Can You Have Laser Hair Removal While Pregnant?

Pregnant woman holding belly

Written By:
Dr. Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, FAAD, Chief Medical Officer at Ideal Image

With the privilege and magic (and morning sickness) of the pregnancy experience there are quite a few things from our lifestyle that must be placed on hold – the wine, the retinols, the Botox® and yes, the laser treatments. Whether it’s at the office or in my circle of friends, I often am asked “can I do Laser Hair Removal while pregnant?” – and as a mom of four kiddos myself, it pains me to say… no.

Is Laser Hair Removal Safe While Pregnant?

The short answer is probably, but the reality is there’s just not enough research to definitively confirm it is safe for mom or developing baby – so we say no!

What Are the Potential Risks of Having Laser Hair Removal While Pregnant?

Just like all the other systems in your body, your skin is working extra hard to support your pregnancy. While it is a low-risk treatment, there are potential side effects of Laser Hair Removal that may be complicated while pregnant. For example, with a compromised immune system a skin burn may take longer to heal, lead to infection and even long-term scarring.

The laser works to target the pigment in your hair follicles to destroy them, but it can’t tell the difference between pigmented hairs and pigmented skin. There are several hormonally triggered types of hyperpigmentation (where the skin becomes darker in patches) during pregnancy, the main culprits being melasma and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne. These darkened areas can falsely absorb the energy from the laser instead of the hair follicle which can result in a burn or discoloration. It’s the same reason we harp on sun avoidance before and after Laser Hair Removal treatments. It’s just safer that way.

What to Do About Unwanted Hair While Pregnant

In the meantime, while you wait, we advise you to stick to shaving. Waxing and depilatory creams (or other hair removal methods besides shaving) are not recommended for pregnant women.

It’s Worth the Wait

I advise patients to wait a few months post-partum before doing Laser Hair Removal. Give your body time to balance out its hormones (and catch up on some sleep!) before starting Laser Hair Removal therapy for optimal results, I promise it’s worth the wait!

Many women can experience unwanted hair growth during and after their pregnancy – including the belly, chin, upper lip, buttocks and breasts (often around the nipples). Some of it will go away on its own once your hormones return to normal (about six months after giving birth), but other times it may become a permanent, unwanted new feature. This is another great reason to wait to do Laser Hair Removal until after your pregnancy when you can see which new hairs are likely to stay around. Then, we can help you reduce them permanently.

Can You Get Laser Hair Removal While Breastfeeding?

Most Medical Professionals agree that getting Laser Hair Removal is safe while breastfeeding, but we advise against getting it done on your chest, breasts or nipples until the baby is completely weaned. This area is already quite sensitive from the breastfeeding itself, so adding rare but temporary Laser Hair Removal side effects like redness, swelling and irritation could prove to be more uncomfortable than normal. It’s better to wait.

Had the Baby? Set Up a Free Consultation.

If you have unwanted hair that developed while pregnant or was there beforehand, we can help you reduce it permanently with Laser Hair Removal. If you’ve already had your baby (congratulations!), then we’d be happy to put together a personalized plan based on your unique needs. Schedule your free consultation today.