Before laser hair removal
Firstly, before you undergo laser treatment, you must not expose the treated area to the sun or a sun bed. A sunscreen of SPF 30, or preferably a total sun block of SPF 50, should be applied whenever exposure to the sun is unavoidable.
You must avoid plucking, waxing or bleaching the hair for six weeks prior to treatment. Preserving the root and the pigment of the hair is imperative for the success of the laser treatment.
It is important to shave the area to be treated the day or night before your appointment. Doing this will prevent thermal injury to the surface of the skin as there won’t be hair on the surface to absorb the laser’s energy. It will allow the laser to go directly to the hair follicle. It will also let the skin heal in case the surface is cut whilst shaving.
During laser hair removal
During the procedure certain safety considerations are important. The patient and any other person in the laser room needs protective eye wear to prevent the risk of damage to the retina. A jet of chilled air is used with the laser to minimise epidermal damage and increase patient comfort. The use of a local anesthetic is optional.
After laser hair removal
Immediately following treatment the area may show erythema (redness and some swelling) around the follicles which looks similar to large goose bumps.
Around 2 or 3 weeks after a laser hair removal treatment 10 to 20% of the treated hairs will fall out. During the healing phase, the area must be treated delicately. Do not rub or scratch. If a crust develops let it fall off on its own. Apply a thin layer of aloe vera ointment to the treated area several times a day to keep it moist. Pat the area dry. Do not shave the area if is swollen or crusting.
Apply ice when swelling occurs. Wrap the ice in a clean soft cloth. Discomfort or stinging may be relieved with Paracetamol. Do not take Ibuprofen or Aspirin as these medicines may react to the laser light. If you need to apply make-up on the area you must apply and remove it delicately. Excess rubbing can open the treated area and increase the chance of scarring. Avoid sports and strenuous exercise for two days following the treatment for laser hair removal. Walking is encouraged though.
Avoid very hot baths, showers, steam baths or saunas, and don’t swim in strong chlorinated water for two or three days. Don’t use bleaching creams or perfume products for 24 to 48 hours. Avoid exfoliating or peels for one week. Try to avoid wearing tight clothing for two or three days. And if there are signs of infection like pus, tenderness or fever, contact the clinic. Post treatment skincare instructions must be followed to prevent any complications.