Can Laser Hair Removal Help Acne?

Acne is one of the most annoying skin conditions, and it’s also one of the most common. Around 80% of people will experience it in their lifetime! This condition affects the hair follicles directly, causing them to become clogged and even inflamed. So it makes perfect sense to wonder – does laser hair removal help acne?

The answer is that it can definitely help! Laser hair removal, on its own, probably won’t cure your breakouts completely, but it can still help. In this post, we’ll explain how, and also give you a few more helpful tips so you can achieve clearer, smoother skin.

How Can Laser Hair Removal Help Acne?

To understand why laser hair removal helps with acne, it’s important to understand what causes acne in the first place. Acne is a condition where the hair follicles (i.e. the pores – it’s a little known fact, but the two terms are largely interchangeable) become clogged with dead skin and bacteria. Often, this results in inflammation, which leads to red, slightly swollen pimples often accompanied by pain.

Laser hair removal works by zapping the hair follicle with light, which transforms into heat. The light damages the follicle, to slow down hair regrowth. It’s considered a permanent hair reduction method since, in the long term, it reduces hair significantly.

If you’ve noticed that you’re most prone to breakouts in the areas where you have more hair, it’s very possible that the thick hair in your hair follicles is part of the problem. Basically, the hair already takes up a lot of space in the follicle, and it becomes clogged more easily.

Additionally, if you follow other hair removal methods, like shaving or waxing, those can be quite irritating. Irritation often makes acne worse because it damages the skin and causes inflammation. These hair removal methods can lead to ingrown hairs, which can sometimes also look like acne.

Laser hair removal helps with acne by inhibiting the follicle’s ability to regrow hair. Since the hair stops growing back, there is no more need for repeated irritation, and the skin is given time to heal on its own. It may also help by simply clearing out the follicles.

Can Laser Hair Removal Make Acne Worse?

In the long term, laser hair removal can help reduce acne, but in the short term, it can make it a little worse. The good news? It’s entirely temporary.

Immediately after laser hair removal, the skin can be a little inflamed and irritated, which can make acne-prone skin look a little worse. Sometimes, you may experience bumps while waiting for the hair follicles to shed the hair that’s been damaged by the laser, but that usually resolves itself within two weeks.

During the months when you undergo laser hair removal treatments, you won’t be able to use certain acne medications. Accutane is entirely off-limits for 6 months before your first treatment. You’ll also have to reduce the frequency with which you use milder anti-acne treatments like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.

On the other hand, you can still use soothing agents that’ll help reduce the redness and swelling associated with acne. They’re even recommended since they’ll help tame any sensitivity from the laser treatment itself.

Once your series of laser treatments is over and you achieve your desired level of smoothness, things will start to improve. You’ll be able to resume acne treatments if necessary, and the lack of hair could help prevent or reduce your breakouts.

What To Do if Acne is Getting You Down?

While laser hair removal can help with breakouts, it’s not a solution to acne on its own. You will probably still benefit from anti-acne skincare and acne medication.

If your acne is really getting you down, whether because it’s painful or it’s severely impacting your self-esteem, please speak to your doctor. Acne is a real health condition and it deserves medical treatment, just like any other disease or disorder.

Post Laser Hair Removal Treatment Tips for Skin

Laser hair removal can help with acne in the long term, but to prevent side effects in the short term, we do have some tips.

  • Avoid sweating, exercise, hot showers, saunas, and extreme heat for the first 24-72 hours after your treatment.
  • Apply soothing lotions or aloe vera to calm the skin immediately after the treatment.
  • Wear loose clothing in order to avoid irritating the treated skin.
  • Around 10 days after your treatment, perform a gentle exfoliation to prevent bumps or ingrown hairs as the follicle sheds the damaged hair.

If you’d like to get started with laser hair removal, to eliminate unwanted hair while also potentially clearing up acne, book an appointment at your nearest SEV location. One of the popular locations is SEV Philadelphia which offers quality laser hair removal and skincare.

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