Folliculitis Induced by Laser Hair Removal

Brian Lett
By Brian Lett
11 Min Read

Folliculitis Induced by Laser Hair Removal

If you have been experiencing red bumps filled with pus and other symptoms of folliculitis, laser hair removal could be the perfect solution to permanently disable hair follicles and stop ingrown hairs from occurring again. This treatment will disable them permanently so as to avoid future ingrowths of ingrowns hairs.

Folliculitis resembles sudden acne breakouts, often caused by bacteria. This condition results in irritation, redness and itchiness on your skin.


Folliculitis, or Follicularitis, occurs when hair follicles become inflamed due to an infection–usually bacterial–and become infected with inflammation. While not serious in most cases, this affliction can become painful and appear as small red bumps with hair at their center and be quite irritating. Left untreated it may turn into boils or carbuncles leaving lasting scars behind on the skin.

Laser hair removal is an ideal solution for people suffering from folliculitis as it destroys hair follicles so that hair cannot grow back. Unfortunately, however, it may upset the natural balance of bacteria on your skin and lead to overgrowth of Propionibacterium acnes bacteria, as well as Propionibacterium acnes itself. Therefore, before undertaking laser hair removal it’s essential that all necessary preparations be made by not using any topical products that may trigger allergic reactions in advance.

Heat and sweating should also be avoided for 24 to 48 hours after treatment as this can irritate skin and spark an acne outbreak, including hot showers, baths, saunas and steam rooms. Furthermore, anything that might aggravate the area such as harsh cleansers or exfoliants should also be avoided post-procedure.

After receiving laser hair removal treatment, the treated area may feel itchy and tender for several days post-session, due to irritation of hair follicles; this should subside shortly afterwards. Using cooling cream on these areas may also help ease their discomfort and soothe them more effectively.

Within the first week following laser hair removal treatment, your skin may start shedding dead hairs and this may result in pimple-like bumps called folliculitis. Although usually harmless, if they persist it is best to contact the clinic that performed your treatment so they can assess and advise further.

When severe, your plastic surgeon may suggest corticosteroid creams or light therapy as a means to reduce inflammation and dampen down an immune response. Most cases of folliculitis will improve within 7-10 days without the need for antibiotics; if symptoms worsen and boils or carbuncles form on the skin then these will need to be surgically drained by a medical professional or nurse.


Folliculitis is a skin infection characterized by red, sore, pus-filled spots. While mild cases typically clear up on their own, more serious ones often need medical treatment from a dermatologist. Laser hair removal has proven helpful in decreasing cases of folliculitis by damaging hair follicles to stop future hair regrowth and destroy them for good.

At times, your body’s immune system may overreact to laser hair removal by creating post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), an overreaction that often appears like acne and is sometimes misdiagnosed as such.

Infection of hair follicles may also result in slight bleeding beneath the surface of skin and purple spots known as purpura, which are common side-effects of laser hair removal on tanned skin and typically dissipate within three to five days after removal of laser hairs.

Whenever hair follicles become infected with excessive amounts of staph bacteria, they may burst and drain leaving deep pitted scars known as carbuncles that require medical intervention from a dermatologist.

There are certain risk factors associated with laser hair removal that increase the chance of folliculitis, including prior experience with it, pregnancy and medications such as corticosteroids and retinoids.

Patients experiencing post-laser hair removal folliculitis should use cooling creams on the affected area to decrease irritation. A physician may suggest a triple antibiotic ointment that is available over-the-counter at most drugstores to control inflammation and kill any bacteria causing infections. This will help manage swelling as well as fight infections caused by bacteria that is contributing to it.

Selecting an experienced provider for laser hair removal is essential to avoiding complications like folliculitis. They should have both certification and experience treating this condition. Furthermore, it’s wise to select a reputable clinic using cutting-edge technology so as to not penetrate too deeply and cause burns or blistering. A lifestyle change may also help in the prevention of this discomforting issue – shower after working out, wear loose clothing that won’t trap sweat against the skin, and don’t touch your face with dirty hands after touching upkeep – these steps alone could make all the difference when it comes to folliculitis prevention!


Laser hair removal can be an effective treatment for unwanted and unruly hair, but it may lead to complications like folliculitis. Folliculitis is a painful condition affecting hair follicles that results in tiny pimple-like red bumps called pustules which cause itching, burning and pain in affected areas – often leading to hair loss or deep pitted scarring as a result. Preventing this condition through careful preparation and following recommended precautions.

Heat from laser hair removal can disrupt the skin’s delicate ecosystem, and result in an overgrowth of propionibacterium acnes bacteria – one of the primary culprits behind acne breakouts. To mitigate this potential complication, ensure you properly prepare and utilize the appropriate laser type and settings for both you and your hair type before beginning laser treatment.

After laser hair removal, it is vital to keep the treated area clean and dry. Avoid shaving, plucking or waxing until fully healed; alternatively use a gentle cleanser twice daily followed by moisturizing with non-comedogenic cream to help prevent breakouts of acne. In order to keep sweat build-up at bay and avoid aggravating acne breakouts altogether it may also be beneficial to avoid hot showers, baths and saunas, which can contribute to an accumulation of sweat that worsen breakouts further.

If you experience a rash after laser hair removal, it’s essential that you contact the clinic where it was performed immediately. They will be able to advise on the most suitable treatment plan and sunscreen (with at least SPF30 protection) should also be applied over affected areas.

Exfoliate regularly after laser hair removal in order to prevent folliculitis from dead skin cells clogging your pores – one of the primary causes of folliculitis after laser hair removal. Shaving too close can also contribute to this condition, so avoid shaving too closely! This will also ensure that any dead cells don’t clog your pores which contributes to folliculitis after laser hair removal.

If you experience signs of folliculitis, it’s vital that you seek medical assistance immediately. Though not life-threatening, this condition can be highly uncomfortable and embarrassing to deal with; leading to hair loss as well as leaving scars that are difficult to eliminate. Luckily, most cases of folliculitis can be managed through medications and time alone.


Pseudofolliculitis barbae is a hair disorder affecting those with coarse, curly follicles. Usually caused by shaving, however it can also result from waxing, plucking and electrolysis procedures. Pseudofolliculitis typically appears in neck area for men while women typically experience it in their axillary and pubic regions – typically as red bumps that resemble acne which may become itchy or painful; severe cases may lead to pus-filled lesions developing.

Folliculitis is generally not harmful and can be treated easily with medication, but prevention is the key to successful management. To do this, simply follow some basic precautions: refrain from shaving, waxing or plucking in affected areas, ensure skin cleanliness before laser hair removal treatments take place and add moisturizer as a protective measure against inflammation.

Make sure that when selecting a provider to perform laser hair removal, that they have ample experience and a solid reputation in the field. This will ensure that no harm comes to your follicles during the procedure and that their laser settings can be optimized so as to minimize complications and ensure a safe process.

Folliculitis, caused by bacteria entering damaged hair follicles, most frequently arises following hair removal procedures such as shaving, waxing or epilation which cause damage to follicles that allow bacteria to invade and cause infections in those follicles.

Folliculitis can often be treated successfully through simple lifestyle and skincare changes, including wearing looser clothing and not touching or applying makeup prior to working out, changing out of sweaty clothing as soon as possible, and not touching one’s face or applying foundation before working out. Such changes help control bacteria spread and stop future infections from developing.

Folliculitis treatment options include oral antibiotics, tretinoin cream and corticosteroid injections. Furthermore, physicians may recommend retinol products to reduce inflammation and hasten healing.

Share This Article