Acne is an endless source of frustration for many of us – around 85% of the population will deal with it at some point in their lifetime! If your breakout areas also grow unwanted hair, that can be even more annoying. But what if we told you that laser hair removal can help acne while dealing with all of that hair?

Here’s an interesting fact: You probably already know that acne is an inflammatory condition that affects the pores, but did you know that the term ‘pore’ is synonymous with ‘hair follicle’? A pimple is the painful, inflamed bump that pops up when a hair follicle gets clogged with oil and dead skin and then becomes infected with the acne bacteria. 

That inflammation only gets worse with irritating hair removal practices like shaving and waxing. Laser hair removal, on the other hand, can make things a little better. In this post, we’ll explain everything you need to know about laser hair removal and acne. 

Can I Get Laser Hair Removal With Acne? 

Yes, you can get laser hair removal even if you have acne but laser can’t go over inflammation and active acne . That said, acne won’t get in the way of the effectiveness of the treatment, and you may even see positive effects.  

How Can Laser Hair Removal Reduce Breakouts?

Laser hair removal helps prevent acne by getting rid of two factors that can contribute to it. First, it gets rid of the hair itself, which clears up space in the pore and prevents repeated clogging. Second, it also eliminates the need for aggressive hair removal methods that worsen inflammation. 
That said, laser hair removal is not an acne treatment on its own – acne is primarily caused by excessive oil production, bacteria, and improper shedding of dead skin. There are often underlying hormonal factors, as well. 
Nevertheless, it can still help reduce breakouts, and it’s the best way to get rid of unwanted hair from acne-prone areas. 

Can I Break Out From Laser Hair Removal? 

In the long term, laser hair removal is perfectly fine and even beneficial for acne-prone skin. In the short term, you might notice a slight increase in breakouts. It can happen a few days or up to a week after your appointment. 
The breakouts will usually clear up as your skin calms down and as some hair growth normalizes. We’ve noticed that this is usually only an issue when you first start laser treatments, and tends to happen less frequently after repeated sessions as more and more of the hair is reduced. 

How Should You Care For Your Skin Before and After Laser Hair Removal?

If your skin is acne-prone, here are a few important things to keep in mind before and after, in addition to our standard customer care suggestions
First of all, let your provider know if you’re taking any acne medications. We cannot do laser hair removal if you’re taking oral medications like isotretinoin or antibiotics. 

With topical medications, you may just need to take a short break before and after your laser appointment. If you’re using tretinoin or adapalene, make sure to stop using them for two weeks before your appointment. Wait at least a week if you’re using benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid, or retinol. Finally, if you’re using salicylic acid, take a 3-day break. 

If you experience breakouts after your laser hair removal session, you can gently exfoliate the skin with a salicylic acid-based product after three days. It’ll help unclog the pores and calm the skin. 
Now that you have a better understanding of how laser hair removal affects acne, are you ready to give it a try? If so, go ahead and book an appointment at your nearest SEV Laser medspa!