I just got my first treatment today (as mentioned in my other post with the LHR article). Since a lot of people are seeking information (like me) on laser treatments, I’d like to post my experience. I hope this will help those who need help as much as I have by reading the forums =)
Skin Type: III-IV
Hair status: Mostly fine hairs everywhere (not bad, but still visible :x) and coarse underarm. Hairs are dark.
Parts to be treated: Underarm, full arm, chest, abdomen, buttock, full leg, back
Laser: LightSheer XC
Place: Advanced Laser Clinics
Ok, so first thing, I was torn between using or not using a topical anesthetic because people have died from it. When the nurse asked me, I hesitated. She immediately knew why and informed me that their topical anesthetic contains a safe percentage of ingredients, so it won’t cause death. They are: lidocaine 4%, tetracaine 2%, benzocaine 12%. I did do a lot of homework before performing the treatment, so the percentage did seem right. I think the lady who had died used a topical with 30% tetracaine or so.
I only used it on a few places that I thought might hurt, and the nurse suggested me to put on the bone areas because her previous patients felt pain there.
The areas I treated today were: underarm, full arm, chest and abdomen.
I was very concerned with pain, so here’s what I experienced with laser setting at 22J:
Underarm (with topical): Painful! She first used 24J, but it hurted a lot, so she tuned it down. This is mainly because the hair there are very dark and coarse. During the treatment, I could smell burned hair. The nurse reassured me that it was burning hair, not skin. (LOL) A lot of hair just popped right out.
Full arm (topical on lower arm, none on upper): Not much pain there because my hair is fine. The lower arm has fine but longer hair compared to the upper. All I felt was periodic sensations of tiny pricks. Very tolerable.
Chest (no topical): Not much pain there either. The hair there is fine, but visible, that’s why I treated this area.
Abdomen (some topical around the belly button): Not much pain there as well. Again, fine hair, just visible.
Note: The nurse also shaved some hairs I had missed while shaving the previous night right before proceeding with the laser.
During the treatment, my skin became bumpy and a little red. However, the nurse said I heal very fast because by the end of the treatment, my skin was no longer red and the bumps were already going away. The redness went away completely after about an hour, with only very small bumps remaining (as I am writing this). The nurse told me to shower with warm water (don’t use hot water!) and scrub very very gently with a soft cloth to help some of the hair come out. Over the next two weeks, I am suppose to shed (as I have read from the forums and told by the nurse). The underarm hair comes out very easily right now, but I don’t want to start pulling too much of it out just in case. Since it should be coming out later on, I’ll just let it go naturally.
Last but not least — the price. I got their 5 treatment package because during the consultation, the lady told me it should be enough because I don’t have very stubborn hair. They are fine (but visible, lol) and just everywhere. The total price for all areas I mentioned above is: $4,635.87. I’m making three installments of $1,545.29. If I need more treatments on certain areas, I can upgrade the package or pay per treatment at half price. The nurse also told me they can do free zappings for missed spots (if there is any).
What I liked about my nurse today was that she likes to go over the same area twice just in case she missed anything. She knows that a lot of people are concerned about missed spots or patches. By the way, the nurse who treated me is a licensed nurse and was about 25 years old. I was a bit afraid to have her treat me because she seemed so young. However, the results were good and I think she did a good job. During the treatment, we also had little conversations which really helped me get my mind off the laser. But overall, it was not as painful as I thought. The only really really painful area was the underarm.
On Thursday, I am getting treatment on the rest of the areas mentioned above. Then I will be back to the clinic in 7 weeks exactly (July 25, 2005).
Hope this helps =)