For the majority of people, laser hair removal has long been accepted as a safe and effective treatment in achieving long-term results. However, like all laser treatments, certain contraindications need to be considered for your own safety.
Although there’s no evidence to suggest that laser hair removal isn’t safe for your unborn baby, it is generally not recommended. It’s advisable that you wait until after you’ve had your child before considering the procedure.
This can be frustrating, especially as women often find themselves becoming hairier during pregnancy. The good news is that this usually disappears after birth or once breastfeeding has finished. If it doesn’t, laser hair removal could be an option.
Laser hair removal should generally be avoided while breastfeeding. Your hormones will likely cause changes to hair growth, meaning the procedure might not be as effective as you would have liked.
Instead, wait until you have finished breastfeeding before starting laser hair removal. This will give your body chance to return to normal and ensure the effects are as good as they can be.
There are some health conditions that are widely considered to be contraindications to laser hair removal. Among them are:
- Bleeding disorders
- Severe reactions to histamines
- Previous surgery such as chemical peels and laser resurfacing
If you suffer from any of these conditions, you may not be suitable for treatment. Your laser practitioner will advise the best course of action in a consultation
Many medications come with side-effects, including those that will make your skin more photosensitive. This means that your skin might react more negatively to change – such as laser hair removal.
If this is the case, you might want to think of ways to get around the issue. For example, taking a break from the problematic medication may be an option or switching to an alternative treatment. Having a discussion with your GP will help determine the right course of action for your needs.
The sun will cause your skin to create more melanin, which is there to protect your skin from damage. However, this can cause your skin colour to become patchy and uneven, which isn’t the best start for laser hair removal.
As a result, your consultant will have to change lasers depending on the condition of your skin at the time of your treatment. This can make it difficult to maintain uniform hair removal and may affect the quality of the results.
In the event of an active or severe sunburn, the procedure cannot go ahead. You’ll be expected to allow the skin to fully heal before returning for your treatment. You should always be given guidance on sun rules with a consultation.
People with dark skin shouldn’t be prevented from seeking laser hair removal treatment. However, if you also have a sun tan, it’s important that it fades before any work can get underway.
All the consultant will need to do is change the laser they are using for the procedure. They will know which is most suited to your skin type and, if you’re still unsure, a patch test can be carried out on a less obvious part of your body.
Keloid scarring occurs when wounds do not heal properly, and they can be especially hazardous to anyone seeking laser hair removal. The skin is usually raised, which can make it vulnerable during the procedure.
There are some cases where your consultant might still be able to perform laser hair removal. However, it’s essential that you are aware of the risks and fully informed before coming to a final decision.
Areas of the skin where there is a tattoo should be avoided during laser hair removal. This is to minimise skin irritation, as well as any potential aesthetic changes to your tattoo.
Lesions, open wounds
Laser hair removal can be especially painful in areas of the body where there are lesions or open wounds. It’s therefore a good idea to postpone the procedure until they’ve fully healed.
The beams can potentially slow down the healing process and lead to additional discomfort. Many consultants will refuse to carry out laser hair removal until the lesions have disappeared.
Herpes & cold sores
Laser hair removal is possible once the herpes virus is kept under control. However, bear in mind that you will be required to make sure that prescription medication has been taken, and that the condition is in remission before a consultation.
Herpes and cold sores are treated as contagious skin diseases, so don’t be surprised if you’re initially turned away. Once the problem has disappeared, you should be able to undergo the procedure.
If you have a mole, you can still undergo laser hair removal. The beams used aren’t on the UV spectrum, so there is so far no evidence to suggest they can change a mole and make it cancerous.
However, it is important to keep an eye on any visual alterations that may occur. If you do see anything suspicious, make sure you inform your GP of the treatment and have it checked as soon as possible.
Any laser hair removal treatment requires there to be a follicle to target. If you’ve recently plucked or waxed your body, there won’t be any. It’s usually recommended that you wait two weeks before attempting laser hair removal. Alternatives like shaving or depilatory creams are great to bridge that gap between hair and laser results!
Depilatory creams work by dissolving the hair in a chemical substance. This is achieved using keratinocytes, which will not only kill keratin in the hair, but also in the skin.
However this act’s as a great alternative to use in between laser treatments so that the hairs are still available for treatment. Your consultant will advise you individually.
Light induced epilepsy sufferers are usually advised against laser hair removal, unless they have a note authorising the procedure from their GP. If you do decide to go ahead, you should be provided with eye protection that blocks out the light to minimise the likelihood of a seizure.
Hirsutism is a genetic condition that sees women experiencing excessive hair growth. The hairs are generally thick and dark, making them easy to see.
Laser hair removal can be an effective way of getting rid of these unwanted hairs. It is worth bearing in mind that the procedure can take longer for hirsutism sufferers – potentially several months – and it is generally most effective on women with pale skin and dark hair.
If you have any questions about laser hair removal and the contraindications, don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling us on 01306 770180 or filling in our contact form.