How to Get Rid of Warm and Itchy Red Bumps Days After Laser Hair Removal? (photo)

Hi, I had my 1st laser hair removal session on my lower legs. The photo shows what it looks like today (4 days after my session). My legs have red bumps & are very warm compared to the rest of my body. I have tried applying ice packs to cool it, vaseline, and cortizone cream over the past few days. No hairs have fallen out and it seems like I'm getting a lot of ingrown hair (I shaved the day before my session). My doctor recommended to be patient... please advise! Thank you.

Doctor Answers 3

Redness after laser hair removal

Thank you for your question. From your photo this looks like perifollicular edema and erythema. This is normal following laser hair removal. Perifollicular is the area around the hair, edema means swelling and erythema is redness. This should resolve within 2 days. However, if it persists, please follow up with your physician for an evaluation and treatment. Best of Luck!

Summit Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Pperifollicular Edema and Erythema Could Be Red Bumps after Laser Hair Removal

Your picture shows almost a hive-like reaction that is similar to what we call perifollicular edema and erythema following laser hair removal. Perifollicular is the area around the hair, edema is swelling, and erythema is redness. These are the normal end points following laser hair removal. They should disappear within the first 24-48 hours no matter what type of laser is used. If it persists longer than 2 days, I would connect with your provider and get in there to see them.

The rash can be the result of a contact dermatitis or something that you applied to the area after the procedure, or it can just be one of the normal responses. But someone who knows skin should look at this. Treating this is not too difficult for a dermatologist; the right topical medicine will minimize this quickly.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Redness after laser hair removal

Thanks for your question -


It is difficult to know exactly what will happen because I don't know what type of laser was used or the setting that were applied.

Redness can certainly appear after laser treatments.  In our San Francisco area we rely on careful laser calibration, test spots and hydrocortisone as well as carefully trained personnel to minimize possible complications.


Time may improve these spots.  Most redness resolves in the first 48 hours.  Redness that is more persistent should be followed carefully by your plastic surgeon.


I hope this helps!

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 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.