The effectiveness of laser hair removal is highly dependent on patient cooperation. There are many things a patient can do to increase the safety of effectiveness of their treatment, as follows:
- It is critical to avoid sun exposure, tanning beds, and sunless tanning for at least 4 weeks prior to treatment and for one week after. Please plan your treatments accordingly.
- Avoid bleaching, waxing, tweezing, plucking, threading, or use of depilatory agents in the treatment area for 3-4 weeks. It is important that the hair remains in the follicle to attract the laser light.
- Please shave the treatment area prior to your session, as we are not able to treat areas with long hair.
- Medicated Creams (such as glycolic, tretinoin, and retinols) that increase photosensitivity should be stopped one week prior to treatment. Accutane is contraindicated for 6 months prior to laser treatment.
- If you are taking antibiotics, you must postpone your laser treatment until they have been completed for 10 days.
- No chemical peels or other resurfacing skin care treatments for 2 weeks before and after laser treatments.
- Lotions, creams, makeup and deodorant need to be removed prior to treatment as they can obstruct or refract laser light.
In order to maximize safety of your treatment, you will be asked to sign a consent form indicating that all of the pre-treatment recommendations have been followed and post-treatment recommendations have been reviewed.
- Immediately after treatment there may be mild redness and swelling at the treatment site, which could last up to 2 hours or longer. In some cases, this can persist for 2-3 days and will feel like a sunburn.
- Apply ice in 15-20 minute intervals for the first few hours after treatment to reduce any discomfort or swelling. This may be continued for up to 3 days if symptoms persist.
- Makeup may be used immediately after treatment unless there is blistering.
- For body areas, wear light, loose clothing to avoid overheating the area. PrivaRx Aloe Cort is recommended for use on larger treatment areas and darker skin types, as these areas are more likely to hyperpigment due to heat retention.
- Avoid exercise for 12-24 hours after treatment to avoid follicultitis.
- Avoid sun exposure for a minimum of one week and wear SPF daily.
- Avoid picking or scratching the treated skin. Do not use any other hair removal treatment products or services (waxing, electrolysis, or tweezing) that will disturb the hair follicle in the treatment area.
- No hot tubs, saunas, or extremely hot showers/baths for 24 hours after treatment.
- Gently wash the treated area and pat dry for 3 days. Do not scrub until 7 days after treatment.
- Expect shedding of surface hair 5-20 days after the treatment. This may appear as new hair growth, but it is not and it should decrease as hair thins with each subsequent treatment session.