a side effect of your pores opening up due to the heat of the device and getting clogged with dead skin cells, dirt, and bacteria. As your body tries to get these particles out, it creates a pus-filled bubble as a response. 

Another acne-like side effect is called edema, which is swelling caused by excess fluids trapped in the skin’s tissues. Redness and inflammation are common side effects after laser hair removal and are not permanent so they aren’t a cause for too much worry. 

How To Prevent Post-Laser Hair Treatment Breakouts

Preventing post-laser treatment pimple breakouts requires proper aftercare and good skincare habits. Here are three ways to manage your skin after undergoing laser hair removal procedure: 

Keep the treatment area clean. 

Once you’re done with your laser session, it’s important to cleanse the skin to remove any residue or bacteria that may have been left behind on the surface. You can apply an astringent such as witch hazel to calm down the redness and inflammation. Other anti-inflammatory and antiseptic ingredients like tea tree oil may also help. 

As much as possible, don’t apply any heavy creams or oils to the treatment area immediately after the procedure as these can clog up your pores. Avoid applying make-up, deodorant, lotion, cosmetic, or any other scented cosmetics as well so your skin can breathe as it heals. With the pathways to your pores open, it would be much easier for them to clear out any debris and prevent an acne breakout. 

Don’t sweat it out just yet. 

After a laser hair removal procedure, your skin will be extremely sensitive and vulnerable to harm, therefore heat will be your enemy. Sun exposure is undoubtedly bad. You will sweat as a result of anything raising your body temperature, which provides a haven for bacteria that could cause an illness or ingrown hairs. Exercises that make you sweat and that are difficult will also let sweat, oils, and germs enter your pores and cause acne.

You should also stay away from hot tubs, steam rooms, hot showers, and saunas for the same reason. Light walking is the finest exercise if you really want to. For at least 2 to 3 days following treatment, you should also refrain from swimming in the ocean, lakes, rivers, jacuzzis, and swimming pools with heavily chlorinated water. Water bodies would include bacteria, pollutants, and algae that you wouldn’t want to come into contact with.

Be gentle with your skin. 

As much as possible, do not pick, pop, rub, or scratch any emerging acne spots to avoid scarring or another adverse effect. In the days following laser hair removal, exfoliate the treatment area with a gentle exfoliant or scrub to prevent ingrown hairs and clogged pores. If swelling and redness occur, you may apply ice. Be sure to keep the ice inside a clean towel before patting on your skin. 

Depending on your needs, your dermatologist may prescribe cooling creams, ointments, or topical steroids for any skin irritation. A thin layer of hydrocortisone cream is also good for managing itchy bumps and preventing breakouts or edemas from forming. A product with aloe vera in it would also keep your skin cool and moisturized so you wouldn’t be as red either. 

Preparing For Your Next Laser Hair Session

In order to keep your skin in top condition after any laser hair removal procedure, you will need to exert effort in taking care of it before each session. Prepare for a laser treatment by doing the following: 

During consultationWhen you consult with the medical practitioner who will perform the procedure, it’s important you disclose any medications you take and the medical conditions you have, especially skin-related ones. 
Six months before treatment UV and sun exposure should be avoided to avoid skin damage. Stay in the shade, skip tanning beds or spray tans, and protect your skin with sunscreen. Avoid other hair removals like threading, waxing, or electrolysis to prevent follicle disruption. 
Week before treatmentSkip chemical peels, strong skincare products, and other procedures. Shaving the treatment area the night before is also encouraged to avoid surface burns. Exfoliate and cleanse your skin as well to keep bacteria from entering your pores during the process. 

How To Remove Dead Hair Follicles After Laser

While you shouldn’t forcefully pluck hair away, you are free to scrub or shave the hair shorter to speed up the shedding process. Gently buff the treatment area in a circular motion using a loofah or a soft cotton washcloth to remove dead hair.

How To Treat Ingrown Hair After Laser

There are a few ways to get rid of ingrown hairs:

The DIY Method for Ingrown Hair Removal

***Full disclosure: We do NOT recommend this method. If your ingrown hairs are painful or irritating, it’s always best to see a dermatologist before attempting to remove them yourself.***

Start by soaking a washcloth in warm water and placing it on the skin. The warm compress will help to push the hair up through the skin’s surface.

Why? Because heat promotes circulation, and that increased circulation can help drive the hair upward.

If you can see that the hair is starting to emerge, pull it out gently with sterile tweezers. Don’t pluck it out completely — just coax it out so that the edge of the hair is above the surface layer of the skin.

If you can’t see the hair, stop immediately and call a doctor. What makes the DIY method so dangerous is that people often dig into the skin to get at the hair, which can cause an infection.

With any luck, you’ll be able to get the edge of the hair out so that it doesn’t continue to grow under the skin. If you’re able to do so, complete the process by washing and exfoliating the area thoroughly.

Topical Treatments

Instead of trying to pluck the hair, use a topical treatment instead. There are a variety of safe skincare products that can help draw the hair out and soothe irritation.

Tea tree oil, retinoids, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid are all effective methods. Exfoliant products can also help. You can buy these items over the counter from any pharmacy.

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is another effective method. With this method, you can get rid of your ingrown hairs and prevent them from returning in the future.

Here’s how laser hair removal works:

A technician applies a pulse of light onto the surface of the skin, killing not just the hair but the entire hair follicle.

Hair needs a healthy follicle to grow, so destroying it prevents the hair from growing back.

Laser hair removal is a safe and effective method that can be performed on any area of the body (except around the eyes).

It requires several treatments, but is a relatively painless procedure. And, it can prevent those ingrown hairs from ever returning!

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