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The Safety of Laser Hair Removal During Pregnancy

laser hair removal during pregnancyIt can be a chore (or even an impossibility) to shave your legs when your belly is in the way. Many women feel frustrated during pregnancy because they want to keep up their self-care and grooming routines…despite their growing abdomen.

Warm weather can bring many pregnant women into our offices for a consultation for laser hair removal. Loose dresses and shorts are a must-have for hot days, but this need is magnified during pregnancy.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, many doctors recommend avoiding laser hair removal during pregnancy because there simply aren’t enough studies to prove that it is safe for the fetus.

How Laser Hair Removal Works

A laser is a concentrated beam of light that is basically focused energy. The light energy clings to dark pigmentation in the hair, drawing the light down into the hair follicle and damaging it. Several treatments are usually needed to irreversibly damage the hair follicle so that it no longer grows hair.

The laser is hot to the touch, and the beam of light may travel deeper into the skin than where the hair follicle is located. This is why there are many unknowns when it comes to the safety of laser hair removal during pregnancy.

Is Electrolysis Safe for the Baby?

pregnancy and laser hair removal

Electrolysis uses a fine needle to guide an electronic current through the needle and into the hair follicle. There is insufficient data to support galvanic electrolysis as safe during pregnancy.

Galvanic current, for example, is designed to go through you and back into the device, thus putting the fetus at potential risk for electrocution. The thermolysis type of current, however, is safe during pregnancy because the current does not go through the body.

We understand pregnancy can cause a lot of dark hair to grow in places where you don’t want it. The good news is that hormones cause this extra hair growth. Once you have the baby, these hormones will no longer be in the body, and the extra hair will fall out.

Other Options for Hair Removal

Waxing is an option that is safe for the baby. Just be very cautious when waxing the abdomen because:

  1. Abdominal skin will be stretched thin from the fetus (especially in the 3rd trimester) and may be sensitive and prone to damage
  2. Waxing over deep stretch marks may cause pain and/or skin damage

Hair dissolving creams (depilatories) work to chemically dissolve the protein in hair so that it can be washed away. However, please consider that these products contain harsh chemicals.

First, be aware that studies have not been done to investigate whether these chemicals are absorbed by the fetus or are safe to use during pregnancy. Second, your skin may be more sensitive during pregnancy, so your chance of having an allergic reaction is increased.

Laser Hair Removal in San Diego

Getting laser hair removal during pregnancy is not recommended due to the unknown effects on the fetus. However, you can wax or shave to safely remove unwanted hair. Once you have the baby, come in to see us for laser hair removal.

For over a decade, Dr. Aeria Chang has been providing extraordinary laser treatments, injectables, and anti-aging skin care to women and men in San Diego County and beyond. Contact us today to book your appointment at (619) 280-1609 (text or call)


Patient Stories Dr. Chang has an eye for symmetry and aesthetics. I went in for a consultation to have fillers under my eyes. Instead I was educated on my facial anatomy. I agreed to some fillers in my forehead and cheeks instead and could not be more pleased with the outcome.
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