At Ethos Aesthetics & Wellness, we often receive inquiries from patients about whether it is safe to undergo laser hair removal while taking oral antibiotics.
As antibiotics can increase photosensitivity, special care must be taken. Ideally, you should avoid laser hair removal treatment if you are currently taking antibiotics. Antibiotics can increase your skin’s sensitivity to light and slow down the healing process after laser treatment.
It is recommended to wait at least 2 weeks after finishing the antibiotic course before undergoing laser hair removal
Many common antibiotics like doxycycline and minocycline have photosensitizing effects. This means they make skin more sensitive to light. Laser hair removal uses concentrated light energy to target hair follicles in the skin. Effects of photosensitivity may include:
Topical antibiotics generally pose little issues for laser therapy. But oral tetracyclines, fluoroquinolones, and sulfa drugs present concerns due to whole body photosensitivity that lingers after stopping the medications.
Other drugs like retinoids, NSAIDs, diuretics, antihistamines, and psychiatric medications also increase photosensitivity. Dr. Soni thoroughly reviews medical history and medications at consultations to best advise patients.
If laser hair removal cannot be avoided while on antibiotics, Dr. Soni will take special precautions to maximize treatment safety:
Even with precautions, risks are still elevated in those taking photosensitizing medications. Patients must understand and consent to the higher likelihood of complications. In some cases, it may be advisable to postpone laser hair removal until finishing antibiotics.
Dr. Soni recommends avoiding the following antibiotics for 1-2 months prior to starting laser hair removal when possible:
Interrupting antibiotic treatment for mild conditions like acne may be a reasonable strategy to allow for safe laser hair removal scheduling. But never stop prescribed antibiotics without consulting your prescribing physician first.
For severe infections or chronic conditions, waiting 1-2 months post-antibiotics for laser treatment is ideal. Discuss medication adjustments timing in advance with our staff.
If laser hair removal cannot be avoided while taking photosensitizing medications, patients play a key role in minimizing risks. Be sure to:
With proper care and precautions, laser hair removal can often be performed safely even on those taking medications that increase photosensitivity. But patients must understand and consent to elevated risks. The experts at Ethos Aesthetics & Wellness will advise you on minimizing risks for your specific health profile.
If you have questions about the safety, timing, and precautions for laser hair removal when taking potentially interacting medications like antibiotics, schedule a consultation with Ethos Aesthetics & Wellness today.
We will perform a full health assessment and advise you on your best approach to achieving smooth, stubble-free skin.
Can I get laser hair removal while taking antibiotics?
Yes but inform your provider. Precautions will be taken and risks are higher for burns, rashes, and pigmentation issues.
How long should I be off antibiotics before laser hair removal?
Ideally 1-2 months for medications like doxycycline that increase photosensitivity. Discuss timing with your provider.
Tetracyclines, sulfa drugs, fluoroquinolones, anti-malarials, and some macrolides like erythromycin can increase photosensitivity reactions.
Is it safe to take antibiotics after laser hair removal?
Yes, topical or oral antibiotics may be given after to prevent infection in damaged skin. Let your provider know of any medications.
Can I take acne antibiotics while doing laser hair removal?
Discuss with your provider. Interrupting the antibiotics for 1-2 months is best. Lower laser settings and fewer treatments per round may be used.
What if I have to be on antibiotics long term?
Your laser technician will take extra precautions. But risks are higher for side effects like blistering and pigmentation issues.
What should I avoid while on antibiotics and getting laser hair removal?
Avoid sun exposure, tanning, and skin irritants. Use SPF 45 or higher and cover treatment areas. Follow all post-care instructions diligently.
Can I do laser if I’m taking antidepressants or steroids?
Certain antidepressants, steroids, diuretics, antihistamines and other meds also increase photosensitivity. Discuss all medications at consultation.
Will antibiotics affect my laser hair removal results?
Lower settings may be required which means more treatments. But permanent hair reduction can still be achieved over successive sessions.
How can I prevent laser hair removal side effects while on antibiotics?
Avoid sun, take antihistamines as prescribed, keep skin moisturized and protected from irritation. Promptly report any concerning reactions.