Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Is it safe to do laser hair removal while pregnant

Laser hair removal is a popular way to remove unwanted hair. It is safe to undergo laser hair removal while pregnant, but you should talk to your doctor about the best timing for the procedure. Laser hair removal works by targeting the dark pigment in your hair follicles, which is melanin. When you undergo laser hair removal, a device sends light pulses into your skin that target the melanin in your follicles and destroy it. This prevents regrowth of hair in the area treated.

While there are no studies on whether or not it’s safe for pregnant women to undergo laser hair removal, many doctors recommend getting this procedure done before pregnancy. However, if you do decide to get laser treatment while pregnant, make sure that your doctor knows and can advise you regarding proper timing of treatment and safety precautions while undergoing it.

You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on Is it safe to do laser hair removal while pregnant, is laser hair removal permanent. Read on to learn more. We at cosmeticsurgerytips have all the information that you need about side effects of laser hair removal on bikini area. Read on to learn more.

Is it safe to do laser hair removal while pregnant

Overview

A lot of people turn to laser hair removal to reduce hair and its growth. It’s used for areas on the face, legs, underarms, and bikini zone.

The American Academy for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery says over a million people had the procedure done in 2016. But should pregnant women have laser hair removal? The short answer, according to many doctors, is no.

Here’s why it’s less likely to work while you’re pregnant and when investing the time and money for the treatment can work.

How laser hair removal works

A doctor or laser technician aims a beam of light at the region you want to treat. The laser targets the dark pigment in each hair, sending heat down the hair shaft and into the follicle.

If the heat completely destroys the follicle, it won’t produce hair again. If the follicle is just damaged, then the hair may grow back, but it will probably be finer and lighter than before.

Pregnancy and all the hair

When you’re pregnant, your body is awash with hormones. Higher levels of estrogen and androgen can cause hair to grow in places where it never appeared before, especially in the third trimester.

You could suddenly notice hair on your belly, face, neck, breasts, and arms. The good news is that this hair growth is quite common, and it generally goes away on its own after the baby arrives.

Pregnancy hormones not only affect where hair suddenly sprouts and how much of it you have to deal with, they also change the growth cycle of your hair.

The hairs on your head and your body all have an active growth phase called anagen. When the hair is fully grown, it enters a resting state called telogen, after which it falls out.

Pregnancy hormones delay the “falling out” phase, which might be why you notice thicker, fuller hair. Your body simply isn’t letting go of the usual amount of hair.

About three to six months after the baby arrives and your hormones normalize, the extra hair will fall out. This sudden loss of hair is called telogen effluvium.

The estrogen-induced hair growth, combined with the increasing difficulty of reaching some parts of your body as your belly grows, may have you wondering whether you should schedule an appointment for laser hair removal as an alternative to shaving, waxing, or using depilatory creams.

The main reason to wait: No safety studies

The International Journal of Women’s DermatologyTrusted Source published a review in 2017 on the safety of cosmetic procedures for pregnant women.

The reviewers said that while lasers have been safely used to treat medical conditions like kidney stones and genital warts in pregnant women, there’s no safety data available to support using lasers for cosmetic procedures like laser hair removal.

The lack of research on this subject probably won’t change soon, because scientists don’t want to risk harming mothers and babies by intentionally exposing them to potentially harmful products and procedures.

Although laser hair removal is generally considered a safe procedure, doctors and dermatologists usually advise women to avoid the procedure because no studies have been done to prove that it’s safe for mothers and babies. In the absence of research, doctors err on the side of caution.

Dr. Kelly Jago, an OB-GYN in St. Augustine, Florida, advises patients to take a cautious approach.

“My best advice would be that if one could hold off on this elective procedure until after the pregnancy, I would recommend doing so,” she says.

Other reasons to wait until you’re postpartum

One of the more common changes that can happen during pregnancy is darkening of your skin — a condition called hyperpigmentation.

According to doctors at Mayo Clinic, laser hair removal is most effective when there’s a contrast between the color of your skin and the color of your hair. If hyperpigmentation has made the skin on your target zone closer to the color of your hair, treatment might be less effective.

In addition, pregnancy disrupts your normal hair growth cycle. For laser hair removal to be effective, you could need as many as six treatments. Ideally, these treatments would take place during the active growth phase of the cycle. But because pregnancy hormones can change the duration of some phases, you could end up having the procedure done in the wrong phase.

Then there’s the question of skin sensitivity. Pregnancy increases the blood supply throughout your body. It also stretches out the skin on your abdomen and breasts. Having laser hair removal treatments while your skin is in this tender state may be uncomfortable.

Can laser hair removal affect getting pregnant?

There’s no evidence that laser hair removal affects your chances of becoming pregnant. If you’re trying to get pregnant, check with your doctor before beginning laser hair removal treatments.

For most people, successful reduction of hair growth takes several treatments spaced out over a period of up to nine months. It’s possible you could undergo a treatment before you realize you are pregnant, exposing you to the risks associated with the procedure, including:

  • skin irritation
  • changes to your skin’s color
  • blistering
  • scarring
  • excessive hair regrowth, in rare cases

Laser hair removal alternatives

Temporary methods like shaving, waxing, threading, and tweezing are generally considered safe during pregnancy. As your body’s shape and size change, you may need help reaching some areas to remove unwanted hair.

If you decide to get help from an aesthetician or a dermatologist, be sure that the facility is clean and the technician licensed to perform the service you want.

While depilatory creams have historically been considered safe for use during pregnancy, there are no studies to prove that chemicals like barium sulfide powder and thioglycolic acid are absolutely harmless to mothers and babies.

You should also be aware that the Food and Drug AdministrationTrusted Source has received reports of painful skin reactions associated with these creams and lotions. Since there’s little research on possible effects, this might be a good topic to discuss with a doctor before you begin.

One important note

Doctors recommend not to shave your pubic area immediately before going to the hospital to deliver your baby, especially if you’re planning a cesarean delivery. Shaving can cause tiny nicks and scrapes that could lead to infection in or around the wound site.

How soon after delivery can you schedule laser hair removal?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says you should think of postpartum care as a long-term process, rather than just one appointment. During your first few months after delivery, talk with your obstetrician regularly to discuss all the ways your body is changing.

Your doctor is the best person to help you decide when your hormones have gotten back to normal and your skin is ready to receive laser treatments. These conversations will be especially important if you have wounds or incisions from an episiotomy or a cesarean delivery.

Is it safe for pregnant laser technicians to keep working?

There’s no evidence to suggest that a properly trained and outfitted laser technician is in any danger from operating a laser machine while being pregnant. If you have concerns, you can talk to your doctor about the risks.

The takeaway

Pregnancy can cause lots of changes to your body, including the sudden appearance of hair in spots it hasn’t been. Most of these changes will be resolved in the months following delivery.

If you want to reduce the amount of hair on your face, arms, belly, legs, or bikini area, it’s probably safest to shave, thread, pluck, or wax, depending on the size of the area you’re concerned about.

After your delivery, talk to your doctor about how soon to resume laser hair removal treatments on any areas where unwanted hair hasn’t gone away.

Is laser hair removal permanent

Woman having laser hair removal on her armpit
When the hair follicle is destroyed, laser hair removal is permanent.

Laser hair removal uses light to target the pigment in individual hairs. The light travels down the shaft of the hair and into the hair follicle.

The heat from the laser light destroys the hair follicle, and a hair can no longer grow from it.

Hair follows a unique growth cycle that involves resting, shedding, and growing periods. Recently removed hair that is in a resting phase will not be visible to the technician or laser, so a person may need to wait until it regrows before removing it.

For most people, laser hair removal requires several treatments over the course of 2 to 3 months.

Is laser hair removal permanent?

Hair removal from a destroyed hair follicle is permanent. However, people who undergo hair removal can expect that some hair in the targeted area will grow back.

Over time, it is possible to treat the area again to reduce the number of hairs that regrow. In some cases, it may even be possible to eliminate all hair.

Whether or not hair grows back depends on numerous factors, including the type of hair that regrows and the skill of the person removing the hair.

Most people find that when hair regrows, it is lighter and less noticeable than it was before. This is because the laser may damage the hair follicle even when it fails to destroy it.

If a hair follicle is damaged but not destroyed, the hair will eventually regrow. It can be difficult to destroy every single hair follicle, so most people will see some hair regrowth.

When hair regrows, it is possible to treat it again, so people who want to remove all the hair may need several treatments.

In some cases, hair may be too light, too short, or resistant to treatment. In these cases, a person might choose to use other hair removal methods, such as plucking stray hairs.

How long does laser hair removal last?

Laser hair removal is permanent when the hair follicle is destroyed. When the hair follicle is only damaged, the hair will eventually regrow.

The amount of time it takes for the hair to regrow depends on the person’s unique hair growth cycle. Some people have hair that grows more quickly than others. Hair that is in a resting phase will grow back more slowly than hair that is in another phase.

Most people can expect some hair regrowth within a few months. Once this happens, they can opt for more removal treatments.

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Does skin or hair color make a difference?

Laser hair removal being performed on a woman's face
People with light complexions and dark hair may need fewer treatments than others.

Hair removal works best on people with light complexions who have dark hair. This is because the pigment contrast makes it easier for the laser to target the hair, travel into the follicle, and destroy the follicle.

People with dark skin or light hair may need more treatments than others and may find that more hair grows back.

To permanently remove hair, the technician must know how to target the hair and choose the right type of laser. Research published in 2013Trusted Source found that lasers that produce longer wavelengths work best on dark skin.

Side effects and risks

During treatment, some people experience burning, stinging, or discomfort. For this reason, many technicians apply a numbing cream to the area they are treating. However, some people may have an allergic reaction or skin irritation in response to the numbing cream.

Minor side effects are common, and may include:

  • changes in the color of the skin, particularly in people with dark skin, which are usually temporary
  • skin redness
  • blistering or crusting of the skin

Sometimes, irritation related to hair removal can cause scarring. Damaged skin can also become infected. Though rare, skin infections can spread and become life-threatening.

Providing a detailed medical history and discussing risks and benefits can help the provider determine the right treatment, reducing the risk of serious side effects.

Following hair removal, a person should avoid sun exposure. The sun can irritate the skin, which increases the risk of blisters and scars.

People who experience intense pain, a fever, crusting, blisters, or other signs of skin damage or infection should seek medical attention.

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Cost of laser hair removal

laser hair removal equipment
The average cost of hair removal is $293 per session.

According to 2017 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a hair removal session is $293.

Most people require multiple sessions, so people should talk to their treatment provider about how many sessions they will need to work out the overall cost.

Because laser hair removal is almost always a cosmetic procedure, insurance is unlikely to cover it.

The total cost of laser hair removal depends on several factors, including who performs the treatment. Skilled providers such as dermatologists and plastic surgeons may charge more but are less likely to cause injury or side effects.

Other factors affecting the cost include:

  • the number of treatments required
  • how much hair regrows
  • the number of hairs targeted
  • the size of the area requiring treatment

Removing a small amount of hair from a region such as the upper lip will cost less than removing hair from the entire leg.

Outlook

Laser hair removal can significantly reduce the amount of body hair a person has. In most people, some hair will regrow over time.

Even when hair does regrow, there will be less overall hair, producing a smoother appearance. To get a realistic understanding of what to expect from laser hair removal, discuss treatment goals with a doctor or hair removal specialist.

Some skin complexions and hair types produce better results than others. The only way to know for sure what to expect is to talk to a doctor, a dermatologist, or another skilled practitioner.

Side effects of laser hair removal on bikini area

by Bridgetown Aesthetics

The unwanted leg hair…

The unflattering back hair…

The hours spent shaving (and dreading having to shave)…

You’re excited that laser hair removal will remove more than just your hair. It’ll also remove insecurities with your appearance. It’ll remove hours of shaving. It’ll remove expensive razors and shaving equipment.

But, you’re worried about the side effects. 

You’ve read some crazy claims that laser hair removal can increase risks of cancer, infertility, and more. 

What’s true and what isn’t? This article will dive into the science of your laser hair removal procedure to let you know if it’s safe.

COMMON SIDE EFFECTS AND CONCERNS

You’re pumped about permanent hair removal, but you want to make sure that it’s safe. 

There are many different hair removal methods, but the most common used today is called “laser genesis”  – this is what the medical spas and hair removal clinics use. This process targets hair follicles and actually destroys them.

And there are 3 main side effect concerns that people have: 1) cancer, 2) infertility, and 3) pimples. 

This section will share scientific evidence about the 3 common side effect concerns. 

CANCER

You may have seen news headlines that look something like this:

But, are these headlines actually something to worry about? Can laser hair removal actually increase your risk of getting cancer?

Here’s what Heathline has to say about it:

“It’s a myth that laser hair removal can cause cancer. In fact, according to the Skin Care Foundation, the procedure is sometimes used to treat certain forms of precancerous lesions.”

So, why has there been such a buzz about laser hair removal and cancer?

The lasers used to treat unwanted hair do emit some radiation. And people often associate radiation with cancer. 

But, recent data has shown that the radiation that is emitted during a laser hair removal treatment is minimal – much lower than what an average cell phone emits. 

INFERTILITY

The second most common side effect that women worry about is if laser hair removal can increase risks of infertility.

Women usually ask this question during bikini line treatments. They’re worried that the lasers can go deeper than just the treated area (the hair around the bikini line) and interfere with their ovaries. 

Elizabeth Hale, a professor at NYU School of Medicine, commented on this topic. She says:

“The lasers we use penetrate less than one millimeter into the skin, so there’s no way they could reach your ovaries. But even if they did—which they never, ever could—they wouldn’t do anything, anyway. They work on pigment and have no bearing on fertility.”

Therefore, there’s nothing to worry about. 

PIMPLES

Younger people who decide to get laser hair removal worry about it causing acne. 

Will getting laser hair removal increase your likelihood of getting pimples?

There hasn’t been any official scientific research into this, but experts in the field have discussed it.

One expert shares how laser hair removal might actually DECREASE your risk for getting pimples. They claim that:

“Laser hair removal does not pull the hair from the skin, but rather is less invasive and uses light to target the hair follicle, to prevent further growth and eventually have the hair fall out. As a result, laser hair removal may result in a decrease in breakouts.”

This is not something that you should worry about. Laser hair removal has not been clinically shown to increase acne. 

ARE THERE ANY LONG TERM SIDE EFFECTS OF LASER HAIR REMOVAL?

Mayo Clinic, a highly respected medical institution, states that there are no known long-term side effects of laser hair removal. 

In order to become legalized, laser hair removal had to be intensely studied in order to determine its long-term safety to our health. 

But, there are known short-term, temporary side effects. Here are a few of those side effects:

REDNESS AND SWELLING

To effectively remove your unwanted hair, the laser has to target your hair follicles. During this process, the goal of the laser is to actually severely damage those hair follicles so that they’re not able to continue growing hair.

During this process of safely damaging your hair follicles, you may experience temporary redness and swelling. 

TEMPORARY SKIN COLOR CHANGES

This all depends on your skin color. 

We’ve seen that some patients that come in who have darker skin color may experience a lighter skin pigmentation following the procedure.

Those patients with lighter skin may experience a darker skin pigmentation following the procedure.

These changes in skin color can be exacerbated by sun exposure. That’s why we highly recommend that you avoid prolonged sun exposure following your treatment. 

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