How Can You Treat the Insane Itching While Healing from a Laser Burn?

A few days post-laser hair removal burn. The area that got burned that is now healing, will get insanely itchy at times, where it even woke me up! A few minutes with a cold compress and an application of a light lotion will help reduce the intense need to scratch for about an hour, but is there anything that is more effective (and longer lasting)? Perhaps hydrocortizone or similar? Also something OTC if possible!

Doctor Answers 4

Itching from Laser Burn

You might benefit from short-term use of a high-potency topical steroid cream for a few days.  You should see a dermatologist to discuss this further.  Hydrocortisone is fine but it is weak and may not provide sufficient relief.  The key is not to scratch at the area which could cause it to scar.

Lone Tree Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Intense Itching after Laser Hair Removal

This is a common side effect and can be very annoying as you know.  Try an over-the counter hydrocortisone cream 2-3 times daily for a few days.  If the OTC hydrocortisone creams do not help, you may need to see your dermatologist for something stronger.  The next time you have your treatment, apply the cortisone immediately following the treatment.  This may help with the inflammation and itching before it gets out of control.

Sheri G. Feldman, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Itching after laser

As well as the OTC hydrocortisone, you can try OTC benadryl at night to help you sleep.  It will likely make you drowsy so use caution during the day and start with half the allowable dose.  Ice packs are also helpful.  Please do not scratch!  If these measure dont work, ask your treating physician to call in a stronger topical steroid.  A stronger topical steroid may also reduce the risk of scarring when used in the short term.

Jacqueline Calkin, MD
Sacramento Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Itchy burn

Itching during the healing process is normal.  OTC hydrocortisone and moisturization is the perfect solution for this problem.  Once everything is healed, the itching should resolve.

Peterson Pierre, MD
Thousand Oaks Dermatologist

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.