Laser Hair Removal
Is the treatment really pain-free?
Most people find our laser hair removal technology to be comfortable, especially when compared to other hair removal methods and lasers. The laser hair removal machines we use do not require the application of a numbing agent prior to treatment. You will additionally not feel the "rubber band snapping" sensation that most people report with other laser hair removal machines. Our treatment feels like heat with an occasional “pinching” sensation.
How many treatments will I need?
On average you will need a minimum of 6 to 8 treatments spaced 6-8 weeks apart (4-6 weeks apart for face) to achieve permanent hair reduction. You may require additional treatments outside the norm due to certain factors such as medication, hormonal changes, hair cycles. It’s also not uncommon to require a touch-up treatment once a year after completing laser hair removal treatments.
What should I expect during a laser session at your lounge?
If this is your first treatment, our laser technician will begin with a free personal consultation. Once you are deemed a suitable candidate, the treatment can begin. The treatment will begin with the technician cleaning the treatment area. You will then be asked to put on safety goggles provided by us. The technician will then program the laser machine to determine the settings best suited for your treatment area and skin type.
An ultrasound gel is then applied to the treatment area to help protect skin while helping the laser to penetrate the skin. The laser is pulsed over the treatment area and targeted to the hair follicles. It will burn the follicles but leave your skin relatively untouched. A little reddening or swelling of the skin is normal but subsides quickly. You will be given aloe vera lotion to help with any discomfort you may feel for the next 3 hours or so. At this point, the laser technician will help schedule a new appointment for your next treatment. You will also be provided with instruction for post-treatment care.
Within 2-3 weeks, you will see the hair falling out of the treatment area. Hair growth will be slower and hairs will be finer. The re-growth cycle for new hair will begin in approximately six weeks, indicating the appropriate time for your next treatment.
Will my hair ever grow back?
Actively growing hairs that are treated should not grow back. Once a hair follicle is damaged it cannot grow hair. However, hair follicles that were not in the active growth phase during treatment will need to be treated. It is also not unusual for patients to have a touch-up once a year to two years after initial treatments due to hormonal changes.
What areas can be treated?
Virtually all areas can be treated but an initial consultation is conducted with the laser technician to assess if there may be areas that are not suitable for treatment.
Can I get laser hair removal if I have a tattoo in the area I want treated?
We do not suggest treating the area a tattoo is on and will only treat around it. Lasers for hair removal work on the same basis like tattoo removal machines being attracted to darker pigments. Treating over a tattoo with a laser used for hair removal may cause the tattoo ink pigments to shatter resulting in lightening of tattoos and most likely burning/scarring over the tattoo.
Can I get laser hair removal with the Alma Soprano Family line of lasers in the summer and can it treat tanned skin?
Yes. The Soprano SHR method affects the melanin of the skin using a unique method, allowing the procedure to be performed anytime of the year as well as on tanned skin. Furthermore, sun exposure is less traumatic to the skin following SHR treatment. It's an advanced hair removal platform that incorporates multiple laser wavelengths and technologies. It offers power and versatility that allows you to treat the widest range of patients and hair types all year round. While the melanin in dark skin is exponentially more sensititive to the heat used in laser treatment, Alma Soprano's SHR method has been clinically proven to be safe for dark skin types. Rather than exposing the hair follicle to a single high energy pulse which can cause trauma to skin with a high melanin count, SHR gradually heats the skin until the required heat energy is delivered to the hair follicle. This makes SHR laser hair removal option, including for dark skinned patients.
How can I prepare for treatment?
Remove hair from treatment areas 24 hours prior to treatment by shaving with a razor. Do not wax the area.
Can you tell me about post treatment care?
- Handle your treatment area gently and avoid shaving for 24 hours.
- Avoid hot water and strenuous activities for 24 hours i.e. working out and taking hot showers.
- The treated area can be washed but be sure to use a mild soap, and then pat—not rub— the skin dry.
- Protect your treated areas from direct exposure to sun or artificial lights for 3 weeks before and after treatment. Tanning after treatment may result in skin discolorations.
- A sunscreen of SPF-30 or higher should be used on any treatment areas exposed to the sun.
- Deodorant may be used 24 hours after treatment.
- Remove hair from treatment areas 24 hours prior to treatment by shaving.
- Do not tweeze, wax, bleach or use depilatories for 3 weeks before commencing treatment, and discontinue tweezing, waxing or using depilatories completely during course of laser hair removal. You can shave or clip between treatments after the initial 24 hours post treatment.
- Aloe vera or hydrocortisone cream can be applied to treatment areas to ease discomfort and soothe the skin for a few days after treatment. A cold compress may also be used if swelling occurs.
- For facial treatments, mineral makeup can be applied to treatment areas immediately after treatment if there are no signs of blistering or crusting.
- To avoid damaging the skin or the risk of infection, please take special care in removing makeup from facial areas post treatment due to the sensitive nature of the skin after treatment.
- If a blister develops, please contact your physician. Do not pop the blister—apply a cold compress.
Laser Tattoo Removal
What is the PicoWay advantage?
The PicoWay is a remarkably innovative dual-wavelength picosecond laser from Syneron Candela. The dual wavelength allows for treatment of all tattoo colours and types, including recalcitrant tattoos on any skin type. The picosecond pulse on the PicoWay is one trillionth of a second, which is 1000 times faster than the nanosecond pulse. When combined with its high peak power, the laser energy is delivered so rapidly that even the smallest pigment fragments will shatter, allowing the body to remove the particles much faster than nanosecond technology. With PicoWay technology, tattoos are affected by not only selective photothermolysis, but also subsequent photo-acoustic shockwaves that result in cavitation of the smallest ink particles, promoting phagocytosis.
What is the difference between photo-acoustic vs. photo-thermal?
With photo-acoustic, the laser energy is delivered so rapidly that even the smallest pigment fragments will shatter. For photo-thermal, the laser energy is delivered more slowly so that only the larger pigment fragments will shatter. Nanosecond lasers have proportionally more photo-thermal action, which heats the pigment and the surrounding tissue. The PicoWay's picosecond technology delivers photo-acoustic peak power and shatters the ink pigment with little photo-thermal effect—thus ensuring that the surrounding tissue does not receive any heat. Q-switched lasers use nanosecond technology delivering photo-thermal and a small amount of photo-acoustic energy. The surrounding tissue is traumatized with the ink pigment being slowly heated and broken down. The skin needs more time to heal between treatments and the ink particles need more treatments to break down.
Am I a candidate for tattoo removal?
The PicoWay can remove tattoos on Fitzpatrick skin types I through VI. We recommend coming in for a consult so that we may educate you on tattoo removal and what type of results you can expect. During the consult we will have a look at your tattoo, skin type, pricing and discuss other factors that we take into account before treatment. From there, if you decide you would like to proceed with the treatment, we will do a mandatory test patch on your tattoo to ensure that there are no adverse reactions from the tattoo removal and there is a positive healing process. If you would like to know an estimated price of your tattoo removal prior to booking a consult, you can email us a photo of the tattoo to be removed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does laser tattoo removal hurt?
Every individual has a different threshold for pain. Like getting a tattoo, it also depends on the area being treated. The pain, however, is less than that of getting the tattoo and the treatment time is quicker. For anyone requiring pain control, a client can arrive 30 minutes prior to their scheduled appointment and our tattoo removal specialist will apply a local anesthetic ointment. Pain medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen that thin blood and promote bruising are not recommended.
Are there any side effects?
Blisters may occur after treatment but, when treated properly, will not have any long-term effects. Occasionally, hypopigmentation (whitening of the skin) may occur, but normal skin tone should return 6-12 months after your last treatment. Minimal chances of scarring after treatment and long-term side effects are rare.
What will my skin look like after treatment?
Immediately after your treatment, the treated area will have a white discolouration (white frosted crust). Redness and swelling will also occur. This is normal and will disappear slowly overtime. Some blistering may occur as this is the body’s natural healing process, but this is rare. Gauze and ointment will be applied at the end of the treatment to protect the area from infection.
How long does each treatment take?
Treatments are usually completed in a few minutes. Factors contributing to treatment time are size and colour of the tattoo being removed. Most tattoos require several sessions to remove, with spacing of 8 to 10 weeks in between each session.
How does a laser remove a tattoo?
Lasers work by producing short pulses of intense light that penetrate the top layers of the skin (1 to 4 mm). The laser energy is selectively absorbed by the tattoo pigments, causing the pigments to fragment without damaging the surrounding skin. The shattered ink pigments are then attacked by the body's immune system and naturally cleared. Several sessions are needed for tattoo clearance depending on the depth and quality of ink. (This procedure is bloodless.)
How many treatments are required?
With the Syneron Candela PicoWay laser system, clearance is achieved between 6 to 8 sessions.
What are factors contributing to successful tattoo clearance?
- Individual's immune system: How well your body will get rid of the tattoo ink and your body's ability to heal.
- Type of tattoo: Professional, amateur, cosmetic, traumatic or medical. Professional tattoos require more treatments because the ink quality is higher and ink is deposited deeper in the dermal layer.
- Type of ink: Varying compounds make up tattoo ink. Amateur tattoo inks are a less quality of ink than professional. Granule sizes differ for every colour pigment.
- Skin type: Type I to Type VI on the Fitzpatrick scale.
- Location: Effectiveness of the body's immune system to attack the fractured tattoo pigments depends on the location of the tattoo. The larger the vascular supply, the more effective elimination will be and the less treatments needed for clearance (head/neck). Areas with decreased vascular supply means a weaker immune system (hands/feet) and may require more treatments.
- Scarring and tissue changes: If scarring happened during the tattoo process, the ink may be encapsulated. Therefore, the effectiveness of tattoo clearance may not be as great. If there is clearance, the scar from the initial tattoo will remain.
- Cover ups: When tattoo artists do cover ups, they must layer darker ink and use more ink to hide the unwanted tattoo. This results in more treatments needed for clearance.
- Age: Older tattoos are more faded, causing less absorbance of the laser wavelength.
What kind of tattoos can you treat?
With PicoWay, we can treat professional, amateur, cosmetic, traumatic and medical tattoos of all colours.
Can I remove only one part of my tattoo?
Yes, the PicoWay has adjustable spot sizes (2 to 10mm) to precisely remove only certain parts of your tattoo.
How soon after treatment can I tattoo over the area I just removed?
Some of our clients want their tattoo removal end result to be faded to a certain percentage, and others want total clearance, depending on what the plan is for their new tattoo. You should wait until the skin is completely healed from the removal before tattooing over the same area. We recommend waiting at least 3 months.
I just had a tattoo done that I want removed; how long should I wait?
Before you come in for your first treatment, we recommend waiting 3 months after getting your tattoo to allow your skin to heal and your immune system to return to normal.
What conditions prevent me from qualifying for laser tattoo removal?
- You cannot be treated if you have recently tanned skin. You must avoid the sun for 30 days prior to treatment. If you fail to avoid the sun, blisters and hypopigmentation/hyperpigmentation may occur. You must also avoid direct sun exposure for another month after treatment.
- Accutane therapy must be stopped 6 months prior.
- Fake tans must be stopped 1 week prior.
- History of photosensitivity to infrared light
- Acne breakout or infected areas cannot be treated.
- Seizure disorders
- Photosensitizing medications must be stopped 3-5 days prior.
- Medications and supplements: Iron supplements, anti-coagulation therapy, herbal supplements (i.e. ginkgo, ginseng, garlic, fish oil) may cause bruising more readily.
- Topical medications and skin care products must be discontinued 72 hours pre- and post-treatment.
- Poorly controlled medical conditions: Must be evaluated by healthcare provider for medical clearance prior to treatment.
- Active skin infections: open wounds or skin that is infected cannot be treated.
- Keloid scarring: Test patch to see if ink clearance is possible.
- HSV 1&2: Cannot treat if active lesion(s) are present within the treatment area. Clients with history should begin prophylaxis prior to treatment as prescribed by their healthcare provider.
- Implanted medical devices: consult healthcare provider before treatment if you have a pacemaker, cardioverters and other implantable devices or fillers.
It is important to complete your treatments at intervals as recommended by your laser technician to optimize results. If you have additional questions about our laser services, we encourage you to contact or call us at 780.435.BUSH (2874).