FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Laser & IPL Technology Available at Chester Laser Clinic

Here at Chester laser Clinic we offer a range of Laser and IPL options to suit many concerns on all skin types. Choosing the right treatment is often a difficult task, but with our broad experience and extensive training in the latest Laser and IPL technologies, we can advise you on the most suitable treatments, tailored to give you the best results.

Laser or IPL for skin treatments?

Using only medical grade laser and IPL technologies, available in the best dermatology clinics, we offer an extensive range of treatments suitable on any skin type.   While lasers can be used for vascular conditions, doctors agree that medical grade IPL systems such as ours can provide better results for conditions such as rosacea, thread veins or sun damage, without the bruising or crusting on the skin, commonly caused by lasers. Many medical studies have also proven that IPL provides exceptional results for conditions such as superficial pigmentation and acne, making it the preferred option for these treatments. For skin conditions such as leg veins that are too deep for IPL systems to give effective results on, we would recommend laser treatment using our Nd:YAG Laser.

IPL or laser for Hair Removal?

For hair removal, laser and IPL systems can achieve brilliant results over a broad range of skin types. They operate at different wavelengths, with lasers using one single wavelength, and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) using numerous different wavelengths. As a result, IPL is more commonly used for hair removal due to the range of wavelengths that target each hair follicle. Additionally specific lasers are highly successful for treatments on fairer skin types, but are too harsh for treatments on darker skin types. IPL systems are versatile and can be used successfully on a wide variety of skin types, whilst providing less painful treatment in some cases when compared to certain laser wavelengths. Therefore, depending on your hair and skin type, we may advise the use of IPL to ensure you receive the best treatment.  Providing both laser and IPL services for over 12 years, you can be certain that we will give professional, unbiased advice, with your best interest in mind.   Your individual consultation will allow us to recommend whether laser or IPL is the most suitable treatment for you.

How does it work?

The laser system delivers a pulsed beam which is absorbed at the base of the hair shaft. Here it is converted to heat, thereby disabling the hair follicle.How does the laser destroy the hairs?   Our hair grows in cycles, with three stages:

  • Anagen (where the hair grows in length)
  • Catagen (resting)
  • Telogen (shedding, where the hair falls out)

Not all the hairs are in the same stage at the same time. If this were the case, we would have no eyebrows every 4 months!   Laser treatment is most effective during the anagen phase, where the hair is attached to the root. The number of hair follicles and the length of the anagen phase vary; the first treatment will only damage some of the hair follicles. A few weeks later, previously resting follicles will enter the growth phase, so it will be necessary to have another treatment to target these hairs.

How many treatments will I need?

It varies from person to person, depending on the hair and skin colour. We generally recommend a course of six to eight treatments, four to eight weeks apart. This is because each hair goes through a growth cycle, as explained above. As only a fraction of the hairs in a given region are in the anagen phase at any one time, sessions need to be repeated to capture hairs entering the anagen phase. During your initial consultation, the nurse will complete a thorough assessment, discuss desired outcomes and recommend a treatment plan tailored to meet your individual requirements.

Is the treatment permanent?

The treatment achieves long term permanent and stable hair reduction. On average an 85-90% hair reduction is achieved. With each successive treatment you will notice a difference in the density of hair growth. Once the initial treatment period is complete, you may find a few hairs appear over a period of time. Top-up treatments may be required (typically once or twice a year).

How long must the hair be?

We ask you not to do anything to the hairs prior to a test patch so a full assessment may be made. Once you start your course of treatment, we ask you to shave the area the day before your treatment, so that no more than 2mm of hair is visible above the skin.

Can I still remove hair between treatments?

Yes, you may shave or trim the hair between treatments. However, you should not bleach, pluck, thread, wax or in any way remove the hairs form the follicles for at least four weeks prior to treatment. This will help ensue as many hairs as possible will be attached to their roots. We discourage the use of depilatory creams as they can sometimes irritate the skin.

Can all areas be treated?

Virtually all areas of the body can be treated. The nurse will discuss this with you during your initial consultation.

Are there any precautions I should take before treatment?

It is very important that you do not expose yourself to the sun or sun beds at least four weeks before treatment. If you have signs of a suntan, we cannot treat you until it has faded. Fake tan or make up should also be removed prior to treatment. We strongly advise the use of a sunblock (SPF 30 or higher) all the time.   You should avoid alcohol, aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as brufen and photo-sensitive medication before treatment to reduce the risk of a skin reaction and bruising.

Who performs the treatment?

A fully qualified nurse who is registered with the NMC and highly experienced use of laser systems. All our staff receive on going training and support.

How long does the treatment take?

Treatment times vary depending on the size of the area. Some areas can be treated in a few minutes, whereas areas such as the lower legs require approximately an hour. As a guide the underarms and bikini line take around fifteen and thirty minutes respectively. However, your actual appointment will be longer so we can carry out an assessment and take photos if necessary to log your process.

What does it feel like?

Most people tolerate the treatment very well, describing the feeling as an elastic band pinging against the skin. (However, you should bear in mind that pain thresholds vary throughout the body and that some people are more sensitive to pain than others.) A cooling machine is used in conjunction with the laser to help relieve any discomfort and ice packs may be used afterwards. Post treatment, cooling gel may be applied to the skin.

Do I need to do anything after treatment?

We advise you to:

  • Try to keep the area clean and dry
  • Avoid swimming, saunas, steam rooms and hot baths for 48 hours
  • Avoid sun exposure or sun beds for two months
  • (on exposed areas a total sunblock of SPF 30 should be applied for a minimum of one month)
  • Use a moisturising gel such as aloe vera for 24-48 hours after treatment. 

Will I experience any side effects following treatment?

You may experience a slight sunburnt feeling, some redness and a "goosebumps like irritation" of the treated area for 24-48 hours after treatment. Applying ice packs or aloe vera gel to the area will help relieve this. Any redness normally resolves by the next day and can be covered with a little make up.   You may also experience tingling, stinging or mild irritation for 24-48 hours.   You can help minimise any unwanted side effects by following our advice and instructions, especially with regard to sun avoidance.

Am I suitable for treatment?

All patients are required to have a consultation with the practioner to discuss their needs and expectations. At this time we can advise you on your suitability. To help guide you, hairs should ideally be dark brown or black in colour. This treatment is not suitable for white, blonde, grey or red hairs.   We cannot offer you laser treatment if you have (now or previously) any of the following:

  • Keloid scarring
  • Scarring/infection of the treatment area
  • Use of iron supplements or anti-coagulant therapy
  • A photo-sensitive disorder
  • Herpes simplex infection of the treatment area
  • Epilepsy

There are other medical conditions which may make you unsuitable for treatment which will be discussed at consultation. In addition, we cannot treat pregnant or breast-feeding women or those with tanned skin.

Is the treatment safe?

Lasers have been used in the medical profession for over thirty years and in this time, there have been no reported long term problems.   It is a legal requirement that all clinics offering laser treatments must be registered with the Healthcare Commission. Registered facilities have a registration number.