LASER HAIR REMOVAL
Laser hair treatments are a permanent solution to hair reduction. It works by targeting the hair follicle which impairs the ability of the hair follicle to regrow. For your laser hair removal to be safe and successful, there are a few very important pre-care details and contraindications to keep in mind.
Commonly Treated Areas
- Bikini Line
- Avoid sun exposure 4-6 weeks before and after treatment until your healthcare provider allows it. Epidermal melanocytes compete with melanin in the hair.
- It’s also important that when you come in, your treatment is clean and free of makeup, lotions, deodorant, and any other ointments or topical products.
- Your provider may ask you to stop any topical medications or skin care products 3-5 days prior to treatment.
- Avoid bleaching, tweezing, threading, epilating, or waxing hair for 6 weeks prior to treatment. The melanin-containing hair must be present in the follicle as it is the “target” for the laser light.
- If you have had a history of perioral or genital herpes simplex virus, your provider may recommend a prophylactic antiviral therapy. Follow the directions for your particular antiviral medication.
- If you have a tan or have a darker Fitzpatrick Skin Type, a bleaching regimen may be started at least 2 weeks before treatment.
- RECENTLY TANNED SKIN CANNOT BE TREATED! If treated within 2 weeks of active (natural sunlight or tanning booth) tanning, you may develop hypopigmentation (white spots) after treatment and this may not clear for 2-3 months or more.
- The use of self-tanning skin products must be discontinued one week before treatment. Any residual self-tanner should be removed prior to treatment.
- For 3 days before and after your treatment, please avoid iron pills over 65 mg.
- For two weeks prior to your treatment, avoid antibiotics, tretinoin/Retin-A, Aspirin, and any blood-thinning medications.
- You cannot do laser hair removal if you’ve taken oral isotretinoin (Accutane) or immunosuppressants in the last 6 months.
- Immediately after treatment, there may be erythema (redness) and edema (swelling) of each hair follicle in the treatment site, which may last up to 2 hours, or longer. The erythema may last up to 2-3 days. The treated area will feel like a sunburn for a few hours after treatment.
- Your provider may use an optional cooling method after treatment to ensure your comfort.
- A topical soothing skin care product such as aloe vera gel may be applied following treatment if desired.
- Makeup may be used immediately after the treatment as long as the skin is not irritated.
- Avoid sun exposure to reduce the chance of hyperpigmentation (darker pigmentation).
- Use a sunblock (SPF 30+) at all times throughout the course of treatment.
- Avoid picking or scratching the treated skin. Do not use any other hair removal treatment products or similar treatments (waxing, electrolysis or tweezing) that will disturb the hair follicle in the treatment area for 6 weeks after the laser treatment is performed. Shaving only should be done between treatments.
- Several days to weeks after the treatment, shedding of the treated hair may occur and this appears as new hair growth. This is NOT new hair growth. You can clean and remove the hair by washing or wiping the area with a wet cloth or Loofah sponge.
- After the axilla (underarm) is treated, you may wish to use a powder instead of a deodorant for 24 hours after the treatment to reduce skin irritation.
- There are no restrictions on bathing except to treat the skin gently, as if you had sunburn, for the first 24 hours.
- Accutane: Wait six months after the completion of Accutane therapy.
- Tattoos: We do not laser over tattooed skin, including decorative, permanent makeup and radiation port tattoos.
- Photosensitivity: History of photosensitivity
- Pregnancy: Please inform healthcare provider before treatment
- Seizure Disorders: Patients with a history of light-triggered seizures can not be treated
- Medications: Patients taking daily anticoagulation therapy, iron supplements, herbal supplements such as ginkgo, ginseng or garlic may bruise more readily.
- Photosensitizing Medications: Medications that induce photosensitivity. Stop the medication if possible, for 3-5 days prior to treatment.
- Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) 1 & 2: Patients with active lesion(s) that are present within the intended treatment area.
- Active Skin Infection: Any open wounds and skin that is actively infected.
- Cold Sensitivity: Raynaud phenomenon.
- Keloid Scarring: Precaution to be taken when treating larger areas.
- Tanned Skin: We do not treat recently tanned skin. Blisters and hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation may occur. Allow tan to fade prior to treatment.
Increased Hair Growth: Hair removal by lasers or intense pulse light sources can cause increased hair growth in some individuals. Based upon currently available data, the highest risk groups for this response are females of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and South Asian heritage treated on the face and neck.
- Perifollicular edema/erythema, urticaria.
- After Laser Hair Treatment the treated hair may not shed for several weeks, but no worries as the hair will eventually exfoliate.
- Approximately 20% reduction of hair growth noted 4-8 weeks following each procedure.
- Burning, blistering, scabbing, crusting, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, purpura and/or herpes simplex activation, in rare cases, scarring may result.
- Hair removal by lasers or intense pulse light sources can cause increased hair growth in some individuals. Based upon currently available data, the highest risk groups for this response are females of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and South Asian heritage treated on the face and neck
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