1. Treatment possibilities and limitations
a. Optimal hair conditions for a laser treatment
– Hair removal will bring optimal efficacy on coarse pigmented hair where a maximum permanent hair reduction of up to 80 to 90 % can be obtained.
– The hair reduction rate will depend on the body location and on the hair texture.
– The laser treatment only treats the effects of pilosity but not the root cause.
– The influence of hormonal changes for instance could interfere with the growth cycle and stimulate follicles in a dormant stage.
– The hair reduction will not be effective on white and / or very fine vellus that would be lighter than the colour of the skin.
b. Number of sessions
– The hair cycle is complex and varies from one body location to another.
– The number of sessions depends also on the skin type and the nature of the hair (colour and thickness).
– On average, one area will require at least 6 to 10 sessions .
c. Interval in-between sessions
– Only growing and mature hair can be effectively treated. For the first 2 to 3 sessions, observe a minimum interval time between two consecutive sessions of:
• 4 to 6 weeks for face, bikini and axillae areas.
• 6 to 8 weeks for legs, arms, back and torso areas.
For the following sessions, wait for regrowth to confirm the appointment.
2. Care and recommended guidelines
a. Prior the sessions
i. Sun exposure
For an optimally effective and safe treatment, sun exposure is to be stopped at least 3 – 4 weeks prior sessions. One month before the sessions, apply high SPF sun block on the areas to treat every two hours.
The intake of sun activators or the use of chemical self-tanning lotions is to be stopped 2 weeks prior sessions.
ii. Medication and / or nutritional complements
– It is mandatory you mention all the medication and / or the nutritional complements you take.
Some of their components might be photosensitive and / or photofragilizing to the skin especially Roaccutane.
iii. Skin preparations
– Prior to the session, the skin is to be thoroughly cleaned either with soapy water or with a mild cleaning agent. Neither make-up nor fragrance should remain. If you applied a preparation with essential oils, it is very important you mention it.
– The area to be treated should be ideally shaved the day before the treatment session, if not it can be shaved on the same day.
– If shaving is not tolerated on facial areas for instance, depilatory creams or facial trimmers could be used.
– It is very important not to wax, to trim or pluck hair out with any other means different from shavers or depilatory creams at least 3 weeks prior the sessions.
– The use of bleaching creams is to be stopped at least 3 weeks prior the session.
b. During the session
During the session you will feel a ‘ warm prickling feeling’. This feeling only lasts the time of the session. On dense areas, a peri – follicular erythema / oedema can take place and last for a couple of hours with a light sun burn feel.
c. After the session
– As long as you will experience a post – treatment skin irritation, you have to protect your skin with sun block and avoid any sun exposure that, without protection, could lead to the development of post treatment pigmentation.
ii. Skin care
– Immediately after the session, a soothing cream may be applied to calm down your skin.
– If necessary, you will apply dermocorticoid cream on peri – follicular papules.
– A thermal water spray may also be refreshing.
– Make – up, fragrance or deodorant may be applied the day after session.
iii. Awaiting next session
– It is important to moisturise your skin properly ( Aloe Vera – based cream for instance ).
– In the week following the session, you will experience a phenomenon similar to “regrowth” which is actually the hair shaft part which comes out before falling.
– The regrowth time needed for remaining hair becomes longer from session to session and the remaining hair grows finer.
– Between sessions, it is compulsory not to trim “mechanically” (no tweezers, wax, electrolysis, electric epilator) the hair, since it could interfere with the hair cycle. Only shaving and depilatory creams are allowed.
3. Risks and side – effects
– Not observing the guidelines especially related to sun exposure may lead to an impermanent but long – lasting hypo / hyperpigmentation that may last an average of 3 months.
– On sensitive areas, an oedema may develop but will remain no longer than 2 days.
– Some spots may lead to a purpura or micro – crusting that will remain 3-5 days after the session. It will than be very important neither to rub the skin nor to expose it to the sun.
– Any post – session effect is to be reported and you will be given corresponding treatment and advice.
– If you suffer from eczema, psoriasis or any other skin conditions, please advise your therapist as the light and heat induced treatment can inflame unaffected areas and therefore spread.
– Please specify if you are on any hair growth medications / serums eg. vigro, as the intake of these medications / serums ( for hair growth on the scalp ) can affect hair growth all over the body.