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Can You Shower After Laser Hair Removal?

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Dr. Hardik Soni

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At Ethos Aesthetics & Wellness, we understand patients want to resume normal activities like showering as soon as possible after laser hair removal treatments

However, special care must be taken when bathing post-treatment to avoid irritation and other problems. Below we’ll discuss when it’s safe to shower, proper hygiene methods, what to avoid, and aftercare tips.

How Long After Treatment Can I Shower?

armpit laser hair removal treatment

Dr. Soni advises waiting at least 24 hours before showering after laser hair removal. It’s best to avoid water exposure for a full day to allow the treated area time to heal. Showering too soon can disrupt results and cause issues like:

  • Infection from bacteria entering microscopic blisters or openings.
  • Irritation from contact between water and sensitized skin.
  • Skin darkening if in contact with hot water.
  • Removal of protective ointments applied after treatment.

If you experience excessive itching, stinging, or discomfort after laser hair removal, wait an additional 24 hours before showering. For certain sensitive areas like the bikini line, 3 days is ideal. Use cool compresses and non-prescription hydrocortisone creams to soothe skin until it’s ready for water exposure.

Always check with Dr. Soni and follow post-care instructions provided at your appointment. Notify our office if you experience symptoms like rashes, swelling, oozing, or pus which may indicate an infection requiring medical care.

How Should I Shower After Treatment?

Once the waiting period has passed, you can shower but should take precautions. Follow these tips for gentle cleansing:

  • Keep showers brief, under 10 minutes. Avoid extended soaking.
  • Wash with lukewarm, not hot, water. Hot water can inflame skin.
  • Use a fragrance-free cleanser like Cetaphil. Avoid soap and harsh scrubs.
  • Gently pat dry with a soft towel. Do not rub the treated area.
  • Moisturize with a gentle, dermatologist-recommended lotion.
  • Wear loose, breathable clothing that won’t rub or irritate skin.

Avoid scrubbing, exfoliating, or wearing constricting clothes on treated areas for 1-2 weeks until skin is fully healed. Hair should not be removed by any method during this time. Shave other body areas carefully.

Cleanse skin gently. Avoid direct shower streams, washcloths, loofahs, and bath puffs over treated spots. Do not submerge the area in baths, pools, or hot tubs which have high bacteria levels.

Can I shave after laser hair removal?

No, shaving should be avoided in treated areas for at least 2 weeks until the skin is healed.

Is it OK to take a hot shower after laser hair removal?

No, hot water can irritate skin after treatment. Lukewarm showers are best for the first 1-2 weeks.

How long should I wait to exfoliate after laser hair removal?

Exfoliating should be avoided for 1-2 weeks until skin is fully healed. Gentle exfoliation may resume after but scrubbing is not recommended.

Can I swim after getting laser hair removal?

No, swimming should be avoided for 2 weeks post-treatment to prevent infection and irritation.

Is it safe to use a sauna or hot tub after laser hair removal?

No, heat and moisture from saunas and hot tubs can inflame skin and cause problems after treatments.

What Should I Avoid After Laser Hair Removal?

In addition to waiting 24-72 hours to shower, you’ll want to avoid activities that could compromise your treatment. Do not:

  • Take hot baths or long, steaming showers.
  • Use saunas, hot tubs, or Jacuzzis.
  • Go swimming in lakes, pools, or oceans.
  • Apply skin care products containing glycolic acid, retinol, or harsh ingredients. These can increase irritation substantially.
  • Exfoliate, scrub, or use loofahs or washcloths.
  • Wax or shave the treated area.
  • Engage in activities causing excessive perspiration.
  • Expose treated areas to direct sunlight. Wear sunscreen.

Take care to protect your skin and investment. Allow time for proper healing so you can enjoy the best possible laser hair removal results.

What Post-Treatment Care Should I Perform?

Dr. Soni stresses proper aftercare once bathing resumes to support the treatment process:

  • Apply antibiotic creams or ointments to prevent infection for 3-5 days. Keep the area moisturized.
  • Use an ice pack wrapped in cloth for 10 minutes intervals to reduce swelling.
  • Avoid makeup, perfumes, deodorants, and scented lotions on treated skin.
  • Wear loose, soft, breathable clothing. Cotton underwear is best.
  • Diligently practice sun protection. Always apply SPF 30 or higher to prevent pigmentation.
  • Return for follow-up appointments per the recommended schedule.
Aftercare Do’sKey Information
Apply cool compressesUse a cool washcloth or ice pack to reduce swelling and pain after laser hair removal.
Apply prescription creams as directedYour doctor may prescribe a steroid cream for pain and discomfort. Acetaminophen or anti-inflammatory meds can be used as directed.
Protect your skin from the sunAvoid direct sun exposure for 1 month before and after the procedure. Apply sunscreen daily to the treated area to prevent skin damage.

Notify our office if you experience excessive redness, pain, oozing, or other concerning symptoms after showering or washing the treated area. Laser hair removal side effects should resolve within a few days with proper aftercare.

When Can I Resume Normal Activities After Treatment?

Most patients can return to work, school, and regular routines immediately after laser hair removal. However, activities like athletic training, swimming, and sunbathing should be avoided for 1-2 weeks post-treatment. Wait until skin is fully healed before resuming any activity causing friction, sweating, or sun exposure to treated areas.

Post-treatment swelling and redness may be concealed with makeup after 24 hours. Just be sure to remove products gently and cleanse very delicately if applying cosmetics to treated skin. Use new applicators and cosmetics to avoid contamination.

With proper cleansing and daily care as outlined, most patients are able to remain socially active with minimal downtime following laser hair removal sessions. Just take care to protect treated skin while healing.

Schedule a Consultation for Safe, Effective Laser Hair Removal

armpit laser hair removal

If you’re considering laser hair removal, the experts at Ethos Aesthetics & Wellness are here to help you achieve the best results safely and comfortably. 

Schedule a consultation to get all your questions answered about safe bathing and activities post-treatment. We look forward to helping you reveal remarkably smooth skin free of unwanted hair.

FAQ on Can You Shower After Laser Hair Removal?

Can I shower immediately after laser hair removal?

No, you should wait at least 24 hours before showering to allow the treated skin time to heal.

Is it OK to wear tight clothes after laser hair removal?

No, wear only loose, breathable fabrics like cotton that won’t rub or irritate the treated skin.

How long after laser hair removal can I go in the sun?

Sun exposure should be avoided for 4 weeks pre and post treatment. Always apply SPF 30 or higher.

What kind of soap should I use when showering after a laser?

Use a very gentle, fragrance-free cleanser. Avoid harsh soaps and exfoliating scrubs.

Can I apply lotion after showering post laser hair removal?

A: Yes, apply a gentle, dermatologist-recommended moisturizer to keep the treated skin hydrated. Avoid scented lotions.

Dr. Hardik Soni

MD, Founder/Lead Physician

About Dr. Hardik Soni

Dr. Hardik Soni is the founder and Medical Director of Ethos Aesthetics + Wellness. His primary focus is on minimally invasive and non-invasive cosmetic procedures including botulinum injection (Botox and Dysport), dermal fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse), laser hair removal, chemical peels, and laser skin rejuvenation. Dr. Soni believes in a more conservative approach and his first goal is education. Clients are able to determine the ideal treatments after discussion with Dr. Soni regarding the expected outcomes, cost, as well as risks.

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