As a laser therapist we have an important duty of care to provide our clients with correct and thorough treatment care advice. Due to the light tissue interaction provoked by laser, there is a comprehensive list of treatment guidelines that must be met in order to ensure safe and effective treatment results are delivered. The welfare of our clients should always be front of mind and best consultation practices are a must. In saying this there are a lot of confusing claims floating around about appropriate pre and post-care advice. At Laseraid we have sat down with our team of industry-leading trainers to make this simple. This blog contains a clear outline of the before and after treatment requirements clients must commit to in order to receive a safe hair removal session.
Below is a comprehensive list of requirements a client must meet prior to arriving at their laser session in order to receive their treatment:
- No sun exposure 4-6 weeks prior to treatment: This is because sun exposure increases the risk of laser burns, hyperpigmentation and other side effects.
- No waxing or plucking the treatment area 2-4 weeks prior to session: Laser requires a pigmented target in order to be absorbed and induce thermal destruction. When we wax or pluck, we remove the hair root and the associated pigment that the laser requires to detect the hair follicle.
- Shave 24hrs prior to treatment: This will ensure that the laser light is penetrating deeply into the skin and is not being absorbed by surface level hair. It also prevents the risk of epidermal burns and excessive inflammation and swelling.
- Avoid spray tanning from 2 weeks prior to treatment: Tanning prior to your treatment can cause the laser light to be heavily attracted to the pigment found in tanning products. This can lead to excess light absorption and increase the risk of burns and hyperpigmentation.
- Arrive to your appointment with clean skin: The skin should be free of any topical creams (moisturises), perfumes and deodorant. This is because the chemicals found in these products can have an adverse reaction with laser, we prefer there to be no barriers to clean skin.
- If you have had a history of cold sores: Prophylactic antiviral therapy may be started the day before treatment and continued one week after treatment.
Below is a comprehensive list of requirements a client must follow proceeding their laser session to minimise the risk of side effects:
- Keep skin cool for 24-48 hours by avoiding exercise, spas, sauna, hot showers and tight clothing: The very point of laser hair removal is to heat the hair follicle to about 70o However, post-treatment it is important to pull as much heat as possible out of the skin to prevent heat rashes, burns and inflammation. This can be achieved through Zimmer cooling, ice packs, laser soothing gels, cool flowy clothing.
- Avoid sun exposure to area throughout the treatment: This is because sun exposure increases the risk of laser burns, hyperpigmentation, and other side effects.
- Do not use deodorant, topical lotions or perfume on the treatment site for 24 hours: The chemicals found in these products can cause irritation and inflammation to the skin.
- Do not scrub treatment area for a few days: Post laser skin can be inflamed and sensitive so it is important not to induce ad fictional irritation to this skin while it is recovering
- Begin gentle exfoliation 5 days post treatment: This will assist in the shedding of hair and also ensure no oil and debris blocks the pores and prevents the hair from effectively falling out.
- Use sunscreen (SPF 50+) at all times: Laser increases the skin’s sensitivity to UV exposure therefore it is extremely important to use effective sun protection to prevent sun damage to the treatment area.
- Avoid picking or scratching the treated skin: Skin is left inflamed and sensitive post treatment so delicate care should be taken not to irritate already sensitive skin.
- Apply post laser gel for 3-5 days post treatment: This will provide delicate relief and nourishment to the skin post treatment to minimise inflammation and sensitivity.
Post Care Options for Burns or Skin Irritation:
- Post laser soothing gel
- Burn aid cream
- Panthenol repair balm
- 1% hydrocortisone cream to help reduce the inflammation
- LED light therapy to assist with healing process and prevent scarring