Did you develop a bumpy rash following your laser hair removal appointment? Have no fear – SEV is here to explain exactly what’s going on with your skin. 

Laser hair removal is an unbeatable procedure for the long-term reduction of unwanted hair. Most people know that their skin might feel a little sensitive immediately after, but perifollicular edema is one of its less known side effects. Sometimes referred to as “follicular edema,” it results in swelling of the hair follicles, and it can be distressing to experience for the first time. The good news? It’s quite normal and not a cause for concern. 

In this post, we’ll shed light on this perifollicular edema, explaining what it is, why it happens, its symptoms, and how you can deal with it.

What Is Perifollicular Edema? 

Perifollicular edema is a temporary swelling of the hair follicles. It’s a natural response to the heat delivered to the follicles during laser hair removal. 

As part of the body’s own self-defense mechanisms, the area targeted during laser hair removal swells slightly. This results in small bumps where the hair follicles are, often accompanied by some redness which can be mistaken for a rash.

Follicular edema isn’t considered a cause for concern or an indication of unsuccessful treatment, and it tends to resolve all on its own quite quickly. 

Occasionally, patients worry that perifollicular edema is a sign that the laser treatment didn’t work. In other cases, they worry about the reverse: If there’s no swelling, did the laser really do anything? 

In practice, the majority of clients don’t experience follicular edema, and it’s neither a sign of success nor failure. For some, it’s simply a normal part of the body’s healing process after the treatment while for others it’s an occasional side effect. 

Preventing Follicular Edema From Laser Hair Removal

You can’t totally prevent follicular edema, but there are certain measures you can take to try and ensure as few side effects as possible for optimal recovery. 

Qualified Practitioners

It is crucial to choose a reputable and qualified provider who is experienced in performing laser hair removal procedures, like our team members at SEV. This ensures that your treatment is conducted safely and effectively, minimizing the risk of complications. 

Skin Assessment

Prior to undergoing laser hair removal, your nurse or technician should conduct a thorough assessment of your skin type and condition. This evaluation helps determine the appropriate laser settings and reduces the likelihood of reactions like follicular edema.

Patch Test

If deemed necessary, your provider will conduct a patch test to assess how your skin reacts to the laser. This test helps identify any potential sensitivities or adverse reactions and allows for adjustments in the treatment plan if necessary.

Follow Your Practitioner’s Instructions

Following the post-treatment care instructions provided by your practitioner is essential to ensuring easy, speedy healing. After your laser hair removal, it’s imperative to avoid sun exposure, intense exercise, and exposure to heat such as in the jacuzzi or sauna. 

Get Back In Touch 

If you have any questions or experience unusual or prolonged symptoms, reach out to your provider as soon as possible. They can provide appropriate guidance and address any potential issues. If you had your treatment at SEV, don’t hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns!

How Long Does Perifollicular Edema Last After Laser?

Perifollicular edema is very short-lasting. In most cases, it’ll fade within just a few hours of appearing. Occasionally, it may take a few days to clear. Following some of our treatment recommendations below might help you get rid of the bumps a little faster. 

How to Treat Perifollicular Edema Post-Treatment

If you do experience follicular edema after your laser hair removal, here are some tips to help you address issues. 

Apply a Cold Compress

Use a cold compress or ice pack wrapped in a clean cloth and apply it gently to the affected area. This helps reduce swelling and soothes the skin. Be sure not to apply ice directly to the skin to avoid frostbite.

Soothing Creams and Lotions

Apply a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic moisturizer or post-treatment cream. If you’re not sure about a product, you can always ask your laser provider. These products can help calm the skin and alleviate discomfort. 

Look for ingredients such as aloe vera, centella asiatica, oat exact, or chamomile, known for their soothing effects. If your skin feels especially irritated, you can apply a topical hydrocortisone cream. 

Avoid Heat Exposure

Heat can exacerbate swelling and prolong the recovery process. For the first few days after your treatment, avoid exposing the treated area to excessive heat, such as hot showers, saunas, or steam rooms. Intense exercise should also be avoided. 

Protect From Sunlight

Sun exposure can cause additional irritation and damage to the skin, which can delay the healing process. Shield the treated area from direct sunlight and avoid tanning beds. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF to protect the skin from harmful UV rays. 

Wear Loose Clothing

Tight clothing can exacerbate swelling, so opt for loose-fitting clothing to prevent friction and irritation on the treated area. 

Bumps: Not a Big Deal 

Perifollicular edema isn’t fun to experience. By taking gentle care of your skin and listening to your laser provider’s instructions, perifollicular edema should clear up quickly, leaving you with smooth skin soon enough. 

The best way to ensure you feel confident during and after your laser hair removal treatment is by choosing a professional medspa with trained, qualified registered nurses and laser technicians. 

At SEV, our team members are selected for their robust expertise and impeccable professionalism. If you’d like to have the most effective and comfortable laser hair removal experience imaginable, book an appointment at your nearest SEV.