What contraindications do I have to worry about?
If the candidate for laser hair removal is experiencing the following contraindications, they should not be receiving the procedure:
- Any usage of photosensitizing medications (in conjunction with a medical history evaluation);
- Unshaven hairs;
- Usage of fake tanning product;
- Permanent makeup or tattoos in the area;
- Waxed/plucked for at least two weeks or fewer before the procedure;
- Intentional sun exposure two weeks or fewer before the procedure;
- Usage of hydroquinone or Retin-A within 72 hours or less of the scheduled procedure time;
- Usage of intramuscular gold therapy.
What is the level of pain on a scale of 1 to 10?
3; patients compare the sensation to the feeling of a rubber band snapped against their skin. Some areas of the body are more sensitive than others, such as the bikini, upper lip, and underarms. Each patient’s pain tolerance will vary. Anesthetic creams and cold compresses will reduce the discomfort. Some of our lasers come with cooling devices, such as a chilled tip. This also helps with making treatments more comfortable.
How long will the treatment take?
Because of the cycles of hair growth, it will typically take 3 to 4 laser hair removal treatments in order for the patient to achieve their objectives.
How long will results last?
Permanent hair removal is not guaranteed. There is some hair that could resist laser treatment or grow back post-treatment. In most cases, new hair growth is lighter and finer in color.
Who is able to safely administer these treatments?
A great deal of confusion exists on the topic, due to the wide variance in state laws. Some states have already developed specific laser hair removal laws, as it pertains to who is allowed to conduct them. Each consumer must research the laws in their state prior to treatment. Other states have yet to address the issue and these locations typically consider as a form of medical treatment.
SB Aesthetics remains aware of the fact that estheticians commonly perform the procedure; however, the majority of state boards do not offer approval for this practice. Because it is considered to be a form of medical treatment, the medical spa must conduct an in-person exam prior to your first treatment. A doctor, physician assistant or nurse practitioner is responsible for the exam. Once this exam has been completed, most states allow those who possess the proper experience and training to perform the procedure, as long as a medical professional is able to supervise. Check with your nursing board, local medical board or health care attorney to find out more.
Are there any additional concerns?
Possible side effects of laser hair removal include:
- Light swelling around the follicles; and/or
- Changes in pigment, especially for patients with darker skin.
- These changes are typically not permanent:
- Slight skin redness; and/or
- Temporary irritation that results in scarring, blistering, crusting, and skin texture changes.
Whether you are thinking about laser hair removal, having an aesthetic treatment, a non-surgical procedure or have had prior surgery and are seeking to additional touch-ups, it is critical to work with a skilled plastic surgeon who specializes in facial procedures. Dr. Robert Sheffield is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon at SB Aesthetics offering aesthetic and cosmetic services to those in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, Oxnard and Ventura, CA, and the surrounding communities. Dr. Sheffield offers patients a customized treatment plan and is available to answer your questions. To schedule a consultation, call 805.318.3280 today.