Before you can undergo any laser treatments with us, a consultation is mandatory. There are no exceptions. Furthermore, you won’t be receiving any treatments on the day of your consult.
If you’re wanting pigmentation removal, then you’ll also need to get a skin check done. In some cases, we may refer you to a doctor for certain vascular lesions as well.
We know this may sound like an inconvenience, but it’s for good reason. Let us explain in detail… the why?
Why do we place such a huge emphasis on the consult?
- First and foremost, we actually care about your health and safety.
- We want to get you results, and quickly – as well as safely and effectively.
- Refer to number 1.
We see it all the time… lack of results, or very poor results!
This can almost ‘always’ be attributed to a poor consult. In fact, if the consult is done properly, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever why you shouldn’t get results.
Yet we continue to see clients on a regular basis that have had laser treatments done on the day (usually without a consult – or a very poor consult) and they’ve got zero results. Even after several treatments, still nothing. This should not be possible, but it’s actually very common!
Remember – Laser/IPL/SHR is unregulated in Victoria. In fact, not much at all is regulated in this industry. This means that anyone (literally) can perform laser treatments on you without a single qualification or even the ‘basic’ skin knowledge. It can and does happen… a lot!
What does a laser consult achieve?
By performing a consult, it allows us to discuss any medical conditions and medications that may be detrimental to the treatment (contraindicated). We run through a lot of pre and post care information as well as expectations and outcomes, so that you can make an informed decision as to whether laser is in fact the right treatment for you.
A key component of the consult is the ‘test patch’. This allows us to see how your skin responds to the laser at different settings (eg. energy/power levels). It also gives you the opportunity to experience how it might feel. From here, we can then select the optimal settings specific to you – settings that are going to get ‘you’ the best results possible, as safely as possible, and as quickly as possible – while minimising the risk of burns and other adverse reactions. These settings are documented and monitored (they are different for everyone) and may change from one treatment to the next.
Does a consult eliminate all risks?
Absolutely not! All laser/IPL treatments have risks, but the consult can dramatically reduce those risks when done correctly.
In some very rare cases, things can and do go wrong, but if the consult has been done correctly, when things do go wrong, they are much, much easier to rectify.
We could perform laser treatments on the day of your consult, but we chose not to, due to the inherent risks and side effects of doing so.
It’s simply not worth the risk!
If we were to do this (perform treatments on the day of your consult, or without a consult), we would need to use energy/power levels so low (aka. under treating) that you simply wouldn’t get any results anyway. So, what is point of doing it in the first place? There is none! You’d be paying us money and getting nothing in return – including a waste of time.
Why such low power levels? We have no idea how your skin is going to react to the laser, and we certainly can’t take the risk and “guess” what the optimal settings for you would be.
Even if you’ve had laser in the past, we don’t know what machine was used or what settings. So again, for your health and safety we would need to approach this conservatively so that you don’t end up with severe burns.
Reactions (such as burns) are not instant… they can take hours to present, at which point it’s too late – blisters have already started to form, your skin is on fire, and you’re about ready to make a trip to the ED for medical help.
If this was to happen, not only does it affect our reputation, but it may also leave you with post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation – which is lots of small, pigmented lesions across the entire area that was treated. So, not only did we fail at getting you results, but we also created another, much worse concern for you.
Beware of those ‘Under Treating’
‘Under treating’ (using low power/energy levels) as mentioned above, is how many clinics get around doing a thorough consult. It’s also how they can perform treatments on the same day as a consult. But once again, it’s highly unlikely they will be treating you at high enough (optimal) power levels that will achieve any significant result, if any result at all.
In addition, inexperienced therapists can perform treatments simply by using power levels so low that it eliminates almost every risk. It is a safe treatment, but once again there are zero results.
Essentially, you’re paying for a dud, worthless treatment.
How are results achieved?
In order to get the best results, we need to operate the laser at the highest energy level settings possible for your skin colour/tone. It needs to be high enough to affect hair growth, scatter pigment or collapse a vascular lesion – but it can’t burn your skin in the process.
This takes skill and knowledge. It’s not just as simple as pointing a laser at you and pressing a button – although this is what the industry would have you believe. Hence, we are now stuck in a situation where advanced treatments like laser are considered ‘trivial’ at best, and you’ve got graduates fresh out beauty school operating these devices yet they have no idea what the 5 layers of the Epidermis are.
Everyone has different skin tones, hair thickness and colour, depth of pigment and vascular lesions, general skin sensitives and so on. There is no one size fits all solution so there should not be any one size fits all approach.
How do we find the highest energy levels to achieve best results, safely?
The consultation is key!
This is why we consider the consult to be the single most important aspect of the entire treatment process. You could have the best, most expensive laser on the planet – but if the person operating it doesn’t know what they are doing, if they don’t perform a thorough consult, if they don’t perform a test patch – then the laser doesn’t matter, and you will get zero results coupled with significantly increased risks.
Essentially… a lot of wasted time and money and an increased risk of severe burns. That to us doesn’t sound like a great scenario to be in, but hey… it’s your time and money!
If we haven’t convinced you by now why the consult is mandatory and the vital role it plays in the treatment process, and you’d still much prefer to walk-in to some high street salon and get treatment done on the spot, then all we can do is wish you all the very best.
Perhaps it will take a lot of wasted time and money. Perhaps it will take something much worse – like severe burns.