After what seems like countless times in the bathroom trying to be rid your body of unwanted hair you’ve finally decided enough is enough and to take the plunge to have laser hair removal. You’ve researched the procedure, found a reputable clinic nearby and then realized you have no idea how to prepare for the procedure itself. The thought of never having to go through the burns from wax, the cuts and razor burns from shaving and the swelling from plucking has put your mind at ease, however, being a first time laser hair removal patient can be a little intimidating. Below are seven important guidelines to keep in mind for laser hair removal preparation in order to protect your skin and get the best results.
Laser Hair Removal Preparation Guidelines
- No Tanning/Sun Exposure Before Treatment
This is because the skin should be as light as possible at the time of treatment. If the skin is tanned the laser cannot be put on the most aggressive setting resulting in needing supplemental treatments afterwards. If outside, make sure to use SPF 30 or greater whenever skin is exposed to sun.
- Sun 72 Hours Before Treatment Will Result in No Treatment
If you have been laying out in the sun 72 hours before laser hair removal you will not be allowed to receive treatment. This is because you can risk burning, scarring and seriously damaging your skin. For this reason, it may be best to look into getting the treatment in the winter.
- Refrain From Certain Hair Removal Methods for At Least 2-4 Weeks Prior to Treatment
Hair removal techniques such as tweezing, waxing, sugaring, electrolysis, threading and bleaching can reduce the effectiveness of the laser hair removal treatment. Shaving and trimming with facial scissors is okay
- Shave the Area that will Be Treated
Do this a day before or on the day of treatment as longer hairs can make the procedure more painful.
- Clean the Skin at Treatment Site
Make sure you leave the treatment site free of cosmetics, lotions and creams. If you are having laser hair removal on you face remove any makeup.
- Darker Skin Patients May Need to use Hydroquinone Cream
This cream decreases the incidence of hyper pigmentation (darkening of skin) from the laser. Some patients may need to take hydroquinone 6 weeks before the procedure and afterwards in between treatments.
- Apply EMLA Cream as a Topical Aesthetic
This is a non-prescription cream that can be bought at a local drug store. The cream helps to reduce discomfort from the laser by numbing the skin. Apply a thick amount to the treatment area 1 hour prior to treatment.