Patient Information Leaflet on Laser Services
What is a laser?
A laser is a medical device that delivers light energy of uniform direction, colour and wavelength to the body's tissue (e.g. skin) where it is absorbed and destroys a specifc target while keeping the rest of the tissue intact. For example in the case of laser hair removal, the pigment melanin in hair is targeted by specific lasers and destroyed, thereby killing the hair follicle while keeping the rest of the skin intact.
Can lasers be used on all skin types/complexions?
Some lasers are not safe on darker skin types, however the NdYag laser, which we use in our clinic, can safely be used on all skin types and complexions. This is the safest laser for use in all skin types/complexions. Our laser is FDA approved to deliver safe treatments.
Can lasers cause cancer?
No, Lasers do not cause cancer. The light produced by the laser is totally different from other forms of radiation which may cause cancer.
What conditions can this laser treat?
- Unwanted hair
- Razor bumps and ingrown hairs
- Spider veins
- Tatoo reduction
- Pigmented lesions e.g. age spots and much more.
Who should not have laser treatments done?
Active herpes virus on area to be treated
Patients on Accutane or Roaccutane in the last six months
Patients on Retin A and tetracycline in the last two weeks
Patients who are tanned should wait for the tan to fade for best results
Patients who healed poorly after other types of laser treatments
Patients who are very prone to skin discolouration
What does the treatment feel like?
You will feel a mild heating sensation but in most cases it is not painful. No anaesthesia is required in most cases. Our laser is clean, hygienic and does not touch the skin. It does not require messy gels to be used either.
How long does a laser treatment last?
Most treatments of the face last about 20 minutes or less. Treatment times differ depending on the areas of the body to be treated.
How many treatments will I need?
This varies with the individual and the coditon being treated but most conditions require 3 to six treatments, 4 weeks apart.
What can I expect after the procedure?
There may be temporary redness after the procedure but one can resume activities right away. The therapist may ask you to use sunblock (SPF 30 or more) and other medication and to avoid the sun for one to two weeks post treatment. Icepacks may be applied immediately after the treatment and if needed, you may do this at home as well.
If the treated skin is red, avoid cosmetics, exfoliating products, aggressive scrubbing, hot showers, hot tubs, Jacuzzis, excessive sweating and swimming in pools with chemicals such as chlorine.
For Hair Removal:
Appearance of hair stubble may continue for a few weeks after the treatment. This is the treated hair being expelled from the skin. It is NOT new hair growth.
After the treated hairs have fallen out, there will be a period of no or minimal hair growth.
When you notice hairs eventually appear they will appear thinner and less (sparser) in number.
Most people need 2 o 6 treatments, about 4 weeks apart to achieve over 80% permanent hair reduction.
Subsequent treatments may be done to increase percentage hair loss but may not be necessary for many or years
Female patients with underlying hormonal disorders, like polycystic ovarian syndrome, should also seek to have these conditions treated to also help reduce excessive unwanted hair growth.
Avoid waxing and plucking 2 weeks before your laser treatment and avoid shaving 3 days prior to treatment so that a stubble of hair can be visible for examination by the therapist before each treatment.
For Vein/Vascular lesion treatment:
The blood vessels may become immediately gray or blanched during a treatment, or they may become slightly red or purple in colour. The blood vessels will fully or partially fade in 2 to 4 weeks and additional treatments may be needed.
The procedure may also destroy hair follicles and pigmented lesions in the area being treated.
An antibitiotic ointment should be applied to the area twice daily for 5 days to reduce crusting or scabbing.
Patients should avoid picking scabs and allow the area to heal spontaneously.
For best results, 1 to 3 treatments may be needed about 3 to 4 weeks apart.
When treating leg vessels, there is a risk of spot hypo pigmentation (lightening of skin on the treated area) in darker skin types which may take weeks or months to resolve
For Pigmented lesion treatment:
The treated lesions may appear darker and then slough off spontaneously in 3 to 4 weeks. Patients should avoid picking the area.
One or more treatments may be required 4 weeks apart to lighten the spot.
Patients with darker skin types may have a higher risk of spot hypo pigmentation on the treated spot and/or surrounding skin, which may take weeks or months to resolve.
For Photorejuvenation and skin tightening:
4 to 6 treatments each performed 4 to 6 weeks apart are recommended for best results.
For Tattoo reduction
The results of the treatment may vary depending on the type of tattoo ink, it's age, depth and colour, as well as the patient's skin characteristics.
Tattoos with dark coloured inks respond better to this treatment than light tattoos with red, yellow and green pigments.
The disruption of the tissue in the skin that contains the tattoo, may lead to a reaction of the skin to the released tattoo ink.
No visible changes on the tattoo will be noted immediately after the treatment. Multiple treatment sessions are generally needed 6v to 10 weeks apart for significant reduction in tattoo ink.