Updated: Oct 10, 2021
When the day arrives for you to have your first laser hair removal treatment, it is normal to feel nervous and possibly a bit anxious. This is because it is something you have never done before and you are not sure what to expect. Try to relax and think of this visit as any other doctor visit.
If there is a wait once you arrive at the office, try to keep your mind busy so you will not worry about the upcoming procedure. Perhaps a friend could accompany you to your appointment, or, if you are alone, read a book or magazine. Having your payment ready will also help you to relax as it will be one less thing you need to worry about.
When it is your turn to enter the treatment room, you will be instructed to remove all necessary clothing and a gown will be provided. If photographs of the area to be treated with laser hair removal were not taken during the consultation, the nurse or assistant will take them now.
The area to be treated will be washed to cleanse it of any lotions, cosmetics, perfumes or deodorants. It will then be prepped with alcohol. Depending on the procedure, the area may, or may not, be shaved. Your skin may be cooled before treatment to help reduce any side effects from occurring. You, and everyone else in the room, will be given safety goggles to wear during the procedure.
The doctor, or technician, who is doing the laser hair removal procedure will preform a patch test. This will give him a chance to gauge your tolerance of the treatment and also select the correct fluence levels. It will also give you the opportunity to experience how the laser feels and hopefully relieve some of your anxiety. A single pulse will be sent to the test area, which will be near the area to be treated. It will be examined for any sings of damage to the skin such as blistering or separation.
When the doctor is ready to start the procedure, he will aim the laser at the hair follicles of the area to be treated. Because the hair follicles have a dark pigmentation, they will absorb the energy from the laser's light. The time that is needed for the procedure will depend on the amount of hair to be removed, the spot size of the beam, and the scanning pattern of the hand piece that the doctor is using. Laser hair removal treatments can take anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes, depending upon the area treated.
Many people say that the laser feels like a rubber band being snapped on your skin. Others describe it as more intense than that. If you are feeling discomfort or pain, you will be given a topical anesthesia or cooling remedies.
Once the laser hair removal treatment is completed, you will be ready to get dressed and discuss post treatment care. You may experience some temporary side effects such as redness and swelling, which usually disappear within a day or two.
Once you have experienced your first laser hair removal treatment you will be much more relaxed if you require additional treatments.