Laser skin treatments use concentrated light to break down molecular bonds of targeted skin cells. Targeted skin cells can be those that are discolored or scarred. Wrinkles and fine lines are also skin conditions that can be addressed with laser skin treatments. While laser skin treatments are not thought to effect the fetus, skin-numbing solutions used to reduce pain associated with the procedure can leech into the bloodstream and negatively effect the growing. Such solutions are thus are not to be used during pregnancy.
Laser skin treatment results are based on ideal circumstances often skewed by pregnancy. The treatment results do not take into effect the edema and stretching of the skin associated with pregnancy. While the effect of the laser skin treatment may appear successful while pregnant, once the baby is born and skin returns to normal, the effect may not be so pleasing.
Skin changes during pregnancy are associated with increased hormone levels. Pregnancy hormones are responsible for the natural changes in the body and the progression of the pregnancy. After the fetus is born, it can take six months to a year for the effects of pregnancy hormones to subside, which means laser skin treatments should not be performed until at least one year after birth.
Skin numbing creams used during laser skin treatments can reach the blood stream. This means mothers who are breastfeeding may need to wait longer before scheduling any laser skin treatment. Once in the blood stream, the numbing solution may pass into breast milk and thus be delivered to baby. According to medical information on EMLA, or skin numbing Lidocaine and Prilocaine, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk with their pediatrician or obstetrician before using the cream; EMLA has been found in breast milk.
While studies conducted on pregnant rats have revealed laser skin treatments have negative effects on the fetus, there have been no formal studies on pregnant humans to back up these findings. That said, both laser skin treatment and use of skin numbing solutions should be postponed during pregnancy and breast-feeding.