Truthfully, it is unknown how safe laser hair removal is during pregnancy, and there are conflicting thoughts on whether it is safe, some medical professionals say it is safe until the third-trimester other medical professionals do not recommend it. Some concerns:
- A laser hair removal treatment uses non-ionizing radiation. This technique produces intense heat in order to remove the unwanted hair from its roots. The laser light beams penetrate your skin for only a few millimeters. However, the non-iodizing radiation can be absorbed by the surrounding tissue in the area. Doctors are not sure about how this may affect your unborn baby.
- For some pregnant women, laser hair treatment can cause mild pain, so medical professionals use numbing creams. This cream is not recommended during pregnancy as your body can absorb anything applied to the skin.
- Body hormonal changes can cause changes to melanin production, causing the treatments to be more painful and less effective and laser zapping can cause cramps, especially when done on lower abdominal and thighs.
Stopping treatment if you become pregnant will not hinder progress! If you’re already getting laser hair removal treatments and you discover that you’re now pregnant, it’s strongly recommended that you postpone the rest of your sessions until post-delivery.
Last, the recommendation is you seek approval from your obstetrician.
Pregnancy and all the Hair
Women find that their hair is the thickest and healthiest during pregnancy. On average women will lose approximately 100 hairs a day and these hairs fall out naturally, usually when you are bushing or shampooing your hair.
Hair growth undergoes 3 cycles, anagen (the active growing phase), catagen (the resting phase) and finally telogen (the shedding phase) however during pregnancy the anagen phase is prolonged, this is due to the increase in estrogen levels. Some women also find that their hair texture changes, for example, curly hair may become straighter.
An increase in hair growth on the body, on areas such as the face, chest, back, stomach and breasts are very common and all of this is due to the erratic hormonal changes. Even if you have had laser hair removal treatments prior to becoming pregnant you may experience an increase in hair growth
Skin Changes During Pregnancy
Chloasma – (Mask of pregnancy) Some women develop discoloration of the facial skin, and this is referred to ask the mask of pregnancy.
Stretch mark – Can develop even if you are not pregnant however during pregnancy your chances for developing them are much higher. Typically the breasts and abdomen grow at a rapid rate and the skin stretches, causing a breakdown and disruption with the collagen in the skin resulting in the dreaded stretch marks.
Nails – During pregnancy, some women find that their nail are stronger and grow faster during pregnancy.
Skin Tags – Often located on the neck, breasts or armpits, these skin tags are more commonly caused by rapid hormonal fluctuations.
Acne – Some women develop acne during pregnancy however some women may find that it improves.
Other Symptoms During Pregnancy
Spider veins, puffiness, rashes, and itchiness are also very common during pregnancy.
Hormones fluctuations – The main pregnancy hormones responsible for these changes are estrogen and progesterone. The changes in the levels of these two hormones as well as other key hormones can affect mood as well.
Oxytocin – The body becomes sensitive to oxytocin towards the end of pregnancy and it is responsible for the “bonding” feeling. It also stretches the cervix & stimulates milk production.
Prolactin – Responsible for milk production.
Relaxin – Responsible for relaxing the uterine muscle & loosening up the ligaments.
Are other Hair Removal Methods Safe During Pregnancy?
Waxing – Waxing can be done with caution during pregnancy; however, your skin will be very sensitive, and waxing could lead to bruising.
Creams and Depilatories – These creams contain ingredients that destroy hair, however, there is no clear evidence of the safety to use during pregnancy. These creams can be irritating to already sensitive skin.
Electrolysis – Although there are no studies that evaluate the electrolysis during pregnancy, it is not recommended having electrolysis during pregnancy.
There are two types of current used in electrolysis, thermolysis and galvanic. Thermolysis may also be referred to as diathermy, radio wave, short wave, or high frequency. Galvanic electrolysis sends a minute electrical current through the client and back to the device.
This is not recommended because the baby is surrounded by amniotic fluid. In this situation, the amniotic fluid acts as a conductor of electricity. For this reason, galvanic current is NOT recommended for electrolysis during pregnancy. Thermolysis does not flow through the body and has not been found to be harmful to pregnant women or the fetus.
Shaving – Shaving may be the best option during pregnancy. There are no lasers, current, or harsh chemicals. Pregnancy lasts for 9 months putting these treatments on hold and use the safest method will bring you peace of mind.
Can Women have Laser Hair Removal when Breastfeeding?
Once you have had the baby, laser hair removal treatments can be commenced. For clients that choose to breastfeed it is recommended to wait 6 months from the time you stop breastfeeding to resume laser treatments. This allows your hormones to return to normal.
In addition, laser treatments while breastfeeding can alter the melanin production in the body, and it may lead to hyper or hypopigmentation.
The numbing creams like topical anesthetics applied to soothe the pain after laser procedure can enter into the milk through your bloodstream. It is best to postpone laser skin treatments until after you have stopped breastfeeding.
Can laser hair removal affect getting pregnant?
There’s no evidence that laser hair removal affects your chances of becoming pregnant. If you’re trying to get pregnant, check with your doctor before beginning laser hair removal treatments.
It’s possible you could undergo treatment before you realize you are pregnant, exposing you to the risks associated with the procedure, including:
- Skin irritation
- Changes to your skin’s color
- Excessive hair regrowth, in rare cases
How soon after delivery can you schedule laser hair removal?
After your delivery, talk to your doctor about how soon to resume laser hair removal.
Pregnancy can cause lots of changes to your body, including the sudden appearance of hair in spots it hasn’t been. If you are breastfeeding it is not recommended during this time. Understanding all your options will help you make the best decision for you and your baby.