Breakouts from Laser Hair Removal

I developed a horrible breakout from GentleLase, and didn't have great results with Aurora. When using the GentleLase the resulting breakouts were literally impossible to bear so I stopped those treatments. As for the Aurora, I really believe it has stopped working on me. Will LightSheer produce better results? I'm light-skinned (which does tan) with darker hair.

Doctor Answers 6

Breakouts with laser hair removal

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Acne-like breakouts after laser hair removal with GentleLase:  I have seen this happen a handful of times over 9 years of treating patients with laser hair removal. It tends to be in patients who have coarser hair.  I suspect it is a reaction to the "fried hairs" in the follicle after treatment.   I imagine that changing to a different laser would give similar results, but it might be worth a try.   The GentleLase is the most effective hair removal laser I have used for light skinned patients, so it might be worth the temporary breakouts (it lasts only a week or two in the patients I have seen). 

When I encounter these cases,  I treat the breakouts with acne medicines (like doxcycycline and benzoyl peroxide), and if it seems to happen every time we do laser, we will even pre-treat in anticipation of these breakouts.

Miami Dermatologist

Lightsheer will give you the best results

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For light skin and dark hair the Lightsheer is your best choice. Breakouts can happened but only after the first 2-3 treatments when the hair is still dark and thick. Exfoliating the skin will help the hair to fall off faster and prevent skin breakage or scarring. Having long term breakouts from laser hair removal is not common and if it keeps happening you should see a dermatologist.

Breakouts with Laser Hair Removal

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It is possible that you will still break out after Lightsheer treatments, but based on your description of your skin and hair type, the Lightsheer is a good option for you. The GentleLase typically uses air cooling and the Lightsheer contact cooling so the Lightsheer may end up causing less irritation.

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

No one can guarantee results

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Many laser surgeons still think that Light Sheer is the safest laser for hair removal. Remember that many treatments are needed, often more than 8, and no one can guarantee results, but approximately 80% of patients receive about 80% reduction in hair count as a long term result.

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

Breakouts after Laser Hair Removal Not Common; Show Your Provider

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Laser hair removal is a true and tried therapy for unwanted hair. All the different devices on the market – Aurora is old, GentleLase and LightSheer – and all the others – work. The biggest difference is the technician and the experience of that person and the physician working with them. Board-certified dermatologists and plastic surgeons are the experts here, and you should make sure the person using the machine and the person supervising actually knows what they are doing so if a problem arises, they can easily take care of it.

Breakouts from laser hair removal is not very common – it can be acne if on the face, or it can be a normal skin reaction depending on exactly what it looks like. Show your provider, and you will be fine.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Candela Gentle Yag is superior for Laser Hair Removal

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Laser Hair Removal With Gentle Yag The Gentle Yag laser hair removal system is superior to all other machines and is equally effective in darker skin types, including African American and Hispanic populations. The laser emits a cooling spray to improve patient compliance and reduce pain associated with the laser procedure.

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