Common ‘Questions & Answers’ about Laser and Laser Based Treatments

Laser based treatments are certainly one of our most popular, and it’s not hard to imagine why considering how great the results are!

There are also a lot of laser based treatment available, including hair removal, pigment removal, vascular/vein removal, Laser Genesis skin rejuvenation, ablative skin resurfacing, and the list goes on.

But there are many common questions and concerns so we wanted to take this opportunity to address a few of them for you. While we can’t possibly answer all of them in a single blog post, we hope it at least provides some useful information to get you started.

If you’ve got other questions or concerns, post in the comments below or send us an email/private message and we’ll respond as soon as possible.

So let’s get started…

Q. What does it feel like/does it hurt?

A. Short answer… no! Having said that, everyone is different and it will depend on the treatment you’re receiving.

In relation to laser hair removal – the thicker, darker, and more hairs you have, the more you’re going to feel it (at least initially) but it shouldn’t be unbearable pain. The first treatment will always be the worst with every treatment thereafter becoming less painful as more and more hairs are removed/reduced.

In relation to vein and pigment removal – it’s short, sharp, and although it can be unpleasant it’s certainly not unbearable. The good thing about pigment and vein removal is that it’s usually much, much quicker than hair removal so the pain tolerance is generally exceptionally good.

Many clients liken the pain to a rubber band lightly snapping against the skin.

Q. Is it safe during pregnancy?

A. There is no evidence to suggest it’s not safe for mother and baby… but there is also no evidence to suggest it is safe, either.

The lack of research on this subject probably won’t change anytime soon because scientists don’t want to risk harming mothers and babies by intentionally exposing them to potentially harmful products and procedures.

For that reason, it’s recommended to avoid laser based treatments while you’re pregnant.

Q. What device do you use?

A. We use medical-grade laser from Cutera designed to permanently remove unwanted hair on the face and body, as well as remove certain vascular and pigmented lesions.

In addition, Laser Genesis can also be performed – which is a non-ablative, pain free skin rejuvenation treatment.

The excel HR utilises two proven and highly effective wavelengths – the 755nm Alexandrite and the 1064nm Nd:YAG.

Q. Does Laser offer ‘permanent’ results?

A. When it comes to hair removal, laser will permanently reduce the total number of hairs but will not permanently remove all hair.

While existing hair loss may be permanent, this does not prevent the growth of new hairs. No laser or IPL/SHR can guarantee permanent hair removal so if you see this claim being made, ignore it.

Response to laser hair removal varies considerably between people. Some clients may have hormonal factors stimulating hair growth which makes it more difficult to permanently reduce hair and may take many more sessions to achieve desired results.

In relation to Vascular and Pigmentation – results can be permanent but it depends on the post care as well as why the lesion appeared in the first place. For example, sun damage is a common cause of pigmentation – so if you don’t wear your sunscreen religiously post treatment, you can expect the pigment will return.

For this reason along with many other environmental and external factors outside of our control, results can’t be guaranteed for any period of time. We do our best to provide you with all the information you need to ensure the best possible results. As with everything we do in regards to skin and laser, we aim for long-term, sustainable results – not short-term, quick-fixes.

Q. Is Laser the same as IPL/SHR?

A. No! Laser and IPL/SHR are very different. The gold standard for hair removal is Laser – it always has been and probably always will be.

Unfortunately, many salons and clinics refer to IPL/SHR as Laser – and it’s grossly misleading and inaccurate. The technologies are very different.

When performed by a trained laser specialist, laser is a far more effective method of hair removal and a lot safer.

SHR (Swift Hair Removal or Super Hair Removal – depending on who you ask) is a cheaper alternative to laser commonly used by businesses that want a quicker, cheaper way to offer hair removal without the large upfront investment of laser. While it may be able to get some results for you, it will often take substantially longer.

Q. I’ve had laser hair removal treatments in the past and didn’t get very good results. Why is this?

A. There are two common reasons for this. Perhaps the most common is under-treating, followed closely by treating too regularly.

Under-treating – this is essentially the result of the practitioner not doing a thorough consult. The purpose of a consult and test patch is to ensure that:

  1. There are no adverse reactions to the laser and;
  2. Find the highest amount of laser energy we can use without causing damage/burns to the skin.

Unfortunately, given laser isn’t regulated and anyone can perform the treatment, it’s not hard to imagine why so many therapists get this completely wrong.

Under-treating can also be done deliberately in an effort to ensure you come back as often as possible. It’s a dirty, unethical process that is not uncommon in the industry.

This is one part of the process. The next…

Treating too soon – is performing laser treatments too closely together. Regardless of the laser treatment you’re receiving, more is certainly not better and certainly won’t yield better or faster results. Although treating every 4 weeks may sound like a sure-fire way to achieve results quicker, it’s actually working against you.

For example, when it comes to laser hair removal, there are specific hair growth cycles that your hair goes through and it varies slightly depending on the area of the body. Treating too soon (every 4 weeks for example) and you completely miss the correct growth cycle of the hair where laser is going to be most effective.

We’ve had clients that are “perfect” candidates for laser hair removal but have not been able to get results from other clinics. This clearly indicates practitioner error – perhaps one or both of the above.

Q. Can laser cause cancer?

A. No, it can not. It’s a myth and there is no evidence to suggest that laser based treatments can cause cancer.

As a matter of fact, lasers are sometimes used to treat certain forms of precancerous lesions. Although laser does emit a form of radiation, it’s a form known as “non-ionising radiation” – similar to the kind of radiation your microwave oven emits. The sun is substantially more dangerous and likely to cause cancer than a laser device.

Q. What areas of the body can be treated?

A. All areas can be treated safely and effectively.

The only exception is around the orbital eye area. Incorrect use could cause serious eye damage and/or blindness. When operating around the mouth area, all due care must also be taken to avoid cracking/shattering teeth.

Once again, if you ever needed a good reason to find a highly training and qualified laser specialist, this is it!

Q. How many treatments will I need?

A. This is a very broad question and varies greatly depending a number of factors.

This is one reason why a thorough consult is so important – so that we can discuss your individual circumstances such as age, genetics, hormonal, medical and medications as all of these come into play and need to be considered.

  • Hair Removal – assuming you are the ideal candidate (thick black hair, fair skin) results should be much quicker and effective then for someone with thin light hair. In some cases, we can achieve significant results (90% or better reduction) in just 1-3 treatments.
  • Pigment – can be achieved in as little as one treatment or it may take several depending on the colour/size etc.
  • Vascular – can also be achieved in as little as one treatment depending on the size and complexity.
  • Laser Genesis – a course of treatments is usually required in conjunction with a good home care routine. Each treatment builds on the last and significant change shouldn’t be expected with just one treatment, although it’s not uncommon to see some very minor improvements.

Q. Can you perform laser hair removal on darker skin types?

A. Yes, absolutely we can! That is the beauty of laser.

We use a gold standard medical-grade laser that can safely and effectively treat all skin types – from light to dark.

Q. How long will I need between laser treatments?

A. This will depend on the laser treatment being performed. We’ve outlined some rough guidelines below.

  • Laser Hair Removal should be performed every 6-12 weeks depending on the area of the body being treated. Specifics will be discussed during your consult. If you’re being treated any earlier than that (eg. 4-6 weeks) then it’s highly likely you’re being taken advantage of and a victim of under-treating and treating too soon (as outlined above).
  • When it comes to Laser Pigment, Vein/Vascular and Laser Genesis – specifics will be discussed during your laser consult depending on your own individual circumstances. As a rough guide, most treatments will occur roughly between 4-10 weeks.

Q. Why choose us?

A. Laser clinics are everywhere… and anyone regardless of qualifications or experience can use a laser device (that’s right – it’s a completely unregulated industry).

But lasers aren’t simple devices and nor are the treatments. There are many different things that need to be considered included skin colour, hair colour, the part of the body being treated, how often to treat, medications you’re taking, medical history and so on. There are also various settings which need to be applied on the laser – get this wrong, and results will be poor (or you won’t get any at all) or you could experience severe burns.

A few things that make us different:

  • We treat every 6-8+ weeks – not every 4 weeks like many clinics. This ensures we are targeting your hairs in the right growth phase resulting in better, faster results.
  • We take our training seriously! We hold nationally recognised Laser Safety and Advanced Laser certifications from the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery – endorsed by the Australian College of Nursing, the Western Australian Radiological Council, the Tasmanian Government and the Queensland Government.
  • You’ll always see the same Laser Specialist. You don’t have to worry about who will be performing your treatments each time. The practitioner that starts your treatments, will see it through to the end.
  • You’re treated like an individual. Your treatments are personalised and tailored for you. We don’t use the same laser settings for each client. We listen to you, understand your concerns, and address them appropriately and professionally.
  • We are not an express service. You’ll never feel like just another number (we hope). Although we do have set times to perform the treatment, we hope never feel like you’re being rushed in and out like there was no care taken.

Q. Do you sell treatment packs?

A. For some treatments we do, for others we don’t.

When it comes to laser hair removal and Laser Genesis, we offer a “Buy 5, Get 1 Free” option. For laser pigment removal and laser vein removal, we don’t offer packs.

Having said that, we don’t want to sell you a pack of treatments just because we can. If we believe we can achieve your desired results in fewer than 5 treatments, then we’ll let you know and hopefully save you some money.

Q. I would like to get started with laser… what’s the first step?

A. The first step is a Laser Consultation. This is a critical step and we simply do not perform treatments on anyone without this being completed first.

This is where we will educate you on all things laser including per and post care, explain the risks, how laser works, expected outcomes, make sure it’s actually a suitable treatment for you and so on.

We will check to ensure there are no contraindications that prevent you from receiving the treatment and provide alternative solutions if possible.