Laser hair removal is a great way to get rid of all that pesky hair, but it helps to take care of your skin before and after the procedure. In fact, doctors always remind their patients that post-care is as vital as the actual treatment.
Meanwhile, check out or see Swiftwater Integrative Medicine for laser hair removal therapy if you’re exploring options to get rid of unwanted hair. Their professional team understands all the processes of hair removal, including the importance of both pre and post-care for the procedure.
Laser hair removal is a popular cosmetic procedure that uses concentrated light to remove unwanted hair. The laser’s intense heat damages the hair follicle, inhibiting future hair growth. This treatment can be used on most body parts, including the face, chest, back, bikini area, arms, and legs.
While laser hair removal is considered safe and effective, how you care for your skin before and after the procedure can make a big difference in your results. With that in mind, let’s go through a few pointers to help you make the right choices.
Before Your Treatment
Most non-invasive or invasive procedures require you to take specific steps before the treatment. The same is true for laser hair removal. Here are some things you need to do:
- Shave the treatment area: Do this a few days before your appointment. This may seem counterintuitive, but it helps deliver the best results. When you shave, you remove the hair from the skin’s surface. As a result, the laser can target the hair follicle more effectively. While at it, avoid waxing or plucking the hair in the treatment area before your appointment, as this may interfere with the laser hair removal process.
- Avoid sun exposure: Your physician may recommend avoiding sun exposure for some time before your treatment. Why, you ask? Laser hair removal works best on dark hair and fair skin. If you have a tan, it’s best to wait until it fades before getting the treatment. Besides, sun exposure can make the skin more sensitive, leading to complications during and after treatment. If you must go out in the sun, apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Skip the perfume, creams, and lotions: While getting ready for your treatment, avoid using perfume, cream, or lotion on the skin (specifically the treatment area). These products can interfere with the laser hair removal process. Generally, exfoliants and depilatory creams are not recommended as they can irritate the skin. Plus, they increase your skin’s sensitivity.
Proper post-care is just as crucial as pre-care when it comes to laser hair removal – a fact we cannot overstate. Besides, laser hair removal tends to open your pores. As such, your skin becomes more susceptible to infection. That’s why you need to take extra care of it after the treatment. To that end, here are a few dos and don’ts.
- Apply ice: Use an ice pack or a cool, damp cloth to soothe your skin after treatment. This helps reduce discomfort and swelling. Don’t forget to wrap the ice pack in a clean cloth before applying it to your skin.
- Protect your skin from the sun: Avoid sun exposure for at least four weeks after treatment. This minimizes the risk of side effects such as hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) and hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin).
- Don’t pick at your skin: After treatment, you may notice some redness and swelling. This is normal and should go away within a day or two. You may also see some blisters, but don’t pick at them. This can lead to infection and scarring. Just let them heal on their own.
- Moisturize your skin: One of the side effects of laser hair removal is dry skin. To combat this, moisturize regularly. Apply a quality lotion or cream to your skin at least twice daily. For best results, use a fragrance-free and hypoallergenic product.
- Avoid hot baths: Hot showers and baths can dry and irritate your skin. Stick to lukewarm water instead.
- Do not use cosmetics: Avoid putting makeup on the treated skin for at least five days after treatment. If you must wear makeup, choose a mineral-based product as it is less likely to irritate the skin.
By following these tips, you can enjoy smooth, hair-free skin for a long time. If you don’t, well, you may end up with some unwanted side effects (to put it mildly). Thus, to avoid skin damage, adopt a cautious approach by taking care of your skin before and after laser hair removal.