Published Oct 5, 2020
Laser Hair Removal is an extremely safe and effective procedure in removing hair and preventing future growth. In this way, many consider it as a permanent solution for unwanted hair growth.
This procedure uses a concentrated beam of light (laser) to target and eliminate hair follicles. It does this by emitting light, which is absorbed the pigment in the hair, turning into heat and damaging the follicles. When the hair follicles are damaged, this prevents or slows future growth. Because the laser targets pigment, people with darker hair make better candidates.
Laser Hair Removal is usually done on areas where hair may be awkward and unsightly for the patient. These areas include but are not limited to the underarm, upper lip, chin, and bikini line.
But like many cosmetic procedures, it doesn’t come without risks. Two of the most common and persistent side effects after laser hair removal are bumps and itching on the skin. While these two are expected to happen, let’s get right to the ways to prevent and treat them.
Why do we get bumps and itching?
Along with hyperpigmentation, skin irritation in the form of bumps and itching is a common side effect. The skin irritation you may experience results from the damage to the hair follicles. The body reacts to this damage by becoming red, tender, and slightly swollen on the affected areas. After this, you may see small bumps form in the same area.
Some people may be alarmed by these bumps, but they’re completely normal and usually subside within a day or two. These bumps may also become itchy, but it is crucial you do not scratch them. Scratching them might aggravate the inflammation and result in unsightly scarring.
How do I prevent these bumps?
These bumps are a common side effect, which is all but expected. However, sticking to the pre-procedure routine might lessen its symptoms and severity. Here are the usual things to do before laser hair removal:
- Stay out of the sun: Avoiding sun exposure before and after treatment is an essential part of this process. Tanned areas may get burned or discolored, as the pigment will attract the laser. You should apply sunblock with SPF 30+ on the areas you want to have the procedure done.
- Shaving treatment areas: You’ll want to shave the parts where you want to have the laser hair removal done. Doing this may prevent surface burns on hairs that protrude the top layer of skin. You should avoid plucking, waxing, and other hair removal methods for up to six weeks. These alternative methods may disturb the hair follicles, which are a key part of this procedure.
- Avoid blood-thinning medications: You’ll want to consult with your physician about which drugs to avoid beforehand. These may include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Don’t apply deodorant, moisturizer, or makeup to treatment area: You will want to keep your skin as bare as possible before treatment, as any foreign material could harm you.
How do I treat these bumps after the laser hair removal?
Post-care treatment is crucial in treating symptoms and side effects. Here are what experts advise you to do:
- Avoid sun exposure: This part is equally crucial for the next seven days post-treatment. The treated areas will be quite sensitive, so the UV might harm the skin and cause discoloration.
- Apply cold towels, ice packs, and some restorative gel to affected areas: This may help alleviate pain and swelling. This could also ease the itching that comes along with the bumps.
- We recommend Tylenol and other over-the-counter medication to treat discomfort: You can take some pain relief medication to help you if the discomfort becomes noticeable.
Do not apply any harsh products on the treated area for the next 24 hours: While redness is present, you’ll want to stay away from makeup and other harsh skin products. These products may irritate your skin and lead to unwanted side effects. It’s best to avoid them in the meantime.
About The Author
Terrence Tan Ting is an industrial engineer by profession but a full time writer by passion. He loves to write about a wide range of topics from many different industries thanks to his undying curiosity.