Today’s Question: I’m tired of all the red razor bumps I get on my legs and bikini area after I shave. Will laser hair removal fix the problem? Lauren, Warsaw
A. Lauren, as if swimsuit season wasn’t already stressful enough worrying about feeling confident in a bathing suit add on top of that those embarrassing shaving bumps or stray hairs and it’s enough to make a girl stay indoors. Those pesky red bumps that often form after shaving that resemble a rash or pimples are usually ingrown hairs. While more annoying than anything, if those bumps are shaved over again too soon before they heal they can become infected.
The only permanent solution to treat bikini razor bumps is laser hair removal. Laser hair removal is typically done in a series. You will need to have more than one treatment in order to achieve good results. Most people require about four to six treatments before seeing permanent results. However, the number of treatments required for optimal long-term benefits depends on multiple factors including: hair thickness, the area treated and your hair’s growth cycle. Interestingly, not all hairs are actively growing at the same time and actually go through three distinct phases: growth, regression and resting. Laser hair removal treatments work by disabling the hair that is in the active growth phase at the time of treatment. Since other hairs will enter this active growth phase at different times, additional treatments may be necessary to disable all of the hair follicles in a given area. It is recommended to wait six to eight weeks in between your treatments. With each treatment, the number of hairs that grow back will decrease, because each time, a fraction of the remaining hair follicles are destroyed.
If you still experience a few razor bumps while shaving between laser hair removal sessions, Lauren, I recommend patients try using a cleanser with salicylic acid on the area. Salicylic acid works by exfoliating the top layer of dead skin cells as well as cleaning out the pores from any infection or ingrown hairs.
Imagine never having to take the time to shave again or have to worry about those annoying razor bumps again, Lauren! Talk to your medical skin care professional and see if you are a good candidate for laser hair removal. If so, in no time, your skin will be as smooth as an Olympic swimmer’s!
Jennifer Kauffman is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner, practicing in Warsaw and Ft. Wayne. She is a sought after speaker at medical conferences such as the American Academy of Plastic Surgeons. Jennifer is a member of American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and Coalition of Advance Practice Nurses of Indiana. She received her Nursing and Nurse Practitioner degrees from Goshen College, and Indiana Wesleyan University. Jennifer is a Clinical Instructor nationally to physicians and nurses on sclerotherapy.
Do you have a question for Jennifer, about this article or another cosmetic skin care issue? Please call Vein Institute & Medical Spa at 574-267-1900 to have your questions answered and considered for future columns. Questions can also be submitted online at www.veinmedicalspa.com.