In this article we answer the question “Why am I getting ingrown hairs after laser hair removal?”. Click here for more frequently asked questions.
What is laser hair removal and how does it work?
Laser hair removal is a popular cosmetic procedure used to remove unwanted hair. It works by delivering concentrated beams of light to the hair follicle, which results in the destruction of the hair follicle and the inhibition of hair growth. The process targets the pigment in the hair follicle, which absorbs the light energy and causes it to heat up and decompose. As a result, the hair follicle is damaged and unable to regrow hair. This approach can be used on various body parts and skin types, but it’s most effective on people with fair skin and dark hair. After the procedure, patients may experience redness and other mild side effects, but ingrown hairs can be prevented with proper aftercare.
Can laser hair removal cause ingrown hairs?
Yes, laser hair removal can sometimes cause ingrown hairs. This happens when the laser targets the hair follicle and damages it, causing hairs to grow inwards instead of outwards. However, this is less likely to happen with newer laser technologies that have a longer wavelength and can penetrate deeper into the skin, targeting hair follicles without damaging the surrounding skin. In some cases, using proper aftercare techniques such as exfoliating the treated area and keeping the skin clean can also help prevent ingrown hairs. It is important to follow the instructions of your laser technician to minimize the risk of ingrown hairs after laser hair removal treatment.
What causes ingrown hairs after laser hair removal?
Ingrown hairs can occur after laser hair removal due to several factors. When hair follicles are damaged during laser treatment, the hair can become trapped under the skin and cause ingrown hairs to form. Additionally, improper shaving techniques, such as shaving too closely to the skin or in the wrong direction, can also lead to ingrown hairs. Furthermore, individuals with coarse or curly hair are more prone to developing ingrown hairs. To prevent ingrown hairs after laser hair removal, exfoliating the treated area regularly can help to remove dead skin cells and prevent hair from becoming trapped under the skin.
How can I prevent ingrown hairs after laser hair removal?
To prevent ingrown hairs after laser hair removal, it is best to exfoliate regularly, both before and after treatment. Exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells that can trap hairs beneath the skin’s surface. It is also essential to keep the skin moisturized, as dry skin can exacerbate ingrown hairs. Avoid tight-fitting clothing that can rub against the skin, and consider using shaving cream or gel to soften the hairs. Taking a break between laser hair removal sessions and using other hair removal methods such as waxing or threading can also help prevent ingrown hairs. Finally, it is essential to follow the aftercare instructions provided by the laser hair removal technician to ensure the best possible results.
How long does it take for ingrown hairs to go away after laser hair removal?
After laser hair removal, it is normal to experience some ingrown hairs, but they usually disappear within a few weeks. The exact duration depends on the individual’s skin and hair type, as well as the location and extent of the treatment. However, applying warm compresses or using exfoliating treatments can help speed up the healing process. Because laser hair removal targets the hair follicles, it can cause temporary irritation, but this eventually subsides. Ultimately, following post-treatment care instructions provided by the technician can prevent or minimize the occurrence of ingrown hairs, but if they do occur, patients should refrain from shaving or waxing and apply proper aftercare products.
What are the symptoms of ingrown hairs and how can they be treated after laser hair removal?
Ingrown hairs can be a common issue after laser hair removal. Symptoms include the presence of small, red, inflamed bumps or dark spots around hair follicles, along with itching and pain. To treat ingrown hairs, exfoliate the skin to remove dead skin cells that may be trapping hairs. Use warm compresses to soften the skin and reduce inflammation. Avoid shaving the area or using products that may irritate the skin. Instead, use an over-the-counter or prescription cream containing glycolic or salicylic acid, retinoids, or corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and promote healing. In severe cases, a dermatologist may recommend laser treatment, chemical peels, or other medical interventions.
Is it common to have ingrown hairs after laser hair removal?
It is not uncommon for individuals to experience ingrown hairs after laser hair removal. Ingrown hairs occur when hair grows back into the skin instead of out of the follicle. Some common causes of ingrown hairs after laser hair removal include improper pre-treatment skin care or exfoliation, genetic predisposition, and using the wrong type of laser on the wrong skin type or hair color. To reduce the risk of ingrown hairs after laser hair removal, it is recommended to follow proper pre-treatment and post-treatment care, use the appropriate laser for your skin type and hair color, and stay consistent with follow-up treatments.