You can expect to experience the following both during and post treatment.
We strongly advise getting a skin cancer check done before undergoing any form of laser pigment removal.
- Some discomfort may be experienced during the treatment. Darker pigmented lesions will hold more heat.
- The sensation is often described as a rubber band snap or hot pin prick.
- During and after the procedure, expect redness, itching, burning, irritation, tightness, swelling with a hive-like reaction. These sensations will gradually diminish over 48 hours
- Some clients may react differently. In severe cases the skin may turn very red, blister, swell and later scab or crust.
- There is a risk of developing temporary or permanent post-inflammatory pigmentation (PIH) or hypopigmentation.
- There is a risk of triggering an outbreak of ‘cold sores’. Laser Pigment Removal cannot be performed if active cold sore is present.
- There is a rare incidence of scarring and infection.
- The treated pigmented lesion will change in colour, thicken or graze and will lift off like dry skin approx 2 weeks after treatment.
The treatment can not be performed if:
- Currently Pregnant
- Roaccutane or Accutane within the past 3-6 months
- Photosensitizing medications (Tetracyclines, Isotretinoin etc.)
- Psoriasis, eczema, lupus erythematosus, open wounds, sun or wind-burned skin, infected or irritated skin in treatment location
- Severe Acne or Rosacea
- Currently undergoing chemotherapy, radiation or immune disorder treatments.
Additional care must be taken. Inform your clinician of any of the following:
- History of skin cancer – Must have completed recent skin cancer check (<1 month with specialist confirmation of no suspicious lesions)
- Diabetes – May impede wound healing
- Tattoos including semi permanent makeup – cannot treat within 1” of tattoo
- Pacemakers – cannot treat within 6” of implant
- History of keloids or hypertrophic scarring
- History of vitiligo – Depigment may occur
- Smoking – impairs healing and increases the risk of complications
- Fresh scars – Check with your surgeon and/or specialist prior to starting treatment
- Seborrheic Keratosis may only be lightened and often recur
- Melasma is particularly difficult to treat and heat based treatments may exacerbate symptoms
- Superficial/Epidermal pigment is targeted. Dermal pigment is not suited to this type of treatment.
Before Your Treatment
Pre Treatment Advice & Recommendations
Prior to your treatment, there are certain things you must do, and certain things you must not do. This includes:
- Notify us of any changes to your health history or medications.
- Pretreat with antivirals if prone to cold sores.
- Arrive at your appointment with loose fitting clothing and free from makeup, moisturisers, deodorant etc on the treatment area.
- Use active skincare, in particular pigment inhibitors, for a minimum 2 weeks prior. The better the prep, the better the results treatment
- Do Not expose the area to sun or tanning products for 4 weeks.
- Avoid Botox/Fillers in the treatment location for 2 weeks
- Avoid skin irritants in the treatment location for 1 week
- Includes products containing tretinoin, retinol, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic/salicylic acids, granular scrubs etc
After Your Treatment
Post Treatment Advice & Recommendations
After your treatment, there are certain things you must do, and certain things you must not do. This includes:
- Apply broad spectrum SPF daily
- Normal cleansing, antioxidant serums, moisturisers can also be applied
- Keep the area clean, cool and calm
- Cold compresses and antihistamines can be used post treatment
- Pat dry rather than rub dry after showering/cleansing
- Apply Post Laser Gel as often as required
- Notify us of any questions or concerns you may have
- Do not expose the area to the sun (wear protective clothing and apply SPF 30+ or higher, daily).
- Avoid exercise, swimming, and heat based activities including saunas, steam rooms for 3 days
- Avoid makeup for 24 hours
- Do not pick, scratch or rub the skin
- Avoid skin irritants in the treatment location for 2 weeks
- Includes hair removal such as waxing and shaving as well as products containing tretinoin, retinol, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic/salicylic acids, granular scrubs etc
Possible Adverse Effects
Laser Hair Removal is considered a very safe and effective hair removal treatment when delivered by a qualified and highly trained professional, however all laser treatments have risks.
Although rare, these are possible adverse side-effects that may occur, especially if you fail to follow the pre and post treatment advice provided:
- WOUNDS – Medium Risk – Heat based treatment with risk of burns. Higher risk areas include scalp, hands and ears.
- INFECTION – Low Risk – Unlikely, but more common in the facial area. Any type of wound can develop into infection
- SKIN COLOUR CHANGES – High Risk – Treatment is used to reduce freckles, sunspots and similar lesions. However, there is a risk of developing temporary or permanent post-inflammatory pigmentation (PIH) or hypopigmentation. Daily SPF is mandatory.
- HAIR LOSS – High Risk – Hair loss may occur for any dark hairs within and in close proximity to the pigmented lesion.
- DARK SKIN TYPES – High Risk – Have an increased risk of complications and/or pigmentary issues. Additional preparation and post care may be required to maximise skin protection.
Pre & Post advice and information for other treatments are linked below: