General Questions

How does laser hair removal work?

Laser hair removal works by delivering an intense beam of light that penetrates the skin and is preferentially absorbed by the melanin (pigment) in the hair follicle, generating energy in the form of heat, and effectively destroying the hair follicle without damaging the surrounding tissue.

What’s the difference between laser and intense pulse light (IPL)?

Laser light has three characteristics that separate it as the brightest, most powerful light known to man:

Laser light is monochromatic (ie. one colour) meaning nearly 100% of laser light is one pure colour. IPL is not monochromatic, meaning that it has many different colours and only a small percentage of these colours are effective in the treatment of hair reduction.

Laser light is collimated meaning it’s slow to diverge or spread out. This makes it very powerful as nearly 100% of the light can be effective in the treatment of hair reduction. IPL is not collimated and is therefore quick to disperse making it less effective for hair reduction.

Finally laser is coherent meaning that the light is totally reinforcing and doesn’t cancel itself out, whereas IPL is not coherent and is not reinforcing making it less effective for the treatment of hair reduction.

Read Clinical Paper on Laser vs IPL

What areas can be treated?

All areas on both the body and face, with the exception of the orbital rim, can be safely treated with the Candela laser. Our laser is delicate enough to treat a woman’s fine sensitive skin and robust enough for a man’s beard, back or arms. We pride ourselves in providing a professional yet relaxed atmosphere in which you will feel comfortable discussing your personal treatment needs.

How many treatments will be required?

The number of treatments required for long-term benefits depends on a number of factors including the area being treated, hair density and the hair’s growth phase. There are three phases of hair growth: Anagen (active), Catagen (regression/transition), and Telagen (resting). Laser technology is designed to treat hair in the Anagen phase of growth, and approximately 20% of body hair is in this active phase at any given time.

Additional factors including age, weight, ethnicity, hormonal activity, metabolism, medication and diet influence hair growth, location, thickness and resilience. Each laser hair removal treatment will result in a hair growth reduction. Additionally, hair will grow progressively slower, lighter and finer with each treatment.

Although each client is unique, our experience has been that the average person requires 6 treatments. These treatments will generally be spaced 4 – 8 weeks apart. Best results are achieved with clients who have regular treatments immediately after new hairs begin to grow. Clients who leave long periods of time between treatments will not achieve desired results.

After completion of your initial set of 6 treatments it may be necessary to have periodic maintenance treatment. This could vary from every 3 months to twice a year, as the degree of clearance will differ from person to person. I will assess areas and recommend a maintenance plan.

How long does a typical treatment session take?

This is determined by the density of the hair growth and the size of the area to be treated. The actual treatment can vary from as little as a few minutes to as much as an hour in the case of a full back and chest treatment. A clear indication of the actual time will be advised during the initial consultation.

Does laser hair removal hurt?

Our GentleMax™ laser utilises patented cooling system that cools the skin on contact making the treatment almost pain-free. The majority of people experience minimal discomfort, feeling no more than a slight tingling sensation. However, it is important to bear in mind that pain threshold differs from person to person.

Are there side effects associated with laser hair removal?

Reaction to treatment will vary from person to person. Depending on the extent of the treatment, area being treated and the sensitivity of your skin type, there may be some redness and swelling of the treated area. This will typically disappear within hours of the treatment. In most instances you will be able to apply make-up and resume normal activities immediately.
Lasers have been used for hair removal for more than 10 years and no long term side effects have been reported.

How much do treatments cost?

Prices of treatments are dependent on the size of the area being treated and the actual time spent on that treatment. Your initial consultation which generally lasts about 30 minutes is focused on determining the condition you would like to address and the desired outcome. We will then outline an individualised treatment plan and its associated costs. At Cosmetic Laser Solutions SA our clients have the option to purchase a package of 6 treatments at a discounted rate, or pay following each appointment.

What is meant by “permanent hair reduction”?

Permanent hair reduction can be defined as the long-term stable reduction in the number of hairs re-growing after a treatment regime.

Hormonal imbalance, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Hirsutism

Females concerned with abnormal amounts of hair growth (or about growth in unusual areas) is encouraged to consult an Endocrinologist for assessment and possible treatment of the underlying cause in order to achieve best possible treatment results.

Can treatment be performed after sun exposure?

Tanning is an absolute contraindication for laser treatment. Sun exposure needs to be AVOIDED for at least 2 weeks prior to laser treatment and 2 weeks after. This includes tanning sprays and lotions. Sun exposure or darker skin colour increases the chance of pigment changes and other skin irritations

Can cancer survivors be treated?

Cancer survivors can be treated with laser, but we do require that clearance is obtained from the treating physician prior to commencing the treatment.

Can children be treated?

We do not recommend treating children under the age of 18 due to inconsistent results obtained together with the fact that they will often require more treatment later due to hormonal changes. Whilst not recommended, children can be treated with laser, however if under 18 years of age, the consent of a parent or guardian, who is making an informed decision, is required prior commencing treatment.

Can treatments be done over implants?

Laser treatment can be performed over implants.

Can treatments be performed over orthopaedic hardware?

Laser treatment can be performed over orthopaedic hardware, however some patients may experience more discomfort in those areas.

Can treatment be performed on patients with pacemakers and other cardiac implants?

Laser treatment can be performed on patients with pacemakers and other cardiac implants provided clearance has been given by their treating physician. Treatments are typically not performed directly over the implant.

Can treatment be performed on patients with braces or other dental work?

Generally gauze is placed between the cheek and gum for those patients who experience a “tingling” sensation on their teeth during treatment.

Can treatments be performed over injectables?

There is no clinical evidence that the GentleMax™ breaks down filler any quicker than normal, and we can therefore perform treatment over injectables.

Can a man’s head be treated?

Laser hair removal can be performed on a man’s head. It is however important to understand that the treatment is permanent and a signed informed consent form will be required prior to commencement of the treatment.

Does laser hair removal cause ingrown hairs?

The most common areas that experience ingrown hairs are the beard area for men and bikini line for women. Laser treatment is in fact the best cure for ingrown hairs, as it disables the hair follicle, preventing re-growth.

Laser Rejuvenation & Wrinkle Reduction

What does a typical treatment include?

The area to be treated is cleansed, removing all makeup and creams. Laser is then administered, focusing on those areas of concern. An oxygenation serum and collagen enhancing mask is then applied to the entire area and left to absorb for up to 15 minutes. Finally the mask is removed and a choice between a vitamin A or vitamin C serum is applied followed by moisturizer and sunscreen. The results become more obvious several days after treatment!

How many treatments are required?

The number of treatments initially required is dependent on the condition of your skin. Usually 3-4 treatments are performed every 2-3 weeks, although you are unlikely to see any results until after the 2nd or 3rd treatment. Several treatments done over the course of a few months will produce significant and lasting results. We do recommend maintenance treatments every few months thereafter to retain your new youthful appearance. This will be discussed at your initial consultation as there are many factors that will influence the desired outcome, such as age, genetics, diet, exercise, condition of skin and your own beauty routine and whether you smoke, etc.
But that’s not all, as collagen remodeling is a slow process, you will continue to see improvement up to 6 months after your last treatment

What do treatments feel like?

There is a little discomfort involved with each pulse when you will feel a brief heating sensation followed by a spray of coolant (DCD) that minimizes any tenderness. Most clients tolerate the treatment well without the use of anesthetizing creams

Suitable candidates?

It is never too early to start taking care of your skin. Even if your skin is not showing signs of aging then you are a candidate for laser rejuvenation treatment. Prevention is better than cure! We can help you determine a specific protocol for your age & skin type.

Can treatments be performed over Botox and fillers?

Treatments can be safely performed over Botox and there is no clinical evidence that the filler breaks down any sooner after laser treatments. Please note that laser treatment should only be performed 2 weeks prior to, or after Botox or filler treatments.

Are there contra-indications for treatment?

Recently tanned skin should not be treated. Both natural sunlight and tanning booths and spray tans should be avoided at least 3 weeks prior to treatment.

Why is there a need for multiple and maintenance rejuvenation and wrinkle reduction treatments?

Results vary with each case. The number of treatments each client requires is determined by the condition of your skin, and may require anywhere from 2 – 6 treatments. As we age, our bodies reduce the production of collagen. At 65 years of age most women have stopped producing collagen. Rejuvenation treatments result in the laser stimulating the body into producing or reorganizing its own collagen.

Are there any side effects to treatment?

Rejuvenation treatments should cause only minimal discomfort. We expect clients to have mild erythema (swelling) and redness of the areas that are treated which usually lasts between 15 minutes to a few of hours.
Clients are advised to apply aloe vera gel and moisturizer at least twice a day followed by SPF 30+ sunscreen during the day. Treated skin may feel tight and dry and require extra moisturizing.
No downtime or bruising is experienced and clients should resume their normal activities immediately.
A list of pre and post treatment care procedures will be discussed with you in detail at your initial consultation and given to you in writing.

How long do results last?

Just like the aging process itself, this varies from person to person. However, if you take steps to protect and preserve your freshly rejuvenated skin by using sunscreen, facial creams and effective moisturisers, the results will last longer.
It is important to note that UVA and UVB rays in sunlight produce enzymes that break down the skin’s supportive structure and so prevent formation of new collagen.

Laser Freckle Treatment

Is laser safe?

Yes, laser has been used for decades in medicine, surgery and aesthetics without any adversity. Unlike UVA and UVB, laser is unable to produce genetic change and therefore does not add to the development of cancer or cause any risk to the skin.

How many treatments will I need?

Typically one to two treatments are required to achieve regenerative results. Additional treatments may be required for very large or dark spots, densely freckled areas or excessively sun damaged skin.

How long will the treatment take?

The actual laser time will only take a few seconds or minutes depending on the size of the area being treated or the number of freckles you wish to remove.

What to expect after treatment?

Immediately, following the treatment, the spots will start to darken. You may notice a slight reddening of the surrounding skin. This typically subsides within a couple of hours. Over the next 5 to 10 days, the darkened spots will fade or flake off naturally like dry skin, revealing new pink skin underneath that will gradually return to normal skin colour over time. Vigilant use of sunscreen is crucial during this stage.

Contraindications to treatment?

SUN – untoward skin responses may occur if there is sun exposure within a few days before or after treatment.
MEDICATIONS – there are a number of photosensitising medications not to be taken before laser treatment.
AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE – amongst others, thyroid disorders.

How can I prepare for treatment?

All contraindications to treatment will be discussed in detail and you will receive pre and post treatment information at your initial consultation to obtain the best results from your treatment. Please bring along with you a list of medications including natural remedies if you are taking any.

How permanent is the treatment?

In order to maintain the new unblemished look, clients are required to vigilantly use SPF 30+ sunscreen, applied regularly, and to reduce their sun exposure. Many clients experience permanent pigmentation reduction, however new spots may appear and maintenance treatments will be required, especially in areas that are frequently exposed to the sun.

Can I be treated if I’m pregnant?

Treatment is not recommended during pregnancy or while breast-feeding.