Hairs grow in constant cycles. First hairs are actively growing, then they become dormant (resting), and finally they loosen and shed, only to be replaced by more new, actively growing hairs. Only hair follicles in the active growth stage are disabled by laser hair reduction treatments. Hairs in the dormant stage of the growth cycle normally remain anchored in the follicles for weeks or months, depending on their location, but their follicles and associated hair germination cells are not disabled by treatments. These follicles will be treated in subsequent sessions. This is why you need repeated sessions. Hair growth becomes sparser with each session. All treated hairs should shed within about two weeks.
Some treatments have little or no sensation at all, but for other treatments, patients may feel a slight sting, similar to the flick of a rubber band against your skin. It is certainly not unbearable, and we offer the use of our chilling device (Zimmer) for maximum comfort. Immediately after some treatments you may feel a mild heat for a few minutes, or a couple of hours, but after most treatments you will feel next to nothing at all.
In most cases there is no visible reaction and you would be expected to be able to return to work and resume your normal activities immediately after your appointment. However, LHR causes heat in the target tissues; therefore it is quite acceptable for the area to be slightly reddened immediately after treatment, but this would normally dissipate within half an hour. It is possible for the skin to appear slightly red for a couple of hours and up to 24 hours.
A course of 8 treatments is usually required to treat hairs at all stages of the hair growth cycle. We recommend treatments in 6-8 week intervals; which varies depending on hair type and color, and the location being treated. Fair hairs will require extra treatments. White hairs cannot be treated. A maintenance session may be necessary from time to time, due to the development of new hair growth appearing. This happens because our hormonal balance continues to change with age, or due to the influence of stress, illness, disease and drugs (i.e; steroids or contraceptive pills).
You can NOT be treated if you have had ultra violet (UV) exposure from the sun or sun beds within the past 2-3 weeks. Spray tans stain the outer skin cells, and this color will intensify the IPL heat at the surface of the skin, therefore we cannot treat with LHR for at least two weeks after a spray tan application. Bleaching products, AHA Creams, Glycolic or Salicylic Peels should not be used for at least one week before LHR treatments.
Redness and swelling of the skin are normal. They are harmless effects which usually disappear within half an hour, but can occasionally be visible for two to thirty hours. Blanching or hyper-pigmentation will only occur if strict guidelines regarding settings for the different skin types and colors have not been adhered to; OR if the patient has not disclosed all contraindications or medications.
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