How to Avoid Burns From IPL and Laser Hair Removal

Brian Lett
By Brian Lett
10 Min Read

How to Avoid Burns From IPL and Laser Hair Removal

Instantaneously following IPL treatment, your skin may look and feel similar to having been exposed to sunlight; using a cool compress or ice pack may help ease pain and swelling.

If blisters form, it is crucial that they are left undisturbed as popping them can allow bacteria to enter the wound and lead to infections.

1. Avoid Sunlight

Some rules are meant to be broken when it comes to laser hair removal; tanned skin is definitely not one of them. Tanning should be avoided prior and after IPL sessions as the newly darkened pigment can interfere with light energy and cause sensitivities, hyper-pigmentation, or worse, burns.

As much as possible, it is best to stay out of direct sunlight for several weeks prior to an IPL treatment session – this includes sunbathing, beach trips and extended exposure in direct sun. If this proves impossible, you should invest in broad spectrum sunscreen with UVA/UVB protection and wear it on all treated areas regularly on overcast days to protect the skin and avoid burns.

Post-IPL, your skin may become extremely sensitive to heat. To minimise discomfort and ease recovery time, it is wise to opt for cooler baths, showers and saunas; opt for cool or lukewarm water instead; avoid harsh skincare products such as scrubs, perfumed soaps and lotions or bleaching creams that could potentially irritate it further; additionally avoiding chlorine can be especially helpful as exposure can trigger skin sensitivity and redness.

After several weeks have passed, your skin should have fully recovered and should no longer be as sensitive to sunlight. However, it’s still wise to wear wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses, apply sunscreen every two hours, and continue wearing wide-brimmed hats in order to provide additional sun protection – this will help avoid burns while optimizing IPL results.

2. Avoid Excessive Heat

Laser or IPL hair removal treatments use light energy to penetrate the skin and heat up pigment follicles, thus disabling hair growth follicles. The device can be used on areas like the face, chest, arms, legs and bikini line to reduce unwanted hair growth as well as treat conditions like hirsutism (excessive hair growth). Though relatively safe for most cases, side effects such as pain and redness have occasionally occurred as side effects; such issues could include sun exposure, certain medications or skin sensitivity being possible causes.

Keep the area being treated cool to help alleviate symptoms of discomfort. Applying a cold compress directly to the skin may ease pain and discomfort while moisturizing body lotion may offer further relief. A cold shower or bath should be avoided due to their extreme temperatures as this could increase pain and itching.

Though most individuals who undergo laser and IPL hair removal treatments experience few side effects, some individuals may develop blisters or burns in the area where treatment has taken place. It is important to follow any instructions provided by either their doctor or clinic nurse regarding treating these burns if blisters or burns appear; pain relievers such as ibuprofen may help if necessary; additionally it is wise to keep the burn clean and moisturized as much as possible while protecting it from direct sunlight until healing has completed.

If you experience a minor laser or IPL burn, administer cool or lukewarm water to ease pain and swelling. Do not use harsh chemicals like ice as this could slow healing while potentially leading to infections. As an additional measure for pain management and anti-inflammatory relief try an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream on the area for added pain relief and anti-inflammation relief.

For optimal IPL or laser hair removal results, it is advised to shave your target area shortly before your appointment to avoid having visible hair singed by the laser. Furthermore, after your session it is wise to avoid direct sunlight as IPL treatments may change melanin levels within your skin, making future treatments harder to eradicate dark hairs.

3. Avoid Heat-Induced Blisters

Laser hair removal is an increasingly popular cosmetic solution to remove unwanted body hair. While effective and relatively pain-free, there may be side effects and risks involved that could include burns. These risks can be reduced with proper preparation of skin prior to laser hair removal treatment and choosing an experienced practitioner.

Before beginning treatment, cold gel will usually be applied to the area before receiving dark glasses to protect your eyes from light. Once treatment begins, you’ll experience a slight rubber band snapping sensation against your skin similar to rubber band snapping; an anesthetic cream may also be applied if necessary for those with extra sensitive skin. Sessions typically last only minutes each. Several sessions will typically be necessary.

Laser treatments use pulses of energy sent from a laser beam that are sent through the skin in order to destroy hair follicles, with melanin being the receptor for this treatment. Therefore, only dark hair types (i.e. not blonde or white hairs) respond well. Furthermore, treatments can sometimes cause redness and inflammation within the skin itself.

If you are prone to burning, it is wise to postpone laser treatments on that area until your skin has fully recovered. Should any burn occur during treatment, notify your practitioner immediately and follow their instructions for treating the burn.

Blisters are common after IPL treatments and usually heal within a week on their own. Be careful to not pop these blisters as this could lead to infection; instead, contact your dermatologist if any signs of an infection emerge and request antibiotic ointment as soon as possible.

Reducing heat-induced blisters requires using effective cooling techniques, including sprays and ointments that do not trap in heat; use non-comedogenic ointments containing hydrocortisone or triple antibiotics instead.

Heat-induced blisters after IPL treatments may become more likely if your skin has very dark tones or has recently developed a new tan, as melanin in these areas competes with that found within hair follicles, making it harder for laser to destroy them effectively.

4. Keep the Area Clean

Maintaining cleanliness after laser hair removal is of utmost importance in order to avoid infections and scarring. After each shower or bath, ensure you pat the area dry without rubbing – this will also keep hair follicles healthy, leading to improved results. For an additional layer of moisture in this dry environment, apply aloe vera ointment several times each day for maximum benefit.

If you experience any complications following laser hair removal, it is crucial that you contact your practitioner or make an appointment at the clinic where treatment took place immediately. They should know about any problems in order to adjust treatment settings accordingly and possibly find fault with equipment they used on you that they can then rectify.

Follow all first aid instructions given to you by either your laser practitioner or doctor, especially regarding burns. Never put any occlusive creams like Aquaphor on any burns without first consulting your physician as this could trap in heat and cause further harm.

For mild burns, running cold water over them will ease pain and stop it from worsening. Applying ice directly can also help soothe skin inflammation while cooling it and reducing swelling; just be careful not to do this directly as that could constrict blood vessels and interfere with healing processes.

After experiencing a laser hair removal burn, it is best to limit sun exposure on the affected areas and use sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 50 when outdoors. Apply an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream as soon as possible in order to decrease inflammation and itchy irritation. Make sure the area remains clean after being burned by not scratching or rubbing – leaving things alone will enable natural healing processes to take their course more rapidly and comfortably.

If you don’t take proper precautions when laser hair removal, a laser hair removal burn can require medical intervention ranging from painkillers and topical antimicrobial ointments for infection prevention, prescription topical anti-scarring creams or even skin grafting for more severe injuries.

Share This Article