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When Can You Hit the Pool After Laser Hair Removal?

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Dr. Hardik Soni

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Got laser hair removal and craving a dip? Don’t jeopardize your investment – find out the ideal wait time before hitting the water.

Are you dreaming of lounging poolside or taking a dip in the ocean after getting laser hair removal? We feel you – but how long should you really wait before swimming after lasers? 

When is it safe to dive in without risking irritation, infection, or damage to your investment in smooth, stubble-free skin? 

As summer swelter rises, patience might wear thin. But resisting the water just a little longer can prevent a world of post-treatment woes. Here, Ethos Spa will familiarize you with the ideal healing timeline before going for that first swim, plus precautions to take once cleared.

When Is it Safe to Swim After Laser Hair Removal?

The ideal time to wait before swimming following laser hair removal treatment is 48-72 hours. This recovery period enables the treated skin to mend properly without risk of irritation.

Deciding when it’s safe to swim after laser hair removal treatment requires patience. While a quick dip may be tempting, especially in summer, it’s crucial to allow time for proper healing first.

According to our experience, rushing back into the water too soon after lasers can lead to complications. But with a little prudence during the recovery period, you can safely enjoy the pool and beach again with silky smooth skin.

The Healing Timeline

We generally recommend avoiding swimming for 48-72 hours following laser hair removal sessions because this allows time for:

  • Follicles to seal up and close, preventing infection risk.
  • Any pinpoint bleeding or blistering to fully resolve.
  • Redness and swelling to subside.
  • The uppermost layer of skin to mend itself back together after the laser wounds.

The bikini area and underarms, with their high follicle density, often take closer to 5-7 days. Legs may need 3-4 days minimum, depending on the extent of treatment. 

The face and neck can typically withstand water after just 24-48 hours. Dr. Soni will advise you regarding your specific timeline.

Does Chlorine Interact Poorly With Post-Laser Skin?

Chlorine and other pool chemicals can certainly provoke stinging and irritation when they seep into compromised skin after lasers. The chemicals essentially rub salt in the wound, so to speak, before it has sealed up. This causes inflammation.

Rinsing off immediately after swimming prevents chemical residue from worsening tenderness. Gentle moisturizing afterward also soothes and protects the skin barrier. With these precautions, chlorine will not likely undermine the long-term success of permanent hair reduction.

How Long Should I Avoid Sun After Treatment?

In addition to skipping swimming temporarily, we recommend avoiding direct sun exposure for about 72 hours post-laser. Sun can worsen pigmentation changes and potentially damage the results when the skin is most vulnerable initially. 

Let Ethos Spa optimize your laser hair removal results for confident poolside lounging. Book a consultation now!

Are There Any Risks to Swimming Soon After Laser Hair Removal?

Yes, the main risks of swimming too soon after laser hair removal are potential infection and irritation of the treated skin before it has fully healed.

While swimming can provide some “retail therapy” when you need a break, jumping in too soon after laser hair removal can spell trouble. Patience is a virtue when it comes to allowing your skin adequate healing time post-treatment.

Risk of Irritation

According to our experience, chemical irritants pose the first main risk of swimming prematurely after lasers. Chlorine and salt water can seep into the vulnerable follicles and set off inflammation when skin remains permeable immediately after lasers. Redness, swelling, bumps, and stinging are common symptoms.

Essentially, the chemicals “rub salt in the wound” before the tiny epidermal abrasions have properly closed up and waterproofed. An increased wound healing time is often the unfortunate result. Rinsing off promptly after swimming and moisturizing can help combat this issue.

May Cause Infection

In addition, swimming too soon in pools, hot tubs, lakes, or oceans gives bacteria an open door to penetrate into the thousands of damaged hair follicles. This leaves the door wide open for potential bacterial overgrowth and infection.

Applying an antimicrobial ointment designed to prevent infection, such as polysporin, and covering the area with waterproof bandages when swimming can help protect it from contaminants that could lead to infection. 

Signs of infection to watch out for include increased pain, swelling, redness, oozing or a fever and should be reported to a doctor.

Avoid Sun and Friction

Lastly, abrasion from water pressure paired with sun exposure can potentially impede the optimal laser results we all seek. It’s best to shield recovering skin from excessive UV rays and high-impact water activity that disturbs new tissue formation.

Laying low and giving your body time to “do its thing” remains the wisest course of action post-treatment.

What Precautions Should I Take if I Swim After Laser Hair Removal?

Precautions when swimming after laser hair removal include rinsing off chemicals, moisturizing, wearing sunscreen, avoiding exfoliation initially, and holding off on other skin treatments.

Post-Swim Skin Care

  • Rinse off immediately post-swim to wash away drying and irritating chlorine or saltwater residue.
  • Gently pat dry with a towel instead of vigorous rubbing which could provoke irritation on tender areas.
  • Apply a soothing, fragrance-free moisturizer to replenish hydration and support the skin barrier.

Sun Protection

  • Wear sun-protective clothing and swim shirts when feasible to shield treated skin.
  • Apply waterproof sunscreen before swimming to prevent UV damage that could worsen unwanted pigmentation changes.

Exfoliation Guidance

  • Exfoliate gently 2-3 times per week between treatments to prevent ingrown hairs.
  • But avoid exfoliating for 3-4 days after a laser session while skin recovers.

Additional Skin Treatments

  • Hold off on chemical peels or other harsh skin treatments on lasered areas for at least 2 weeks. Too much too soon can overwhelm sensitive skin.

With some thoughtful post-treatment care, can you emerge from the pool or ocean after lasers without putting your smooth results at risk? Absolutely! Just be patient, gentle, and follow your provider’s guidance.

Ethos Spa’s advanced laser hair removal achieves delectably smooth skin. Schedule your treatment and we’ll provide guidelines on when you can safely swim post-lasers. Message us now!

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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