Laser Hair Removal for Folliculitis?

Unfortunately from constant shaving and what I guess is sensitive skin, I am now having a problem with folliculitis on my legs, and I was thinking of having laser hair removal. I have scars from the folliculitis that have been there for 3 years, and they just don’t heal away. Therefore, I am not really sure if laser hair removal will leave me with good results. I'm afraid it would leave more marks on my body. Is laser hair removal safe for folliculitis treatment?  Is more scarring likely?

Doctor Answers 7

Laser for folliculitis

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

As the other physicians have mentioned, laser hair removal can be very effective for treating folliculitis. Remember that you may need more than one treatment. Also, care should be taken for areas that have actively healing folliculitis to avoid scarring.

Find a board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist. Good luck!

Folliculitis and Laser Hair Removal: Options for treating folliculitis.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Folliculitis is an inflammatory condition caused by chronic injury, allergy, or infection. It is most commonly associated with shaving in the legs.

Laser hair removal will remove the irritating process of shaving by minimizing the troublesome hair follicles and shafts. However, that is not the whole treatment. You should also consider a course of salicylic acid or glycolic acid exfoliative pads found on the market. Pore Clarifying Pads are one example we offer in our office.

Also, consider a topical skin lightening cream to eradicate the pigmentation associated with folliculitis.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Laser Hair Removal for Folliculitis

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Laser Hair Removal can be a wonderful treatment for follliculitis. It is important to find the right laser for your skin type.  Light skin and dark skin can both be treated effectively and safely, but the correct laser must be used. Most people undergoing laser hair removal experience relief from folliculitis with just one treatment. Each consecutive treatment will make the results better and better.
I always advise against waxing for people who experience folliculitis - and really almost anyone. But waxing can make folliculitis worse.
Facts about Waxing and Laser Hair Removal
Waxing requires the hair to be grown out and visible before treatment.
Waxing can be tedious, slow and painful.
Waxing is not sterile even in the cleanest environments.
Waxing can remove the top layer of skin, resulting in burns, scarring and discoloration.
Very thick facial hair can't be waxed effectively.
Waxing is not permanent. It requires a lifetime of treatments.
Laser hair removal can permanently remove unwanted hair.
Laser hair removal is less costly over time.
Lasers can effectively treat both thick and fine hair.
Laser hair removal is much more comfortable than waxing.
Laser hair removal is a much more effective and quicker treatment.
Laser hair removal is FDA approved to treat folliculitis and ingrown hairs.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Laser hair removal for folliculitis

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Laser hair removal is safe and effective for folliculitis.  Please inform your provider of your situation and your tendency for scarring.

Laser Hair Removal for Folliculitis

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hi Aliyas,

Laser hair removal is an excellent option for folliculitis. Laser hair removal, when performed correctly will not leave marks on your body.

If you have pigment from shaving bumps, we suggest one of two options to remove these marks once you have gone through the laser hair removal process.

  • Hydroquinone bleaching creams
  • Q-switched lasers

A combination of these two also works well and speeds the process.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Laser hair removal will help

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Laser hair removal is an excellent treatment for pseudofolliculitis barbae. This condition usually affects the neck, especially in patients with skin of color. The condition can occur, however, anywhere on the body where persistent traumatic shaving or plucking brings the surface of the hair shaft below the skin level and as the curved hair grows, it doesn’t find it's way out of the skin and curls back underneath creating a bump and inflammation. If you have such a condition on the legs, rather than a bacterially-infected (true, not pseudo) folliculitis, laser hair removal will help. Old scars probably won’t worsen or improve. If you developed dark brown pigment as a reaction to the folliculitis, this hyperpigmentation is not scarring and may improve with prescription creams.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Laser hair removal can be very effectve for folliculitis

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Chronic folliculitis problems can be very much improved by laser hair removal.  You should go to a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon whose office offers this and be evaluated properly as to the areas involved, the color of your skin and the color of your hair.  

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.