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Laser Hair Removal and Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Image of a woman having laser hair removal on her leg

Laser hair removal can be an effective solution for those with Hidradenitis Suppurativa, with studies showing that laser hair removal improved HS by 32 to 72 percent after 2 to 4 months of treatment. Read our guide on what HS is, the benefits and how this treatment targets HS symptoms.

Table of Contents

What is Hidradenitis Suppurativa?

Hidradenitis Suppurative is a skin condition where lumps form in the affected area and can start or develop in size and appearance to be like large blackheads, spots filled with pus, boils, or skin abscesses. These can be stand-alone lumps or form in clusters around an area. The most common areas this will likely occur is where there are sweat glands such as the armpits, under breasts, between thighs, or around the groin area. Early-stage symptoms can be identified more by swelling in the area.

What Causes Hidradenitis Suppurativa?

There is no definitive root cause of this skin condition, however, some possible causes include:

  • Acne
  • Excessive hair growth (hirutism)
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight or obesity
  • Possible links to hormones & puberty
  • Often genetic

More than likely, symptoms will appear in your teens or early 20s, which is where the link to puberty is made. This condition can also often leave mild to severe scarring when the lumps rupture.

What Are The Stages Of HS?

HS has different stages and classifications depending on the severity of it. These are called the Hurley Stages and include the following:

HS – Hurley stage I: The first stage of HS will present itself in isolated boils (sometimes multiple in one area) without sinus tract formation.

HS – Hurley stage II: Multiple boils or abscesses will start to develop and this can be in multiple areas across the body. These will often be larger and more painful at this stage, with some tract formation. As there are more and often larger lumps at this stage, they can rupture and result in some scarring in the affected area.

HS- Hurley stage III: This is a severe stage of HS and is often identified with multiple bumps often in widespread areas, with a lot more sinus tract formations and scarring.

Laser hair removal is usually only recommended for Hurley stage 1 and Hurley stage 2 as stage 3 is aggressive, chronic and painful. If you need additional treatment or diagnosis, please consult your doctor with any concerns you may have.

How Can Laser Hair Removal Help Hidradenitis Suppurativa?

Laser Hair Removal works by using an intense beam of concentrated light that penetrates deeper into the skin and damages the hair follicles. This is an effective way of removing hair in targeted places, as it doesn’t damage the surrounding skin. It is effective for longer periods of time as opposed to other methods such as waxing or shaving.

In those who have HS, these follicles become clogged with oils and dead skin cells more frequently and rapidly. The bacteria will then produce the symptoms of Hidradenitis Suppurativa such as pus-filled lumps and unwanted odours.

As a result of laser hair removal damaging the follicle, it can be an effective way to reduce the symptoms of HS. Though it will not combat the underlying treatment, it can help with recurring lump formation.

Benefits of Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal has some great benefits for everyone, including those who are suffering from HS. The main benefits are:

  • Effective hair removal in targeted areas
  • Laser hair removal process has minimal to no pain
  • No downtime
  • Targets the follicle to reduce HS symptoms and prevent recurring swelling or lump formation
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Safe hair removal technique
  • Often gain effective results after 6–8 sessions

Are There Any Side Effects With Laser Hair Removal For HS?

There are minimal studies to show how effective it can be or the downsides to laser hair removal for HS. Whilst most people will see positive results and alleviated symptoms, it is important to be aware that everyone can react differently to treatments. It may have an adverse effect where it irritates the skin or increased swelling of the area with HS. Furthermore, to see longer-lasting results, you may have to upkeep with appointments to see the effectiveness.

Does Laser Hair Removal Work For Everyone With HS?

It is not recommended for everyone with HS to have laser hair removal. It is more effective on those with stages 1-2 to reduce the symptoms. In the later stages of HS, the laser treatment will more likely cause the person a lot of pain because of the severity of the affected areas. When there is a lot of scar tissue, laser treatments are not as effective.

The same recommendations for those with HS still also apply when it comes to laser hair removal treatment. It isn’t recommended for those with light hair, such as grey or blonde, as the laser is more effective on darker hair. A tailored plan will be discussed and determined based on the area with our free consultation.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

Laser hair removal works best with multiple sessions at regular intervals. The most commonly recommended amount will include 6–8 sessions, but it is dependent on the person and how the body reacts to the treatment.

Book A Free Consultation

Book a free to see how our specialist team can help you with your HS symptoms. We will design a tailored plan that is best suited to you and your skin to help you get effective results. We operate our laser hair removal services in London and Surrey, with 9 clinics to choose from across the area. If you have any further questions or would like to book an appointment, please contact us online or call 0203 871 8218.

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