Laser hair removal has proven to be a life-changer for millions of people around the globe, both men and women, by ending their woes with unwanted hair and its tiresome methods of removal. To make this miraculous procedure to work at its best potential with optimal results, it is imperative to go through it with a proper understanding about what to expect from the treatment process, and the pre-care and post-care regimen to follow to ensure that you realize your dream of that velvety, smooth skin.
So, here is your one-stop guide to all the laser hair removal pre-care and post-care measures you should take. Here is a simple one stop guide.
Pre Care For Laser Hair Removal Treatment
- The area to be treated needs to be shaved a day or two before the scheduled session. Some clinics ask you to refrain from shaving the area at least 10 days prior to the session, and the shaving is done at the clinic itself.
- Exposure to direct sunlight must be avoided just prior to your laser session. So that there is no sun tan and sun burn and LHR can only be done post treatment on sunburned or tanned skin.
- Liberal use of sunscreen and moisturizer is recommended.
- Refrain from using exfoliating scrubs at least two days prior to your appointment.
- Medications like retinoid creams containing retinol, tretinoin, etc. and other skincare products with hydroquinone, kojic acid, alpha or beta hydroxy acids, etc. should be strictly avoided from 3-5 days before your laser session.
- Avoid undergoing any services at your local beauty parlor for at least a week before your appointment
- Waxing, epilating, plucking, tweezing, threading or bleaching needs to be avoided in the area of treatment for 3-4 weeks prior to your scheduled session.
- If you have been advised to take an antiviral medication by your practitioner, make sure to do so 24 hours prior to your appointment.
- Antibiotic medication can increase photosensitivity, i.e., the sensitivity of your skin to the sun or other sources of light. Certain medications must be contained which increase photosensitivity (based on dermatologic consultation).
- Before you head for your appointment, make sure that your skin is clean and makeup free. Avoid using cosmetic lotions, creams, deodorants, etc. on the day of your treatment.
- Make sure you are wearing comfortable clothing to the clinic that is practical not just for your laser session but also once you are done with it.
Also Read: Who Is A Good Candidate For Laser Hair Removal?
Post Care For Laser Hair Removal Treatment
- Avoid direct exposure to sunlight after treatment. Excessive sun exposure on the whole needs to be kept in check for a period of at least two weeks post treatment.
- Liberal use of a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen with an SPF of 30 and above is compulsory both in between sessions as well as for maintenance purposes. Re-apply from time to time.
- The area that has been treated should not be cleansed with hot water for a period of at least 24 hours post session. Warm or room temperature water is recommended for bath.
- Mild redness and swelling are sometimes experienced for a few hours post the laser session. To relieve discomfort, apply moisturizing and soothing lotions as prescribed by the dermatologist.
- It is mandatory for you to ensure that you do not wax, pluck, thread or bleach the hair in the treated area in between your laser sessions.
- Avoid your routine visits to the beauty parlor for at least one week post a laser session.
- Any form of steam/sauna sessions, swimming, etc. needs to be avoided for a period of at least three days post treatment.
- If the underarm area has been treated, avoid deodorants and perfumes for the next two days post treatment to avoid skin irritation.
- Retinoid creams and skincare products with AHA or BHA can be continued three days post the session.
Quick Recovery Tips
Here are some tips to help you with the recovery post your laser session –
- To ease the initial discomfort and sunburn-like feeling, ice pack application at least three times a day will make your life easier.
- The cleansers and skin care products you use post the laser session have to be extremely mild in concentration and suitable for sensitive skin (as prescribed by the dermatologist).
- In some rare cases, individuals develop minor outbreaks. This can be treated with antibiotic ointments.
Do’s And Don’ts Of Laser Hair Removal
- Make sure to undergo a patch test before scheduling your appointment (48 hours prior the LHR procedure), to rule out the possibility of your skin reacting badly to the treatment.
- If you have moles or spots on the area to be treated, inform your dermatologist to take necessary precautions during the procedure.
- Make sure you have an in-depth discussion with your dermatologist about your medical history and maintain transparency. This will ensure the safety and efficacy of your LHR treatment.
- Clarify all your doubts and make sure you have full knowledge about the procedure and all the potential side effects like hyper/hypopigmentation, rashes, which are rare if the skin clinic follows stringent protocols etc.
- Your dermatolgoist may use a numbing cream if needed.
- Use hats and other protective gear for your skin along with sunscreen when you step out in the sun.
Also Read: Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt?
- Do not use makeup on your skin for next 24 hours post the procedure.
- Avoid strenuous exercise that can increase your body temperature for at least two days prior to your laser session as well as post it.
- Do not scratch the treated area if you experience itching as this can scar your skin.
- Do not go in for chemical peels and other laser procedures for at least two weeks prior to and post your treatment session.
- Do not undergo cosmetic procedures like Botulinum toxin or dermal fillers in the last two weeks prior to your appointment.
Laser hair removal does not make you hairless instantly. It requires a number of sessions to see the desired results. These will be decided based on parameters like hormonal pattern, the area of treatment, skin tone, thickness of hair to be removed, underlying health conditions, etc. To see the best results, you need to complete all the recommended sessions at the time intervals suggested by your skin clinic.