One week post laser hair removal and still red and itchy with bumps. Is this normal? (Photo)

Hello. I had laser hair removal to my bikini and underarms 7 days ago and still have this skin reaction and itching. The itching has gotten a little better, but still not gone. I've been using hydra cortisone, Benadryl and ice treatments daily. Have not really gone anywhere and just worn very loose clothing and not really even any underwear. I believe the machine was called lite sheer, and it was my first treatment. Is this normal?

Doctor Answers 2

Laser Hair Removal After Effects

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Hi ProdG.  Nothing in the photos appears concerning.  While the irritation does usually go away quickly after treatment, it could also be from shaving or ingrown hair.  In any case, it does not appear that you have any changes to the surface of the skin that would indicate a problem with the treatment.  Good luck and check with your laser hair removal practice if the issue persists.

Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Red itchy bumps a week after laser hair removal

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Prodgirl, in my experience, the red bumps only last for from 20 minutes to a few days.  They are actually desirable during the treatment because they indicate that the hair bulb has absorbed enough energy for the treatment to be effective. 

There are other things that can cause red bumps lasting for a week after the treatment. If some of your hairs were ingrown, they may take longer to resolve.  If a topical anesthetic or other product was used before or after the treatment, you can get a chemical folliculitis -- you might think of this as a contact dermatitis inside the hair follicle -- which would require something stronger than hydrocortisone to resolve. Or one can have a folliculitis due to bacteria.

it would be best for you to return to your physician -- hopefully, you had this treatment in a doctor's office, and therefore any questions or problems can be handled by someone who will be able to talk to you in more detail and examine you, and who will be able to help you.

Sheryl D. Clark, MD
New York Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 10 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.