April 11, 2016

Laser FAQs

Laser technology can be used to treat a variety of skin concerns. When deciding if laser treatment is right for you, there are a number of factors to consider. We’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions below, but if there’s something you’re still not sure about please don’t hesitate to get in touch for more information.

GENERAL LASER INFORMATION

What treatments can lasers be used for?

At Beyond Skin in Belfast we use laser technology for a number of treatments including Hair Removal, Red Vein Removal, Pigmentation Reduction and Skin Rejuvenation.

How do lasers work?

Lasers are not a one size fits all, and most equipment is highly specialised and calibrated for specific purposes. The main differences between the types of lasers have to do with wavelength. In other words, different laser wavelengths (colors of light) target different skin issues. Therefore, a variety of lasers are needed to treat a variety of skin concerns.

Which lasers do you use?

At Beyond Skin in Belfast we have a Cynosure Elite+ machine which houses two different lasers, the 755 nm Alexandrite and 1064 nm Nd:YAG. This allows us to treat a wide variety of concerns. We also use Energist IPL machines for some skin rejuvenation and rosacea treatments.

Is laser treatment safe?

Since 1962 cosmetic lasers have been used for the treatment of scars, veins, birthmarks, wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation, hair removal, and much more. There are thousands of clinical studies conducted on cosmetic lasers and their effective use in many skin concerns has been proven many times over.

Laser treatments are developed through sound scientific principles to produce specific results while minimising unwanted side effects. In hair removal treatments, for example, the energy from the laser is tuned to heat up and thereby deactivate hair follicles, thus preventing them from further activity. Provided a laser treatment is given within the specified guidelines and with the proper diagnosis of a trained expert, the results and side effects are almost always predictable and controllable.

Who performs laser treatments?

After graduating from college each of our aesthetic practitioners completed their ‘Core of Knowledge’ training in laser operation. In addition they have undergone extensive training provided by the laser manufacturers Cynosure and Energist. Training is regularly refreshed and additional support is provided by GCG Healthcare. All laser operators are regulated by the RQIA with annual audit reports being publicly available to view.

laser hair removal

How does laser hair removal work?

During treatment a laser beam passes through the skin to an individual hair follicle. The intense heat of the laser damages the hair follicle, which inhibits future hair growth.

Will laser hair removal work for me?

If your hair is dark, then the answer is yes! Unfortunately laser hair removal is not effective on red, blonde, grey or white hair.

What do I need to know before having treatment?

  • You won’t be able to have treatment if you have recently been in the sun and are holding an active tan, or have fake tan applied
  • You should shave the area to be treated as close as possible before your treatment session
  • You should cease all other forms of hair removal except shaving during the course of your treatment

How many treatments will I need?

Different skin/hair types respond differently to treatment and there may also be hormonal/medical factors that affect hair growth. Typically we recommend starting with a course of 6 sessions and then assessing the hair growth. Most people report a significant reduction in hair after 6-10 sessions.

Treatment sessions need to be spaced between 4-8 weeks apart depending on the area being treated.

How do I look after my skin following laser treatment?

  • Do not expose skin to UV light (sun expose or tanning beds) for at least 2 weeks
  • Avoid hot showers, baths, saunas and steam rooms for at least 48 hours
  • Do not use perfumed products such as deodorant or aftershave on treated areas for at least 48 hours
  • Refrain from excessive physical activity which causes sweating for at least 48 hours
  • Always apply a high factor broad spectrum SPF to treated areas throughout the course of treatment
  • Avoid exfoliating products and treatments on treated areas for at least 1 week
  • Use Australian Body Care Tea Tree Lotion to soothe and hydrate skin as required during the course of treatment

Can I get laser hair removal treatment on the NHS?

In the majority of cases laser hair removal is considered a cosmetic treatment by the NHS and therefore treatment will not be provided. However, we are happy to take referrals from GPs and specialists. The lasers we use at Beyond Skin in Belfast are of medical grade and our clinic is registered with the RQIA as a private hospital.