Psoriasis and laser hair removal treatment
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a common, long term skin disease. Skin can become red,dry, itchy, irritated and scaly. The main areas that are most affected are the scalp, knees, elbows and torso. There is no cure for this condition and flare ups are common. Flare up can be very painful depending on how severe they are. In most cases lifestyle changes are needed to help manage this condition to reduce flare ups. Laser hair removal can be performed if you suffer from psoriasis. However, this can depend on the severity of your condition.
Psoriasis can be hereditary but can also be caused by exposure to triggers. Triggers are factors that cause this condition to become worse.
What are the main types of psoriasis?
There are many types of psoriasis but the most common one is called plaque psoriasis. When triggered patches of skin react to form dry, scaly areas on the skin. Areas can be sore, sensitive and feel rough in texture.
Another type of psoriasis is called Inverse psoriasis. This type affects the following areas of the body, the breasts, buttocks and groin area. In these areas the folds of skin are the most commonly where psoriasis can occur. The patches that form with this type appear smooth but are still red in colour. Because of where these areas are located sweating and friction may make this condition worse here.
Can you get laser hair removal with psoriasis?
You can get laser hair removal if you have psoriasis but there are some exceptions. If you are taking medication for this condition you will need to contact us with details of this and we can run a check on your specific medication to see if it is suitable. Before you start we will need to see your treatment area just to make sure the skin in the area is suitable for treatment. After you start a course of treatment and develop a flare up during your treatment course you will need to pause treatment. This is only until the skin in the area returns to normal. We will make sure to monitor you very closely while you are in our care so that your skin is kept safe.
What to do before laser hair removal if you have psoriasis?
Before you start your course of laser hair removal it’s important to keep you skin in great condition if you have psoriasis. In preparation make sure to avoid any triggers you have that make this condition worse. Take time to care for your skin in the days leading up to your session.
- Avoid cold temperatures – cold, dry temperatures can cause skin to become quite sensitive. This can lead to flare ups so avoid things like cold plunge pools or cold showers during your course.
- Moisturise daily – choose a light, unscented moisturiser. Apply quickly after the shower to avoid moisture loss. Be sure not to apply this on the day of your laser session.
- Shave slowly – Be careful not to cut or nick the skin. Use a good quality shaving foam or oil and a clean sharp razor. Go slowly and gently glide the razor over the skin. In some cases trauma to the skin can trigger a flare up.
- Avoid harsh exfoliation – Light exfoliation is recommended. Avoid very harsh scrubs and loofahs. Light exfoliation done on a regular basis is better than a once off heavy handed approach. Stop exfoliating 3-4 days before your session is due.
- Don’t wax or use hair removal cream – Shaving is the only method of hair removal recommended if you have psoriasis. Waxing needs to be stopped 4-6 weeks before your first session. Hair removal cream may cause skin to react so it’s best not to use this.
- Medications – If you happen to start any new medications inform the clinic asap. These will have to be checked to ensure they are safe.
What to do after laser hair removal if you have psoriasis?
What you do after laser hair removal is just as important if you have psoriasis. During treatment heat will be used on the skin. This will make the skin sensitive for a period of 24-48hrs. In this time it’s vital to allow the skin time to recover. In general side effects from laser last approx 24-48hrs. Common side effects are redness and peri follicular odema (slight swelling of the follicle). By allowing your skin time to rest these side effects will disappear quickly.
- Wear loose cotton clothing – Directly after treatment wear loose clothing. Cotton is best and will allow your skin to cool quickly.
- Soothe the skin – Apply aloe vera to calm and soothe the skin. After side effects subside apply a light moisturiser to your treatment area.
- Avoid activities – It’s best to avoid any activities that may cause you to sweat. After treatment your hair follicles will be irriated by the heat of the laser. Sweating will only cause this to become worse.
- Don’t expose your skin to sun – Avoid exposing your treatment area to sun or sunbeds. Your skin must be protected from the sun for the duration of your course.
- Don’t touch your skin – Directly after your session avoid touching your treatment area. Follicles will be sensitive during this time so may be susceptible to bacteria.
Why a consultation and patch test is needed if you have psoriasis?
Laser hair removal will depend on the severity of your psoriasis. If your condition is mild and managed laser will work well. However if your condition is more severe treatment may be limited. The most important factor is keeping your skin safe. A consultation and patch test is crucial when you have this condition. Your treatment area will need to be fully assessed before you start. A individual treatment plan will also be put in place. And a dedicated laser specialist will be assigned to you so they can monitor your results. We will never take any risks with your skin.
In order to start treatment you will need to see us for a consultation, these are free of charge and take about 30 minutes. Our consultants will chat to you about any concerns you may have, book now.