Laser hair removal is usually done for aesthetic purposes. It is no longer limited to women. Men are also opting to have excess hair removed through laser treatment. It is an effective way of permanently reducing unwanted hair.
Unfortunately, improper use of the laser equipment can result in rashes, skin discoloration, and minor burns. This can be due to prolonged use on a specific area, or the intensity of the heat may be too high. Exposure to the sun as well as certain medications can result in burn-like skin reactions.
If you suffer from a burn due to a recent laser hair removal procedure, take note of the following tips:
- Cold compress alleviates some of the pain. Use an ice pack to cool the burn. Apply the cold pack for 15 minutes at a time. Never put ice directly unto the burned area. Ice should be packed in a re-sealable bag and wrapped in a soft towel. When your skin starts to feel numb, remove the ice pack and take a break.
- Aloe vera gel does wonders for burns. Refrigerate the gel then place it on your burned skin to reduce the burning sensation. Aloe vera also helps hydrate your skin. To lessen the possibility of any irritation, choose an aloe vera gel that is free from dyes and perfume.
- Dip a cotton ball in milk and apply this to the burn. This can help relieve pain due to soothing properties found in milk.
- Use hydrocortisone. This is a steroidal cream available in most pharmacies and groceries to reduce any swelling and irritation. A thin film of hydrocortisone is all you need over the burned area. Antibiotic ointment when applied on the burn can also hasten the healing process.
- Use mild soap in cleaning the burn area. Pat it dry with a soft towel. Do not rub the affected area.
- Do not shave or pluck hair from the affected area. Plucking and shaving can irritate your burned skin. Wait till your skin heals.
- Apply sunscreen with a high level of SPF (30 and above). Also wear protective clothing to avoid UV exposure which can cause more irritation. If you don’t need to go out into the sun, stay indoors.
- Hydrate. Drink more water (at least 8 glasses a day) to hydrate the skin. Add vitamin E supplements to your diet.
- Use moisturizers. To make your skin smooth and soft again, apply coco butter, aloe vera or a gentle moisturizer.
- See your dermatologist if your burn does not heal. If a blister forms or the burn is taking a long time to heal, see your dermatologist for advice. Any signs of irritation should also warrant an immediate visit to your doctor.
Laser hair removal procedures are actually safe in the hands of qualified and experienced technicians. Swelling and redness are typical side effects and only last a few days. Burns happen when the skin absorbs the laser energy meant for the hair follicle. Before undergoing this procedure, make sure that you are a good candidate for laser hair removal. Darker skinned individuals are more prone to burns.
Gentle care is needed when you are suffering from burns caused by a laser hair removal procedure. Follow the tips above when you experience burns or a burning sensation. Most importantly, seek your dermatologist’s advice for proper care of burns that do not heal or become infected.