What Not to Do After Laser Hair Removal – 5 Critical Mistakes

Laser hair removal is an effective way to eliminate hairs from target areas.  While the procedure is fairly straightforward, there are a number of things to keep in mind post treatment.  By ignoring these recommendations, you could end up causing significant damage, irritation, and even pain to your skin and hair follicles.  Fortunately, most of these suggestions only need to be followed for a few days to a week.

1. Invite Sun Exposure

If there is one thing you should never do after a laser hair removal treatment, it is spend a lot of time in the sun. When it comes to laser hair removal, sun exposure is public enemy number one. In fact, many professionals recommend that you wear sunscreen regardless of how long you plan on being in the sun.  Most of the time, it is recommended to avoid prolonged sun exposure or tanning beds for a minimum of one to four weeks following your treatment.

The reason for this is that laser hair removal puts your skin in a very delicate situation.  As a result, prolonged exposure to UV rays can significantly increase your risk of developing hyperpigmentation or suffering from a severe sunburn.

2. Touch Up the Treatment Area

It is important to understand that your hair grows in cycles.  At any given point in time, only about 30 percent of your hair is in the growth stage.  Laser hair removal specifically targets hair in the growth stage.  As a result, what your treatment has completed, you may notice additional hairs growing in around the target area.  Most people naturally want to wax, pluck, shave, or thread the treated area to eliminate these new growth hairs.  You should always avoid doing this for at least 48 hours because during that time your skin is healing.  Further irritation can cause a variety of problems including rashes and prolonged soreness.

3. Exfoliating Your Skin

Following a laser hair removal treatment, you should avoid hot baths and showers for 48 hours to limit skin irritation.  You should also avoid exfoliating for at least 10 days after your treatment.  Not only can exfoliation cause severe skin irritation, it can also create clogged pores.  Along the same lines, avoiding harsh chemicals such as bleach or perfumed products for several days is advisable as well.

Can You Shower After Laser Hair Removal?

You can shower after laser hair removal, but as mentioned above, avoid exfoliation. Excessive scrubbing, or the use of chemical or perfume packed soaps can be harmful. Showering after laser hair removal can be done in a safe way if you take care of the treated area properly.

4. Excessive Scratching

Since your skin is left in an irritated state following a laser hair removal procedure, it is common for it to itch.  Avoid excessive scratching or picking at your skin because it will only worsen the redness and swelling.  A much more effective option is to utilize some type of soothing moisturizer.  This will speed up your skin’s recovery time as well as help combat dryness.

5. Ignore Your Physician

Everyone’s skin reacts to laser hair removal therapy is a little differently.  Before the procedure your physician will supply you with a variety of procedures to follow during the post treatment period. These suggestions will include both general practices as well as specific directions based upon your skin.  This information is provided to you in order to minimize your discomfort, speed up your skin’s recovery time, and maximize the effectiveness of the procedure itself.  By ignoring these suggestions, you are not only putting your skin in danger but also potentially making your treatment less effective.

If you have questions about laser hair removal and aftercare, contact Houston plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Schusterman at 713-794-0368.

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