As your baby bump grows, you may notice that it gradually gets more difficult to move around or bend over—especially in your third trimester. Even tasks as simple as tying your shoes become increasingly difficult and may call for several heave-ho tries.
Due to the paucity of data regarding the effects of laser hair removal on the fetus, many medical professionals advise against using it while pregnant.
To find out, we tapped two board-certified dermatologists to weigh in on the topic. Continue reading to find out everything there is to know about laser hair removal, including whether it’s safe to get it done while pregnant. Even those who are pregnant or intend to become pregnant can benefit from our advice on hair removal.
What is Laser Hair Removal?
The term “laser hair removal” means exactly what it says on the tin: using a laser to remove hair. Most frequently, the face, armpits, legs, pubic region, and trunk are the areas treated non-invasively. And quite a few people like it. Over a million people underwent laser hair removal in 2019 prior to the pandemic. (The nationwide COVID-19 lockdowns that took place in 2020 caused a small decrease in that number.) It works by using highly concentrated light, or lasers, to remove hair.
Is Laser Hair Removal Safe for Pregnant Women?
Many healthcare providers advise that you do not get laser hair removal while you’re pregnant.
Although there are long-term studies examining the effects of laser hair removal on unborn children, laser hair removal is safe. It is best to be cautious for this reason.
Do not start laser hair removal treatments until after giving birth.
What should you do with all that hair, then? When you’re expecting, it’s best to err on the side of caution and only shave. Pregnant women should also avoid using wax, depilatory creams, and other unconventional hair removal techniques. If you’re concerned about hair growth, consult with your doctor before using any method other than shaving.
We’re not saying that pregnancy-related risks exist with laser procedures. Simply put, there isn’t enough data to draw any conclusions.
If you’re seeing thicker hair growth or have hair growing in new places, don’t worry. Once the pregnancy hormones subside, your hair should return to your normal growth cycle about six months after giving birth.
The Safety of Hair Removal While Pregnant
Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal targets dark pigment in the hair and causes thermal and/or mechanical damage to the hair follicle. The safety of laser hair removal during pregnancy has not been studied. Many health care providers recommend avoiding laser hair removal during pregnancy because of the lack of information about the effect on the fetus.
If you decide to have electrolysis, you should avoid having it done on your breasts in your final trimester, especially if you plan to breastfeed. You should avoid touching your abdomen in the last few weeks of pregnancy because it is very sensitive and would cause you great discomfort.
The safety of electrolysis during pregnancy has not been studied. Many health care providers and electrologists recommend avoiding electrolysis during pregnancy because of the lack of information about the effect on the fetus.
If you choose to have electrolysis, the breasts should be avoided in the last trimester, especially if you’re going to breastfeed. Since the abdomen is very sensitive and would be uncomfortable for you at this point in the pregnancy, you should avoid touching it in the final weeks of pregnancy.
Thermolysis and galvanic current are the two kinds of current used in electrolysis. The terms diathermy, radio wave, short wave, and high frequency may also be used to describe thermolysis. Galvanic electrolysis involves passing a tiny electrical current through the client and returning it to the device.
Due to the amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby, this is not suggested. The amniotic fluid serves as a conductor of electricity in this case. For this reason, galvanic current is NOT recommended for electrolysis during pregnancy. There is no evidence that thermolysis is harmful to pregnant women or the fetus because it does not circulate through the body.
Many electrologists demand a letter from your doctor approving treatment while pregnant.
Pregnancy may cause your skin to respond to waxing differently. Using a soothing antiseptic lotion before and after waxing may lessen burning or stinging because your skin might be more sensitive. Additionally, it may lessen any redness that waxing might cause, prevent infection, and lessen irritation.
Before waxing, it is always advisable to consult your doctor. Waxing during pregnancy may not be advised for you for a particular reason. Some pregnant women find waxing easier and more effective than depilatories or creams.
Creams and Depilatories
The main concerns with depilatories during pregnancy are the active ingredients barium sulfide powder and calcium thioglycolate. There is no evidence that they are harmful during pregnancy, but there have been no studies that prove they are safe either.
As with any cosmetic, you should try a patch of skin to see how you react. Once the chemicals are exposed to oxygen, they emit a distinct odor that may be very offensive to you and, in rare instances, may trigger an allergic reaction. To prevent chemical burns, you should take extra precautions to ensure a well-ventilated area and appropriate timing.
Though not the easiest option during pregnancy, shaving is always the cheapest, most convenient option. Try to make it enjoyable by inventively involving your partner in the action. You and your partner might enjoy this as a time to connect! Use a quality moisturizer every day to keep your skin smooth and soft when you shave.
Some women report shaving less frequently thanks to moisturizers with vitamin E. Check out all the wonderful scented and colorful shaving gels the next time you’re at the store, and pick up a brand-new specialty razor.
Although excessive hair growth is common during pregnancy due to altered hormone levels, this does not mean you should rush to the doctor for laser hair removal.
Although there hasn’t been enough research to determine whether laser hair removal is safe for developing babies, it is safe for adults. Women who are pregnant should postpone receiving laser treatment until after giving birth. Use conventional hair removal techniques like shaving if you have unwanted facial hair. To reduce the chance of side effects, stay away from laser skin treatments and hair removal creams.
The wellbeing of both you and your unborn child should be your top priority while you are pregnant.
First, deliver that joyful, healthy baby. Pay attention to getting through the first few months of restless nights and ongoing feedings. You’ll be prepared to schedule your well-earned laser hair removal treatment once all of that is over.