Undergoing laser hair removal is the only way to permanently reduce or eliminate hair growth. Excessive hair growth in unwanted areas can be due to genetics or medical conditions. Laser hair removal is commonly used to remove unwanted hair on the face, neck, armpits, chest, back, genital area, arms, legs, fingers, toes and feet. Prior to a laser treatment, you should have a consultation with a dermatologist to learn about the process, the side effects and whether you are a good candidate for the procedure, based on hair color, skin tone and hair characteristics. This article discusses the typical pre-treatment instructions that will help you to prepare for laser hair removal.

Prior to the Appointment
1. Avoid tanning and using sunless tanners for at least a month to prepare for laser hair removal. The skin should be as light as possible at the time of treatment. For this reason, many people choose to undergo laser treatment during winter.

2. Refrain from plucking or waxing for at least 2-4 weeks prior to undergoing laser hair removal. Shaving is fine, but these other hair removal techniques can reduce the effectiveness of the laser treatment. Also, the hair should not be bleached.



3. Shave the area that will be treated, as instructed during the pre-treatment consultation. This is usually a day or two before the appointment. The hair follicles should be visible, but it can be more painful if longer hair is present during the laser hair removal.

4. Take oral antiviral medication or oral antibiotics if prescribed by your doctor.

5. Clean the skin at the treatment site and leave it free of cosmetics, lotions and creams. If you apply deodorant, it will be removed prior to treatment.

During the Appointment
1. Wear clothing that will leave the treated area exposed or is loose fitting. The treated area may have a soothing topical cream applied that you don't want to get on clothing. Tight or abrasive clothing will feel uncomfortable if the skin is sensitive after treatment.

2. Expect the laser technician to apply a topical anesthetic cream or a warm compress prior to treatment. The technician may also shave the area.

3. Put on the protective eyewear.