Laser Hair Removal Recovery

I'd like to get Laser Hair Removel during my vacation. What will recovery be like from a session?

Doctor Answers 9

Laser Hair Removal Safe for Vacation

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Usually with laser hair removal, follicular adenoma lasts a few hours. Follicular adenoma is the swelling around the hair follicle that happens when the laser follows the hair into it. 9/10 of our patients recover from follicular adenoma in a just few hours, however sometimes it can last up to 24 hours. You would be very safe to get laser hair removal on your vacation.

Laser Hair Removal Recovery

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The recovery after laser hair removal is really no big deal.  You will have some redness of the areas for a few hours or so.  Over the next few days the hairs will start to fall out.  You may not want to have a laser hair removal treatment right before you go to a sunny destination as your skin may be sensitive and you should avoid the sun for a few days after the treatment.  However, other that than, there is no downtime with laser hair removal.


Good Luck.

Recovery Time from LASER Hair Removal

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To effectively achieve permanent hair removal, a series of LASER treatments is necessary so you should not have to worry about scheduling around a vacation. Done properly at the correct settings, after the initial discomfort of the treatment there is virtually no recovery time needed.

Virtually no down time

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Laser hair removal is one of the true "lunchtime" procedures that dermatologists perform.  So long as the appropriate laser device is selected to ensure results and prevent damage to the skin, a patient can resume normal activities immediately with only minimal post-procedure care.

Corey L. Hartman, MD, FAAD
Birmingham Dermatologic Surgeon

Recovery after laser hair removal depends on skin type and laser used.

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A little redness and minor swelling around a treated hair follicle is normal and indicates a likely good result after a laser hair removal session. Some lasers cause the hair to come right out during treatment, but this isn't always the case. With some hair removal lasers, the hair may get naturally pushed out over the next several days, and it can look like a hair is growing! This is not the case, and does not mean the treatment has failed.

It is very important to protect the treated area from sun exposure within a week or two after a session, to avoid dark marks on the skin, especially in darker skin types.

What to expect during laser hair removal

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What we as doctors want to see when we perform laser hair removal is some minor redness and swelling around each treated hair follicle.  That means the laser has found its target and is affecting the hair.

This reaction lasts from a few minutes to about an hour or so.  There may be some minor itching during that time.

After that, the hairs will be extruded from the hair follicle and for a few days may appear as if they were growing.  In fact, they are on their way to falling out.

During the procedure itself you may experience some discomfort, sort of like a rubberband snap with each laser pulse.  That can be minimized by applying an anesthetic cream prior to the procedure.  You have to be careful, though, about applying the anesthetic cream over large body surface areas as it may be absorbed into the body and cause side effects.  I recommend discussing the procedure with your doctor and deciding what areas are going to be worked on and the amount of anesthetic cream to be used, as well as how long to leave it on.  It is important to do that under the supervision of a physician.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

Quick Recovery

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After laser hair removal, there will be some immediate redness that may persist for 24-48 hours.  The treated hairs may be slightly irritated.  Overall, there are very little side effects after laser hair removal, and you may return immediately to your normal activities.

Mandy Lynn Warthan, MD
Dallas Dermatologist

Laser Hair Removal Recovery

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An effective laser hair removal treatment will lead to redness, irritation and small bumps immediately around the hair follicles after the treatment. Redness and the "ant bite" bumps may persist for up to 2 days. In the period immediately after laser hair removal your skin will feel hot and irritated and it is advised cool the area with ice packs until irritation subsides. Wear sunscreen at all times before, during and after treatment if possible.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Laser Hair Removal Recovery

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It depends on the Laser that was used. Most laser treatments cause some mild thermal damage to the skin. Think of it as a mild sun burn. After the treatment it might take up to two weeks for the skin to heal at the cellular level.

After the treatment you might have goose bumps red in color, mild swelling and some pain. It should not last longer than 2 days. After that your skin will feel normal. In about 10 to 14 days some of the hair will fall out of the treated area.

What should you do during the healing?

  • Avoid sun, use daily sunscreen
  • Apply a good moisturizer at least twice a day
  • Avoid any skin treatments, topical medications or waxing in that area


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.