Can the Use of GoldBond on Skin Prior to Laser Hair Removal Cause Burns? (photo)

On my 6th laser hair removal session I believe I got burnt and not sure why. Session was not very painful but almost immediately after I was in severe pain. My 1st 3 sessions were with YAG laser and I was fine. When switched to the Alex laser, I started getting small, minor dark spots but they cleared up within 2 weeks. Nothing like this. It was suggested that the Goldbond I had used 6 hours prior was to blame for this weird reaction. Is this possible? I am worried about after effects?

Doctor Answers 1

Laser hair removal--did Gold Bond cause this reaction?

Thanks for your photo. It's impossible to tell exactly if this reaction is thermal (actual burn from energy absorption overheating the skin) or allergic (from some sort of absorption of irritant--perhaps the Gold Bond--in the inflamed skin immediately after laser hair removal treatment).

Laser hair removal involves the introduction of energy into the upper layers of the skin where the hair follicles are located, and the hair growth areas of the follicle (the bulge and the base of the follicle) preferentially absorb enough energy to be destroyed. Unfortunately, the skin also absorbs some of the energy, and if excessive (such as for darker-skin races or tanned skin) inflammation, blisters, or even burns can occur. Gold Bond could be one way that the skin was irritated or reacted differently. This is easy to determine if everything else (laser type, energy used, and area treated) was the same; if the only "new" thing was the Gold Bond use prior to treatment, I'd say this is a good likelihood to have been the culprit.

If there is any good news here, it is that your photo appears to show no evidence that this will leave any permanent scarring, and the increased inflammatory response should mean that you will have somewhat better hair removal from this session! Best wishes!

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