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All TopicsForum: Lymphedema → Topic: Laser hair removal (underarm)

Topic: Laser hair removal (underarm)

Forum: Lymphedema — Risks, tips for prevention, and info about products that can address the symptoms of lymphedema.

Posted on: Jun 23, 2006 09:05AM

RavenHair wrote:

Does anyone know what the "common wisdom" is about having laser hair removal in areas affected by lymph node removal?

I bought an electric razor on my doc's advice, but I end up grinding up my skin with it (in my good armpit - I can't feel the affected one, so I assume it's also at risk for being turned into hamburger). So I went back to my safety razor. Someone suggested Nair/Neet, which I think is a great idea if your skin can tolerate it. But I'd like the darned stuff gone permenantly, and laser hair removal is such an attractive thought.

Any experiences with laser hair removal out there?

Ravenhair
(recovering from Stage III invasive ductal carcinoma) Log in to post a reply

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Jun 23, 2006 12:54PM NPat wrote:

You can get burned with lasers if the person operating them is not skilled. A lot of these laser clinics are operated by providers that attend a weekend class. We have them popping up in our area. I would not recommend laser hair removal.
Pat
NPat
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Jun 25, 2006 12:15PM Margerie wrote:

I actually had this done last week. We have a dermatology clinic affilated with the day spa I go to that does laser procedures. I had them do my unaffected axilla first. It hurt like heck, like a few rubber band snaps. The entire underarm area took less than 30 seconds. Then they put on hydrocortisone cream. I had used neosporin in the area for a few days beforehand, as they recommended. Within an hour- the redness was gone. I didn't have any trouble after that, so I did my affected axilla, half of which had no hair because the radiation fried it. It may take one or two more treatments. I am playing it by ear. I just want the hair thin enough so I don't have to shave daily. It seems like the only SAFE underarm treatment is hairy, since even an ingrown hair can get infected. Laser is definitely a risk, I wouldn't just jump into it.

I should add that I do not have LE and do not want LE.
Are we there yet? Dx 10/4/2005, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 5/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jul 15, 2006 05:35AM rrs wrote:

How did you do with this?

Dx 7/26/2001, IDC, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 5, 2018 06:53PM MommaGin wrote:

I know this is an old post, but I'm responding in case there are any new users who are interested in this topic. I was perplexed by this same issue. I agree it appears nothing is risk-free except letting your hair grow out. But to me, it seems the 2nd best option is laser hair removal if you see a well-trained and respected medical facility for this. My breast surgeon at MD Anderson, as well as my outside plastic surgeon, both said laser removal would be fine under my arms, just not to wax or shave with a razor. My plastic surgeon recommended a particular dermatologist to do the laser hair removal. I am happy to report that it has worked wonderfully. This took away all my stress about this issue. I saw Dr. Paul Friedman's Dermatology & Laser Surgery Center in Houston. It's a technician that does the laser hair removal, but everything is reviewed and approved by a medical physician first (who questioned me extensively, looked over my arm, etc.). After just one session, all I ever saw again was fine stubble. I've had 3 sessions now, and it just gets finer and finer and a smaller and smaller area of fine stubble. Frankly, I wish I had done this years ago and regret that it took cancer, a mastectomy, and lymph node removal for me to bite the bullet on laser hair removal.

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Jun 5, 2018 07:54PM Lula73 wrote:

I just had laser touch ups done under my arms and no LE symptoms at all. I agree with going to a center that is MD affiliated. I went to Sona Med Spa and Dermatology. By the time you total up doing laser everywhere you shave vs the cost of razors x however many years you think you’ll continue to shave it comes out about the same - or at least it did for me. So glad I did it though!

-Lula Dx 1/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/13/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 3/2/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 11/1/2017 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 1/2/2018 Femara (letrozole)
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Jun 5, 2018 08:04PM Egads007 wrote:

Holy crow! Not oneof my medical team told me not to shave my armpits!!! Have I been courting disaster for the last 4.5 years???

"I base all my fashion choices on what doesn't itch" (Gilda Radner) Chemotherapy 3/20/2013 Doxil (doxorubicin), Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 8/23/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right Radiation Therapy 11/1/2013 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Dx IDC, 4cm, Stage IIB, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jun 5, 2018 08:10PM bella2013 wrote:

I wasn’t told not to shave either. Is laser hair removal painful

Diagnosed at 60 years old. Oncotype Score=14. Dx 12/4/2017, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/4/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 2/22/2018 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jun 5, 2018 08:24PM ChiSandy wrote:

I just don't go sleeveless--nobody wants to see my bare upper arms, much less my 'pits.

Diagnosed at 64 on routine annual mammo, no lump. OncotypeDX 16. I cried because I had no shoes...but then again, I won’t get blisters.... Dx 9/9/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 9/23/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 11/2/2015 3DCRT: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/31/2015 Femara (letrozole)
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Jun 5, 2018 08:30PM Egads007 wrote:

I suppose that if I can’t have injections or blood drawn from the cancer side it makes sense...I have barely any hair on that side because of rads, but for crying out loud why the hell wasn’t I told??? LE info wasn’t much forth coming either, I’ve got most info here on BCO.

Sandy forget about us in the ‘sucks club’ that honour now goes to my MO & OBS

"I base all my fashion choices on what doesn't itch" (Gilda Radner) Chemotherapy 3/20/2013 Doxil (doxorubicin), Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 8/23/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right Radiation Therapy 11/1/2013 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Dx IDC, 4cm, Stage IIB, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jun 5, 2018 08:41PM - edited Jun 6, 2018 07:33AM by Lula73

Bella- they should give you a lidocaine cream to put on before treatment. In lieu of that, Vagisil or Walmart brand Vagicaine cream works well too. I'd say the 1st few treatments hurt even with the lidocaine cream but nothing I couldn't handle. I do think the vagicaine cream works better personally (its 20% benzocaine). There is also a prescription strength numbing cream they can order for you. It's what they order for laser vein treatments. That stuff is the Mack daddy.

-Lula Dx 1/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/13/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 3/2/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 11/1/2017 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 1/2/2018 Femara (letrozole)

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