Here are some pre and post-treatment guidelines.
Please refrain from waxing, tweezing, sugaring, electrolysis, or other epilation methods for at least 2 weeks prior to treatment. The longer one waits after waxing/tweezing, the more hair follicles are available for the laser to target. However, those with ‘fast growing’ hair cycles may find it beneficial to come in sooner rather than later with regards to this suggestion.
Please minimize sun exposure/tanning for one week prior to treatment with the Nd:YAG laser. Please minimize sun exposure/tanning for two weeks prior to treatment with the Diode laser. Sun exposure or a ‘fresh tan/sunburn’ can interfere with the efficacy and safety of laser hair removal.
Please shave the area(s) to be treated 4-24 hours prior to your laser hair removal appointment. There are several benefits to this practice:
1) Hair above the surface of the skin will absorb laser energy which heats the skin and can lead to more discomfort
2) Surface hair absorbs and ‘wastes’ the laser energy and reduces the amount of energy reaching the root of the hair where it is needed to destroy the hair follice
3) When excess surface hair absorbs the laser energy and transfers it to the surface of the skin, it increases the chance of irritating (or worse, burning) the skin.
4) Shaving prior to treatment also allows you to define a treatment area such as sideburns or bikini line.
We suggest using SPF-30 or greater sunscreen on all exposed treatment areas and to re-apply as necessary. Wear protective light-occluding hats and clothing.
In and around the treatment zone, please discontinue use of Retin-A and other skin exfoliating products for approximately 5 days prior to treatment.
If you have a history of herpes outbreaks in the treatment area, you should consult your primary care provider for medical evaluation or treatment.
Topical anesthetics are typically not needed or suggested for this treatment. During the treatment, please remember that we want to be doing this for you, not to you. While some mild discomfort is expected and normal, please let us know if anything feels too sensitive. We will go slower, apply more cooling to the area, or adjust the power of the laser.
If you desire, you may take Tylenol (650mg-1000mg) 2 hours prior to treatment.
Please either refrain from wearing make-up on the areas to be treated or please be prepared to remove make-up prior to treatment.
Please do not spray tan for at least 7-10 days prior to treatment.
Cool the treatment area (e.g., cool washcloth or gel pack) for 10-15 minutes every hour for the next 4 hours, as needed. An oral, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen such as Advil) or an analgesic (acetaminophen such as Tylenol) may be taken to reduce discomfort. If excess itchiness occurs, please consider using oral Benadryl before going to bed. Use such medicine according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
A mild sunburn-like sensation is expected. This usually lasts 2-24 hours but can persist up to 72 hours. Mild swelling and/or redness may accompany this, which usually resolves in 2-3 days. In some rare cases, prolonged redness or blistering may occur. If any darkened lesions occur, please do not pick, pull, or scratch at any darkened lesions as scarring may occur.
Blistering or scaling after laser hair removal is very uncommon, but usually resolves over several days to several weeks with application of Polysporin cream several times a day. If blistering occurs, very gently apply a topical antibiotic to the area two times a day until healed. If any of this occurs, please immediately call our office so we can best assist in your care. 913.962.1869
When bathing/showering soon after a treatment, please be aware treated areas may be temperature sensitive. Avoid excessively hot water and please note that cooler water will likely offer relief.
Avoid aggressive scrubbing and use of exfoliants, scrubs, loofa sponges, etc until the treatment area has returned to its pre-treatment condition, or at least 24 hours.
Avoid the following for 24-48 hours or until any irritation/redness has resolved: sun, tanning beds, lotions, shaving, waxing, swimming, and a hot tub/jacuzzi/sauna. Do not apply cosmetics to the treated area if/while irritated. Avoid excessive exercise and/or sweating until redness/irritation resolves.
Shaving IS okay between laser sessions (just avoid shaving during the first 24-48 hours or until irritation has resolved). However, tweezing, waxing, sugaring, electrolysis, etc should be avoided because they could reduce the effectiveness of your next laser treatment. It is important for the untreated (new growth) hairs to remain in the follicles for subsequent treatments.
Use SPF 30 or greater (physical versus chemical) sunscreen on treated area(s) if sun exposure is unavoidable. Sun avoidance will decrease the likelihood of skin color changes.
Appearance of hair growth or stubble will continue for 7-30 days post-treatment. This is not new hair growth, but treated hairs being expelled from the skin.
Follow up treatments are usually performed at 4, 6, or 8 week intervals depending on the area and treatment number. Treatment consistency—and following the professional guidance of your nurse—are key to a successful outcome.