Is hair removal laser safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

Our body changes a lot during pregnancy and breastfeeding due to hormones. One major change that pops up during pregnancy is rapid hair growth. But when you see some new hair appearing in unwanted areas of your body during pregnancy, this can be very frustrating. Some might try to remove this unwanted hair using traditional tools like wax, sweet or razor blade. Others might want to do some laser sessions to remove this annoying hair. But is hair removal laser safe for you and for the baby during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
Here are 3 facts you should know about hair removal laser:

1.How does hair removal laser work?
The laser beam is actually a light ray full of energy and heat that causes damage to the hair follicles (the sac in which the hair grows). When the hair follicle is damaged, thus hair growth will be delayed for some time (for months) or even stopped. For the hair follicle to be damaged, multiple laser sessions are needed. To make it simpler, think of how strong sunlight can damage your skin after long exposure or how repeated use of the hair straightener can damage your hair. Imagine you do this to your hair roots every time it grows.

2.Are there scientific evidence proving the safety of hair removal during pregnancy/breastfeeding?
Although scientific evidence shows that hair removal laser is a safe cosmetic procedure but its safety has never been tested on pregnant/breastfeeding women. That’s why the American Pregnancy Association and many doctors advise pregnant/breastfeeding women to avoid laser procedures not to cause any harm to the baby or to their own body.

3.Which areas should not be exposed to hair removal laser during pregnancy and breastfeeding?
It might be hard for some women to interrupt their hair removal laser sessions for a while, but there are some areas which absolutely cannot be exposed to laser during pregnancy and breastfeeding: neck, armpits, breasts, tummy/abdomen and bikini area. The neck contains the thyroid gland which secretes hormones that regulate the body metabolism. Armpits and breasts contain the mammary glands which are responsible for breast milk production. This might be surprising for you, but did you know that the mammary glands start in the armpits and end in the breasts? Tummy/abdomen and bikini area is your baby’s room and no risk is worth your baby’s life. Even after delivery, it’s advisable to wait for 6 months (if you are not breastfeeding) before exposing this area to laser to guarantee that all organs affected by delivery have fully recovered.

Even if some hair grows on your breast or tummy during pregnancy and breastfeeding, avoid hair removal laser for your safety and your baby’s safety. Use the old traditional hair removal methods (wax, sweet or razor) until you fully recover from delivery or finish breastfeeding. Look at the bright side, you and your baby are in good health, and that’s what really matters.

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About author
Dr. Reem Khalaf Bachelor of Pharmacy and Biotechnology (German University in Cairo) instagram account : babychef_eg
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