Skin & Laser

The Truth About Laser Hair Removal Burn: Causes, Prevention and Treatment

What is a Laser Hair Removal Burn?

Laser hair removal is a popular cosmetic procedure that uses intense pulsed light (IPL) or laser technology to remove unwanted hair from the body. It is a non-invasive, safe and effective way to remove hair, but it can also cause burns in some cases.

A laser hair removal burn occurs when the skin is damaged by the laser or IPL. Burns can range from mild to severe and can cause pain, discomfort, and even scarring in some cases. In this guide, we will discuss the causes, prevention, and treatment options for laser hair removal burns.

Causes of Laser Hair Removal Burns

Incorrect Settings or Equipment:

One of the main causes of laser hair removal burns is the use of incorrect settings or equipment. The laser or IPL machine used during the procedure needs to be set to the correct intensity for the individual’s skin type and hair color. If the settings are too high or too aggressive, it can cause burns, blisters, or scarring. In addition, using faulty equipment or a machine that is not properly maintained can also lead to burns. It is essential to choose a qualified and experienced provider who has access to the latest equipment and technology to minimize the risk of burns.

Lack of Training or Experience:

Lack of proper training and experience is another common cause of laser hair removal burns. Providers who are not adequately trained or experienced in performing laser hair removal may not know how to adjust the settings based on the individual’s skin type, hair color, and thickness. In addition, a lack of experience can lead to improper handling of the equipment or mistakes during the procedure, increasing the risk of burns. It is important to do your research and choose a provider who has the necessary training and experience to ensure a safe and effective procedure.

Pre-existing Skin Conditions:

Pre-existing skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea can also increase the risk of laser hair removal burns. These conditions can make the skin more sensitive and prone to damage from the laser or IPL. In addition, individuals with darker skin tones are also at higher risk of burns, as the laser can sometimes target the pigment in the skin rather than just the hair follicle. It is important to inform your provider of any pre-existing skin conditions before the procedure, as they may need to adjust the settings or take other precautions to minimize the risk of burns.

Prevention of Laser Hair Removal Burns

Choose a Qualified and Experienced Provider:

Choosing a qualified and experienced provider is crucial when it comes to laser hair removal to ensure a safe and effective treatment. Before scheduling an appointment, it is important to research the provider’s qualifications, experience, and reviews from past clients. A reputable provider will have proper training and certifications, as well as access to the latest equipment and technology. They will also conduct a thorough consultation and skin assessment before starting the treatment to ensure that laser hair removal is a suitable option for your skin type and hair color.

Prepare Your Skin for Treatment:

Preparing your skin for laser hair removal can help to minimize the risk of burns and improve the effectiveness of the treatment. A few weeks before the procedure, it is recommended to avoid tanning or using self-tanners, as well as avoiding any other hair removal methods that may damage the skin, such as waxing or plucking. Shaving is the only acceptable method of hair removal before a laser treatment. It is also important to avoid using any skincare products that may irritate the skin, such as retinoids or acids. Your provider will provide you with specific instructions on how to prepare your skin for treatment based on your individual needs.

Follow Aftercare Instructions:

Following aftercare instructions is essential to ensure that your skin heals properly and to minimize the risk of complications such as burns or infections. After the treatment, your provider will provide you with specific instructions on how to care for your skin, which may include applying a cooling gel, avoiding hot showers or baths, avoiding direct sunlight, and using a high SPF sunscreen. It is important to follow these instructions carefully to ensure the best results and to prevent any adverse reactions. If you experience any pain, discomfort, or unusual symptoms after the treatment, it is important to contact your provider immediately.

Treatment Options for Laser Hair Removal Burns

First Aid Measures:

If you experience a burn or any other adverse reaction after laser hair removal treatment, it is important to take immediate first aid measures to help minimize the severity of the injury. First, remove any clothing or jewelry from the affected area and rinse the area with cool water for several minutes. This will help to cool down the skin and reduce any swelling. Applying a cool compress or ice pack to the area can also help to relieve pain and swelling. It is important to avoid using any home remedies, such as butter or oil, as they can further damage the skin.

Topical Treatments:

After a laser hair removal burn, topical treatments can help to soothe the skin and promote healing. Your provider may recommend using aloe vera gel or an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. It is important to avoid using any products that contain alcohol or fragrances, as they can further irritate the skin. If you experience any itching or discomfort, your provider may also recommend using an antihistamine cream.

Professional Medical Treatment:

If a laser hair removal burn is severe, it may require professional medical treatment. In some cases, the burn may need to be treated with prescription medications, such as antibiotics or steroid creams, to prevent infection and promote healing. For more severe burns, a healthcare provider may need to prescribe pain medication or perform a skin graft to repair the damaged skin. It is important to seek medical attention immediately if you experience any signs of infection, such as fever, chills, or redness and swelling that worsen over time.


While laser hair removal is a safe and effective method of hair removal, it is important to be aware of the risk of burns. By choosing a qualified provider, preparing your skin for treatment, and following aftercare instructions carefully, you can minimize the risk of burns and other complications. If you do experience a burn, there are effective treatment options available to help you heal and get back to feeling comfortable in your own skin.