Planning for Laser Hair Removal

Dr. Kevin Johnson’s Advanced Aesthetics

Blonde woman in white halter wedding dress smiles at camera over her bare left shoulder as she holds a bouquet.
At my cosmetic surgery practice in Coeur d’Alene laser hair removal doesn’t just eliminate hair for many patients, it also eliminates their self-consciousness – which is why so many people choose this procedure before a major event. In the midst of an important occasion, shaving or waxing is the last thing my patients want to worry about. Laser hair removal provides them with peace of mind. With smooth, soft skin, they can focus on and enjoy the experience rather than feeling self-conscious about their appearance.
Like any procedure, laser hair removal requires preparation for best results. Here are some suggestions I typically recommend for my patients:

  • Avoid sun tanning or self-tanners 4 weeks prior to treatment.

Sun exposure or sunless tanning products may increase the chances of skin discoloration after laser hair removal. Be sure to wear a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 or greater if you plan to be outdoors. If you are currently tanning or sunburned, it’s best to wait until the tan completely fades before treatment.

  • Avoid glycolic acid or alpha hydroxy acids for 1 to 2 weeks before treatment.

Chemical exfoliating agents can cause an increased sensitivity to the laser’s energy and should be discontinued 1 to 2 weeks before treatment. These products should also be avoided for about 1 week after treatment.

  • Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, or other anti-inflammatory or blood-thinning medications.

Some medications can make the skin more prone to irritation, which is why all current prescriptions should be discussed prior to treatment. Other drugs that may interfere with laser hair removal include certain dietary supplements or some types of antibiotics.

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