The pre and post-treatment care for different laser treatments varies, with some being gentler while others are more intense, and some may have no downtime while others may require several days. Taking laser hair removal as an example, let’s discuss some concepts for pre and post-treatment care for laser treatments.
Before treatment: Skin should be kept moisturized and protected from exposure to the sun for at least 14 days prior to treatment. If the skin is sunburnt, the laser will be absorbed by the melanin in the skin’s surface layer, reducing the treatment’s effectiveness and increasing the risk of burns or pigment changes. The skin should not be too dry either. If you have taken medication such as tetracycline, anti-inflammatory drugs, etc. within the last 14 days, you should inform your doctor, as such medications may cause photosensitivity, increasing the chance of burns. Laser treatment may not be suitable for those who have taken isotretinoin within the past six months, as it may make the skin too dry. If the skin has any wounds, redness, or sensitivity, treatment should be postponed until they have healed. Another important consideration is to shave the hair in the treatment area three days before the session, but avoid using methods that pull out the hair from the root, such as depilatory wax, epilators, or tweezers. This is because the deeper melanin in the hair will also be removed, causing the laser to lose its target and significantly reducing the effectiveness of the treatment.
After treatment: Redness, swelling, and scarring may occur after treatment. You can apply ice or medication to alleviate the symptoms. Like most laser treatments, avoid sun exposure after treatment to prevent pigment changes. The treated area may become red and sensitive in the early stages, so antiperspirants should be avoided for the first five days, and the body should be kept dry to prevent sweating. Avoid using skincare products containing fruit acids, exfoliants, or scrubs, as well as silk gourds or similar products. These are common suggestions, but your doctor or therapist will provide specific advice based on your individual circumstances.
Each type of laser treatment has different effects and precautions. If you have any concerns, consult your doctor.