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What to do Before & After Laser Hair Removal Treatment

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A stylish young woman in a beauty salon removes hair from her leg during a laser hair removal treatment.
January 10, 2023
AKJ Clinic Team
Reading time: 4 mins

Ever since laser hair removal was introduced, people have been heaving a sigh of relief from the messy and painful hair removal processes. Laser hair removal is one of the most popular treatments available today to remove unwanted body hair.

This hi-tech procedure uses ultramodern laser machines, which precisely target the hair follicles with high-energy laser light. This intense light energy is converted into heat energy, destroying the hair root, thus delaying or completely stopping hair regrowth. The treatment process requires several sessions to eliminate or mitigate hair growth because this technique does not remove hair immediately, unlike waxing and other conventional methods.

The treatment can, however, cause side effects such as swelling, skin redness, and mild pain in some patients. It is important for patients to take precautions before and after treatment to ensure the side effects are mild and short-lived.

When considering laser hair removal, you should know what steps to take before and after treatment. Let's get started!

6 Dos & Don'ts to Follow Before Your Laser Hair Removal Session

Most people (especially women) want to remove hair everywhere except their heads. Men who opt for this treatment may wish to retain their moustaches and beards. Generally, hair removal targets hair growing in the underarms, limbs, bikini area, torso, chin, and upper lip.
Although Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure, it is not something you can do at home or walk into the clinic with a last-minute appointment. It is a medically-approved procedure which requires specific precautionary measures for optimal results.
The following are some do's and don'ts before undergoing a laser procedure.

The Dos

1. Ensure the area to be treated is clean before arriving at the clinic.

Here’s why:

The impurities and residues of lotion or cream on your skin may reduce the effectiveness of the laser. A clean surface allows the laser to reach the hair follicle directly.

2. Exfoliate the treatment area the night before the procedure. 

The reason:

Exfoliation helps eliminate any dead cells on your skin, which further facilitates the easy removal of hair. However, when exfoliating, you should treat your skin with gentle care. Rough exfoliation may result in cuts and bruises, exacerbating the pain and making the procedure ineffective.

3. Be careful with skin products you use regularly. 

This is why:

You should consider your skin products when preparing for laser hair removal because many products increase your skin’s photosensitivity, making your skin prone to burns during the procedure. If your skin products contain Retinol, Benzoyl Peroxide, or Salicylic acid, it is best to avoid using them a couple of days before and after your session.

4. Be extra cautious with medication intake.

In some cases, medications may interfere with laser hair removal procedures as they can make the skin more sensitive and increase the risk of side effects. Hence, it is advisable to consult your doctor if you are already using the following medications:

  • Acne products.
  • Hormone tablets.
  • Antibiotics.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Blood thinners.
  • Ointments with retinol.

The Don'ts

1. Do not expose yourself to the harsh sun. 

Planning to go sunbathing to tan yourself? Please postpone your plans and avoid exposing yourself to the sun for at least a couple of weeks leading up to your appointment. We also recommend avoiding bronzers and self-tanners to prevent overheating during the process. Skin that has been sunburnt or recently tanned cannot undergo laser hair removal.

2. Do not wax, tweeze, pull, or pluck hair. 

It's best to avoid all other hair removal methods at least six weeks before your session because other methods remove the hair completely from the root. When the hair has been removed, the laser device cannot target the pigment in the hair, rendering the treatment almost ineffective.

All skin care treatments require specific after-care. Even a simple facial done in the salon requires you to follow some procedures for maximum results. Likewise, laser hair removal also requires certain post-treatment care, as you may experience temporary redness or swelling. So, let’s look into what you should do after a laser procedure.

The Best Post-Care Tips For Laser Hair Removal

After a session, your hair from the treated area will start shedding during the following couple of weeks after treatment. You may also notice patchy hair as the new follicles grow, which will dissipate as your treatments progress.

To achieve the best results after treatment, you should:

  1. Use cold compresses, soothing creams, aloe vera gel, or topical ointments to reduce the redness and prevent any occurrences of pain or skin inflammation.
  2. Avoid swimming in pools, lakes, streams, rivers, or ponds, as the chlorine in the pool water and algae from natural water sources can irritate your skin. We recommend waiting for at least two days before going for a swim.
  3. Avoid all kinds of cosmetic treatments like chemical peeling and IPL photo facials since your skin will be extra sensitive. Please wait for a couple of weeks before having such treatments.
  4. Keep your skin protected from sun exposure and heat burns. Since your skin needs ample time to heal between sessions, avoiding hot baths and self-tanning lotions is best to prevent rashes, bumps and skin irritation.
  5. Abstain from scratching, scrubbing, and rubbing the treated area. It is also advisable to postpone your waxing appointment by a couple of weeks.
  6. Seek professional advice if your post-treatment symptoms worsen or if you experience blisters, burns, or scars on the treated area. You should also consult your doctor if you experience pain, swelling, infection, or skin discolouration that worsens with time.

Better Care For Long Lasting Results

It is a common misconception that laser treatment eliminates hair forever. The truth is this: The laser beams use high-intensity light to damage the hair follicles to prevent regrowth. If damaged completely, the hair is permanently removed and will not grow again. Nevertheless, you'll only achieve a complete hair reduction of 70% to 80%.

The remaining hair will become sparse, thinner, and less pigmented. Please remember that your body will continue producing new hair follicles. Hence, you will need follow-up sessions every four to six months after the first six sessions to target the new hairs.

Interested in laser hair removal? Why don’t you talk to our doctors at ALJ Skin & Laser Centre in Chennai to learn more about this excellent therapy? Call us now!

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