Will Insurance Cover Laser Hair Removal for Chronic Folliculitis?

I'm a 21-year-old male, on antibiotics every 2-3 weeks for the infections that get very bad and painful without treatment. I also have extreme body hair that has prevented swimming or other activities in public since middleschool. Will insurance (BCBS Georgia) cover the treatment for any reason? If not, is it still a viable treatment and good route to go, and how do I go about it?

Doctor Answers 3

Insurance for Laser Hair Removal

Unfortunately, we have not encountered a situation, even one as severe as yours, where patients are able to get coverage for laser hair removal. But, the fact that you are on antibiotics for the injections indicates that there is at least a good argument that this would be a better long-term alternative for the insurance company.

Perhaps with a little bit of persuasion (pictures, letter from primary care physician, etc.) you may be able to convince your insurance company that it is in their best interest. I think your best choice is to try to put together the $$ to have the procedure and then appeal to your insurance company to cover it.

Further, all skin types are good candidates for laser hair removal provided that the correct technology is used. If you are medium or dark skinned with very coarse hair, the long pulsed Nd:Yg laser is going to be best for you (commonly referred to as "yag") and you can see the pictures on our site of African Americans with ingrown beard hair that has been removed.

Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Laser hair removal for pseudofolliculitis barbae

laser hair removal is often done for chronic ingrown hairs of the beard, especially if keloids have started to form. It is doubtful that the insurance company will reimburse for the treatment, and even if they do, the amount they reimburse to the doctor could be so low that it wouldn't cover the cost to the doctor of the services rendered. Some insurance arrangements, especially managed care plans, wouldn't allow the doctor to balance bill you so either they accept the very low payment or they don't do the treatment. It is an excellent treatment for some, not all. See a doctor who does a lot of this treatment, on skin of your color, and ask if they could find out from your insurance company, with your history if it would be covered. Good luck.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

IPL Permanent Hair Removal is a wonderful treatment for razor bumps.

The best candidates for laser or IPL permanent hair removal have relatively light skin, with fast-growing, dark coarse hair. I have not had good success treating patients with dark-skin.

I have treated neck and facial hair with my Palomar StarLux IPL, and have seen prompt resolution of razor bumps and chronic folliculitis.

Another treatment for razor bumps is to use a depilatory cream (Magic Shave), instead of a blade. This is inexpensive and suitable for all skin types.

I'm not sure if your insurance would cover the cost of laser hair removal. I certainly believe they should, since there are no other good treatments for pseudofolliculitis barbae. Ask your doctor to write you a brief "letter of medical necessity" and to provide a quote for services. Then call your BCBS customer relations department with passion.

I hope this is helpful for you.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 421 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.