Cosmetic Surgery Tips

How To Treat Rash After Laser Hair Removal

The laser hair removal process is a great way to get rid of unwanted body hair. It’s fast, effective, and can be carried out as part of your regular beauty routine. However, as with any cosmetic procedure, there are side effects that may occur after treatment. One of these is itching—a feeling that can make you feel uncomfortable and makes it hard for you to enjoy your new look.

So if you’ve started experiencing itching after laser hair removal, here are some tips from our experts on how to stop it!

In this blog, we’ll provide answers to how long does rash last after laser hair removal and red bumps after laser hair removal.

How To Treat Rash After Laser Hair Removal

Laser Hair Removal is an extremely safe and effective procedure in removing hair and preventing future growth. In this way, many consider it as a permanent solution for unwanted hair growth. 

This procedure uses a concentrated beam of light (laser) to target and eliminate hair follicles. It does this by emitting light, which is absorbed the pigment in the hair, turning into heat and damaging the follicles. When the hair follicles are damaged, this prevents or slows future growth. Because the laser targets pigment, people with darker hair make better candidates. 

Laser Hair Removal is usually done on areas where hair may be awkward and unsightly for the patient. These areas include but are not limited to the underarm, upper lip, chin, and bikini line. 

But like many cosmetic procedures, it doesn’t come without risks. Two of the most common and persistent side effects after laser hair removal are bumps and itching on the skin. While these two are expected to happen, let’s get right to the ways to prevent and treat them. 

Why do we get bumps and itching?

When undergoing certain skin treatments, such as laser hair removal, it is common to experience side effects such as hyperpigmentation and skin irritation. One of the most common forms of skin irritation is bumps and itching, which can be uncomfortable and unsightly. The skin irritation that occurs after laser hair removal is a result of damage to the hair follicles. This damage causes the body to react by becoming red, tender, and slightly swollen in the affected areas.After the initial redness and swelling subsides, small bumps may form in the same area where the laser treatment was done. These bumps can be itchy and irritating, and may take some time to go away completely. It is important to note that not everyone will experience this side effect, but for those who do, it can be a frustrating aspect of the laser hair removal process.The bumps that form after laser hair removal are known as folliculitis, which is inflammation of the hair follicles. This condition can be caused by a variety of factors, including irritation from shaving or waxing, bacterial or fungal infections, and damage from laser treatments. In the case of laser hair removal, the bumps are typically a result of the hair follicles becoming inflamed due to the heat from the laser.To help alleviate the symptoms of folliculitis after laser hair removal, there are a few steps that can be taken. It is important to avoid scratching or picking at the bumps, as this can lead to further irritation and potential scarring. Keeping the affected area clean and moisturized can also help to reduce discomfort and promote healing. If the bumps are particularly itchy, a soothing lotion or hydrocortisone cream may provide relief.In some cases, the bumps may persist for longer periods of time or become infected. If this occurs, it is advisable to consult with a dermatologist for further treatment options. They may recommend topical antibiotics or other medications to help clear up the infection and reduce inflammation.

Some people may be alarmed by these bumps, but they’re completely normal and usually subside within a day or two. These bumps may also become itchy, but it is crucial you do not scratch them. Scratching them might aggravate the inflammation and result in unsightly scarring.

How do I prevent these bumps?

These bumps are a common side effect, which is all but expected. However, sticking to the pre-procedure routine might lessen its symptoms and severity. Here are the usual things to do before laser hair removal:

  • Stay out of the sun: Avoiding sun exposure before and after treatment is an essential part of this process. Tanned areas may get burned or discolored, as the pigment will attract the laser. You should apply sunblock with SPF 30+ on the areas you want to have the procedure done. 
  • Shaving treatment areas: You’ll want to shave the parts where you want to have the laser hair removal done. Doing this may prevent surface burns on hairs that protrude the top layer of skin. You should avoid plucking, waxing, and other hair removal methods for up to six weeks. These alternative methods may disturb the hair follicles, which are a key part of this procedure. 
  • Avoid blood-thinning medications: You’ll want to consult with your physician about which drugs to avoid beforehand. These may include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Don’t apply deodorant, moisturizer, or makeup to treatment area: You will want to keep your skin as bare as possible before treatment, as any foreign material could harm you.

Woman smiling after laser hair removal procedure

How do I treat these bumps after the laser hair removal?

Post-care treatment is crucial in treating symptoms and side effects. Here are what experts advise you to do:

  • Avoid sun exposure: This part is equally crucial for the next seven days post-treatment. The treated areas will be quite sensitive, so the UV might harm the skin and cause discoloration. 
  • Apply cold towels, ice packs, and some restorative gel to affected areas: This may help alleviate pain and swelling. This could also ease the itching that comes along with the bumps.
  • We recommend Tylenol and other over-the-counter medication to treat discomfort: You can take some pain relief medication to help you if the discomfort becomes noticeable. 

Do not apply any harsh products on the treated area for the next 24 hours: While redness is present, you’ll want to stay away from makeup and other harsh skin products. These products may irritate your skin and lead to unwanted side effects. It’s best to avoid them in the meantime.

Common laser hair removal side effects and how to fix or prevent them

Redness and irritation

You may experience some redness, small bumps, irritation, and temporary discomfort directly after a treatment, but only on the area that was lasered.

This is temporary and should go away on its own within a few hours to a couple days. However, you can help soothe the area by using a cooling cream. For example, try a fragrance-free aloe vera, or non-comedogenic aftersun products). You can also use ice packs or cold wash cloths as compresses to reduce swelling, or sensations of burning or itching.

Avoid using harsh cleansers or exfoliants on the treated area. This will only irritate the skin further.

Slight discoloration

After laser hair removal treatments, your skin may appear slightly discolored. This is a temporary side effect and usually goes away on its own within a week or so.

If you have any severe pain, in addition to discoloration, you should call your laser treatment provider right away, or see a doctor. You should not feel like you are ‘on fire.’

That said, some discomfort is expected. It is common to feel like you have razor burn after laser hair removal. But, it is not common to feel debilitated by pain.

If you’re unsure whether or not your symptoms are serious, call and ask the clinic you went to for this service. They may ask you to come in for an assessment (especially if a doctor runs the clinic). If that is the case, don’t delay going back so they can take a look, and advise further.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (‘burn marks’)

Some people call these scars, but they are not quite the same thing. Permanent, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can create a ‘burn mark’ if a laser was used inappropriately during hair removal sessions. They can be hard to reverse (though steps can be taken to try to reduce their appearance).

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is the result of skin being affected by the laser treatment, instead of the hair follicle only. Ideally, a laser should not do this. However, since laser light is attracted to pigment, tanned skin, or certain skin tones, can be more susceptible to this side effect. If the laser is set too high for the context in which it is being used, the chances for ‘burn marks’ can increase.

This is why we can’t stress enough that seeking a treatment like laser hair removal is very serious. It should only be done in a professional setting. It’s nothing like waxing at a spa, nor even like electrolysis with needles.

As a precaution, you should never, ever (we mean never) undergo laser treatments if you have recently been exposed to the sun. Even if you are not fully bronzed, sun exposure can spur melanocyte activity in your skin. This will make you more sensitive to hyperpigmentation from laser treatments.

You should also avoid the sun after treatments, and wear high-SPF, broad spectrum sunscreen daily.

If you do find yourself with a permanent burn mark or scar that won’t go away after laser hair removal, you should start by contacting your provider. If it is a medically-run clinic, they will likely be your best bet. This is because they will have information about how your scar may have happened to begin with. If they don’t have access to a doctor, you should seek medical care on your own.

Acne and pimples

After your laser hair removal sessions, acne may appear on the treatment area. This side effect happens when pores get clogged. Since the heat of the laser opens up your pores, your skin will be sensitive to these very tiny infections. They happen the same way as any acne would – dead skin cells and bacteria can’t escape, so they create a puss-filled bubble as your body tries to get them out.

This issue can be prevented with a proper, post-lasering treatment regime. Keep the area clean. Avoid putting on makeup, deodorant or other cosmetics directly after sessions. This will allow the skin to ‘breathe’ while it heals. You want to keep that ‘pathway’ open for the pores to clear out debris.

But, do keep using the cooling creams or ointments that a doctor suggests, to keep irritation down.

If acne persists after laser hair removal, it can be helped with a triple-antibiotic ointment. This type of product can be found over-the-counter at most drugstores. A doctor can advise you on which one you need (another reason to only use a doctor-led medical spa for any laser treatment).

You should refrain from picking or popping the acne spots, to avoid scarring.

Blisters

Since lasers use heat from light energy to destroy hair follicles, they can create blisters, like a burn would. However, this would be unusual in a medically-run clinic, and when using the most modern devices.

One basic part of training with laser hair removal technicians is to keep the skin cool during the procedure. This is so that the laser heats only the pigments in the hair shaft, and not the skin. You may be iced during sessions, to achieve this.

Some lasers are so ahead of this issue, they include cooling devices into their handpieces. This way, additional icing is not always necessary.

If you get a blister from laser hair removal, allow it to heal as you would any other blister. Use a wound healing cream to avoid infection. Do not try to pop the blister.

Be sure to tell your provider that you got the blister, and ask them what measures they will take to prevent it from happening again.

Hair regrowth

It is possible to be lasered too much. Laser hair removal can only achieve about 80 – 90% hair reduction in a single treatment area. If it is overdone, it can reactivate hair follicles.

The best way to handle this is with prevention. Your laser clinic provider should not be over-aggressive in attempting to remove 100% of your hairs.

If you want that baby-bare skin, electrolysis may help to clear out the few strands that remain, after laser hair removal has taken you most of the way there. However, many people are happy to do at-home maintenance on these leftover hairs. Waxing or shaving is a lot easier when there is less hair to begin with. However, you should only do this after your series of laser treatments are completely done.

Laser hair removal side effects are minimal and temporary, when the procedure is done safely

While severe side effects are possible, most of the time, laser hair removal poses very minimal risk. Most issues are temporary. However, the length of time side effects last can depend on the practitioner performing the procedure, and the measures you take to both prepare for sessions, and care for your skin afterwards.

If you experience rare, long-term side-effects, or if you are not certain they are related to your laser hair removal sessions, always call your provider. Ask to speak with a doctor on staff.

Keep yourself safe from laser hair removal injuries

As a final word, we will also say this:

Don’t be fooled by ‘cheap deals’ and ‘back door’ offices for laser hair removal. Some of these places even come with fancy signage and beautiful websites. The questions should ultimately be: is a doctor running this clinic? What is their experience in the industry? Who trains the staff that does treatments? What are the staff qualifications? And so on…

Lasers are not regulated, so anyone can acquire them. That leaves it completely up to the consumer to determine whether they are getting a quality, safe treatment.

That’s a shame. And that’s why, in 2011, we pioneered an organization calling for standardization in the industry. It’s called the BC Society of Aesthetic Physicians (BCSAP).

Many doctors feel the same way, especially after a woman was left with a slew of burn marks on her legs and gential area. Read more on that in this article by the CBC (opens a new tab).

In the meantime, you can do a lot to prevent the worst side effects of laser hair removal, by doing your research, and choosing a quality provider.

How Long Does Rash Last After Laser Hair Removal

Erythema, commonly known as redness or inflammation, is a common skin response that can occur after various treatments and procedures. It can also be a result of a histamine reaction, which causes the skin to appear red and bumpy. While erythema may be unsettling to see on the skin, it is typically a temporary side effect and should subside within two to three days.

The skin’s ability to heal after injury can vary from person to person, and some individuals may experience prolonged redness and inflammation. To help expedite the healing process and reduce the appearance of erythema, it is recommended to use a product like skinstitut laser aid consistently.

Skinstitut laser aid is a specialized skincare product designed to promote healing and reduce inflammation. By applying the product regularly to the affected area, users can help soothe the skin and encourage faster recovery. The ingredients in skinstitut laser aid work to hydrate the skin, reduce redness, and promote overall skin health.

In addition to using skinstitut laser aid, there are several other ways to help alleviate erythema and promote healing. Some tips and tricks include:

– Avoiding harsh skincare products that may further irritate the skin
– Applying a cold compress to reduce inflammation
– Keeping the skin moisturized to prevent dryness and irritation
– Avoiding excessive sun exposure, which can exacerbate redness and prolong healing time

Overall, erythema is a common skin reaction that can occur after treatments or procedures. While it may be unsightly, it is usually temporary and can be effectively managed with the right skincare products and techniques. By using products like skinstitut laser aid and following proper skincare practices, individuals can help reduce redness, inflammation, and promote faster healing for their skin.

ProductBenefitsSkinstitut laser aidPromotes healing, reduces redness, hydrates skin

Red Bumps After Laser Hair Removal

Small red bumps may appear close to the hair follicle. The occurrence of this is typical. Until they have gone away, resist the urge to pick at, rub, or scratch them. After having laser hair removed, your skin may be more sensitive than usual for a few days.

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