I'm having laser hair removal on my face, yet the lady never shaves the hair to shorten it. Can this cause burns?

I have been having laser hair removal for about a year on my face. I was hesitant about shaving so the the lady doing it said I didn't need to shave, and that the hair will just 'fall' out. It's been going well, however I always get awful burns for the first few days after laser. My skin gets covered in red bumps, and itches. I thought this was normal, but I went to see another laser specialist who told me that the hair must always be shortened. She also said longer hairs on the facial skin cause burns.

Doctor Answers 3

Laser Hair removal complications

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Shaving hairs before laser hair removal is a must, by not doing so you will get burned.laser energy is absorbed by melanocytes (black pigmentation). If dark hairs already present on surface they will absorb the energy n hearted up causing burn. Not only hairs rather even a dark mole should be covered properly before LHR.

Laser Tattoo Removal -- Takes a series of treatments -- SHOULD BE SHAVED ON FACE

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yes facial hair should be as short as possible before getting hair removal as to decrease the rate of heat/burn on the surface of the skin.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Shave before LHR

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The laser with burn the hair and not get down the hair follicle if hair isn't shaved. This can heat up the skin more than normal. You won't get as good of results because the hair bulb won't get heated. I always ask my patients to shave the morning of treatment. Bumps are a good result because this is perifollicular edema, swelling of the hair follicle. Itching is a side affect that is normal. Burns are not normal and can result in pigmentation problems or scarring. 

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

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