5 Things You Need To Ask Before Your First Laser TreatmentMarch 12, 2019
If you’re considering a laser or ultrasound treatment for ageing, pigmentation, acne or other concerns, the information about the different technologies, the risks and the benefits can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, these treatments are not yet heavily regulated in Australia, so the onus is on the individual to do the research and ensure you’re going somewhere safe and reputable.
To help you begin your journey, we put together the top five things you should ask before getting your first treatment. We also recommend going to clinics that offer complimentary, no-obligation consultations so that you have the opportunity to ask a professional about your concerns and get personalised recommendations before committing to any procedures. When it comes to cosmetic medicine, one size never fits all.
Question 1: What type of laser do you use?
The less expensive clinics often rely on IPL technology (Intense Pulsed Light) for a broad range of treatments, and it can be branded in different ways. While IPL can be safe and effective for certain conditions in lighter skin tones, it should not be used for everyone and everything. When used on melasma, for instance, there is a risk that IPL can make the condition worse.
The main difference between IPL and laser is that lasers have a specific wavelength which can be more targeted and more accurate than IPL. IPL also uses heat energy, while different types of laser may use heat, light or vibrational energy. There are also ultrasound and radiofrequency energies for anti-ageing, skin tightening and collagen stimulation. An experienced Clinician can recommend the right technology for your skin type and your specific concern.
Question 2: What qualifications and training do you have?
Laser technology is not yet heavily regulated in Australia, so you have to make sure you’re going to a professional clinic. Rejuvenation Clinics of Australia is doctor-led and we hold our laser treatments to the same safety and technical standards as with other medical procedures. Our Clinicians are certified in laser safety and we provide them with regular, ongoing training with our Clinical Directors and with industry representatives to ensure they’re following the best protocols.
If you’re looking to compare different clinics, be sure to always ask about your Clinician’s experience, training and safety qualifications.
Question 3: What can I expect after treatment?
Your Clinician will discuss this with you beforehand, but you can always ask for a recap on what to expect immediately after treatment, a few days after, and when you may expect to see results.
Laser and ultrasound technologies have come a long way and many treatments require no downtime. After an Ultrasound treatment for skin tightening and wrinkles, you might not have any redness. You can have a lunchtime appointment and return to the office with no one any wiser. After a Fraxel, on the other hand, you may have a few days with red, flaky skin. It really depends on the treatment.
Some treatments may also take longer to show results. For example, you may notice results from a Fraxel treatment in 1-4 weeks whereas Ultrasound skin tightening can take a few months.
That’s why it’s advisable to ask your Clinician to set clear expectations beforehand, so you know what to look out for and when.
Question 4: If I have a skin condition, am I still a good candidate?
Most laser treatments are very safe when they’re carried out properly by trained professionals, but it’s a good idea to discuss all of your potential concerns and ask for recommendations. For example, some lasers can cause a bit of dryness for a few days after treatment. If you’re prone to dry skin already, you may need a richer moisturiser.
Asking about your other skin-related concerns can also help your Clinician assess your skin and recommend a more holistic approach.
Question 5: Will I need any products to go along with the treatment?
Depending on which laser treatment you have, you may be recommended to use certain products afterward, such as post-laser lotion or Stratamed. If you’re using laser to treat pigmentation or melasma, you may be recommended to use a pigment inhibiting serum for a couple of weeks before and after treatment.
It’s a good idea to ask in your consultation if you’ll need any products so you don’t have any surprise expenses after treatment.
There are also some combinations of laser and product that work best together. For example, if you’re getting laser treatments for acne, your clinician may want you to start using a certain type of cleanser to keep it away. If you’re getting treatments for skin tightening, you can give your collagen an extra boost with a Vitamin A serum.
You have better, safer experiences when you’re well-informed. While it may seem like there is a lot to discuss, you should never shy away from asking a question. It can help you make better decisions and build a better relationship with your Clinician.
Are you considering a laser treatment for pigmentation, sun damage or ageing?
Come in for a complimentary, obligation-free consultation with one of our expert clinicians!