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Frequently Asked Questions

Effectiveness Suitability Complications Before Treatment During and After Treatment Science

During & after laser treatment FAQs

Here are some of your frequently asked questions that relate to events during and after treatments for both men and women:

What to expect during the procedure?

The specialist will explain the process and expected duration of the session before he begins work. Hairs on the upper lip will take a few minutes to treat, whereas an entire back could take 1 or more hours. During the procedure, laser light will be emitted from a hand held device attached to the laser's console. To reduce any discomfort, a cooling system is used which automatically removes heat from the surface of your skin before, during and after exposure to the laser. Patients do not require a general anaesthetic or strong pain medication, but some choose to administer a topical anaesthetic cream to the more sensitive areas. The treatment itself may cause a slight tingling or stinging sensation. Most patients have no problem tolerating this amount of discomfort.

You will be asked to wear goggles to protect your eyes from accidental exposure to the laser light. The treatment causes a slight charring of your treated hair. It is not uncommon and quite normal to notice a strong odour of singed hairs.

What does it feel like during a session?

It often depends on the equipment being used. If the equipment is modern with a cooling system and you have applied a topical anaesthetic cream before hand then the most you should experience from hair removal by laser is a slight stinging sensation. If the area to be treated is in a sensitive area then greater pain will be experienced. If a cooling system isn't used and no cream applied then you are likely to experience more discomfort and may need to take more breaks during a long session. Some patients have reported that it feels like a rubber band being snapped against their skin.

What to expect immediately afterwards?

Most patients will experience only minor after effects. They may include redness and swelling, which disappears in a short time; often in only a few minutes. Most people return to normal activity straight away. However, the appearance of the treated area immediately after the treatment will vary from patient to patient depending on the duration of the session, and hair and skin type.

What should I do after a session?

The most common after effects experienced by most patients after a session of hair removal with laser is some redness or bumps on the skin. Applying a cold compress to the area often helps to reduce these effects. In addition to this you should also:

  • Use as little make-up as possible and apply plenty of moisturizer
  • Use a sun block of SPF 25 or more for 2 weeks after the session

At first, the hair will look like it is growing back, but it is just coming through the skin to shed. Shedding starts at about 1 week and can last until 4 weeks post-treatment or so. Exfoliating or scrubbing gently with a loofah can help speed up the shedding process. After shedding finishes, you might see little black dots still stuck in the follicle. These are commonly referred to as 'pepperspots' and will eventually shed over a longer period.

If no hair shedding is experienced, the laser power settings might have been too low and you should inform the clinic. Also, if you think that there are patches that didn't shed, the technician might have missed these areas, and you should ask for a free touch-up session. This will only be noticeable about 4 weeks after all of the other hairs have shed. Check with the clinic before hand when doing your research to see if they offer touch-up session free of charge.

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