Laser Hair Removal for Someone Prone to Folliculitis or Abscess?

I am an otherwise healthy, young male of color that is prone to recurrent folliculitis located along the lateral border of my perineum. It reoccurs almost yearly, for a 3 year period now, and results in an abscess in the same area and pattern. As opposed to most cases I've reviewed, I do not shave the area. I would like to avoid another incsion and drainage, as well as the discomfort associated with the abscess, am considering LHR. Do I sound like a possible candidate, given my 'different' circumstance?

Doctor Answers 6

Folliculitis and laser hair removal

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Your condition may get very painful, bothersome and socially embarassing. It might be a true chronic recurrent bacterial infection of the hair follicles (folliculitis) or possibly an inflammatory reaction to ingrown hairs (especially if you had shaved this area at one time) and this is called a pseudofolliculitis. Recurrent cysts may occur without a folliculitis and some rupture underneath the skin and cause tunnels that come out the surface or develop another cyst that erupts and these sinus tracts, are difficult to cure without surgical removal. Hidradenitis Suppurativa is thought to be a chronic condition of the apocrine sweat glands. It is possible that your doctors may not be able to give you a definitive diagnosis. If standard therapy does not provide improvement, then you might consider laser hair removal. This has been very successful for those individuals who suffer with pseudofolliculitis barbae (of the beard).

Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Laser hair removal is helpful for hidradinitis

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You may be suffering from hidradinitis suppurativa. Hidradinitis is an acne-related condition that occurs in the underarms, groin and perineum. Laser hair removal is an effective additional treatment, along with traditional acne regimens and intralesional steroid injections. For darker skin, the long-pulsed Nd:YAG laser (Lyra-i) is the only safe hair removal laser.

See your dermatologist for diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Philip S. H. Hughes, MD
San Antonio Dermatologist

Perineal Laser Hair Removal

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Before going to the expense and bother of having laser hair removal of the perineum (area around rectum and scrotum / vagina), I would see a good colorectal surgeon and make sure you do not have either a pilonidal cyst or hidradenitis suppurativa. both of these conditions are chronic and increasingly hard to treat unless properly treated and BOTH can presents the same way you have.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Hidradenitis and abscesses can be improved

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Sounds like you may have hidradenitis suppurativa or severe folliculitis. Our office specializes in laser, medical, and surgical options for hidradenitis and folliculitis. Melapads work well to lessen the problem. 


Dr. Karamanoukian

Realself100 Surgeon

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

IPL or Laser Hair Removal works well for treating razor bumps or pseudofolliculitis barbae.

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I'm not sure why you're getting abscesses or folliculitis in your perineal area, unless you're shaving the area. I've had wonderful results and resolution of razor bumps of the neck using IPL permanent hair removal. You could have IPL treatments to your perineum. You said you were of color. If your skin is brown, you're less likely to have a great result, and more likely to experience a complication like a burn.

You should consult a board-certified dermatologist familliar with laser hair removal in dark-skinned patients.

I hope this is helpful for you.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 435 reviews

You may be a candidate for laser hair removal

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I agree with Dr. Aldea that you need to be checked for cysts, hidradenitis and even for inflammatory bowel disease related fistulas. If all check out negative and the source of the abscesses are ingrown hairs than you are an excellent candidate for laser hair removal. For darker skinned individuals we use a 1064nm laser (Nd:YAG) preferentially to avoid burns.

Jason Pozner, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 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.