Well, I had my first laser treatment today and I wanted to share it with the people on this board. First of all, as a new member, I want to say that this is an amazing forum and without it (and hairfacts) I would have been completely lost today, not knowing the first thing about the procedures or the possible risks.
I’m in New Delhi, India and the woman I’m getting the laser from is definitely very good, but was not very informative when I met her. Unlike the scenario in the US, there’s little fear of being sued here and certainly no FDA approval etc. In fact, if something were to happen during the laser, I’m not sure whether I’d have any legal rights at all! Anyway, that aside, this forum definitely gave me the heads up on the kinds of things I should be looking out for and the questions to ask the woman (beautician? she’s not a doctor, but she’s trained in laser hair removal, so I’ll stick to LHR Specialist or LHRS).
When I met her initially, the LHRS looked at my sideburns, chin and stomach (hair I want removed) and said that I did indeed have enough to warrant laser. She then explained that she has the Nd-YAG 1064 and an air cooling system, gave me a brochure and price list and told me to think about it. I didn’t know what to ask so I left it at that. I decided to go for the treatment after reading these sites.
Some information I got from her today:
- Do they offer or prescribe any topical anaesthesia? Answer: Not the first time, only use it if the patient really feels the need.
- Since in India most of us have type III to IV skin at the very least, we talked about the suitability of this laser (which I already knew was one of the best from the discussion board).
- Most patients tend to have some redness, but generally nothing severe. Given that I have sensitive skin I was sure I’d be a red, swollen mess.
By the way, I’m mildly hirsute. I have PCOS, but do not manifest the symptoms very strongly. I’m going to go back to my gynaecologist and get back on medication for my hormones because I don’t want to waste the money I’m spending on laser. I have type IV skin with fairly dark hair (though my sideburns are finer, lighter hair, the contrast with my skin is distinct). At the laser centre I’m going to the cost of 6 sittings or more is Indian Rupees 8500 for the sideburns, which works out to about US$193 for the whole treatment. (You can get your entire body, including your face, completely treated with laser for about US$3300, which is amazing given the prices I’ve seen listed here.)
Apologies for the long preamble: The session started with the LHRS shaving off my hair with a dry, new disposable razor. Since I’ve never shaved there before and the hair was fine, it came off easily, but she missed a few spots that I can see now. (I made sure to take a headband to pull all the hair off my face through the procedure.) Then I had to hold cooling (frozen) pads to my sideburns to cool and numb the area. The LHRS put goggles on me and then an eye cover – the kind you get on air planes – to block out the light and, I guess, to stop me from staring at her or moving my head to see anything.
I absolutely freaked out at this point. She told me she would warn me before she started the laser and the assistant started the air cooling system (which is honestly freezing cold air) on my right sideburn. I have had some painful procedures in my life including stitches on my face and injections in my feet, but this is something I was choosing voluntarily. I almost bolted with fear. But then, as I gripped my rolled up socks (I was too embarrassed to bring my stuffed Piglet) and braced myself, the LHRS asked me if it was OK. I hadn’t even felt her begin! I was surprised, but I felt absolutely no pain – either the setting was too low - it was at 30 joules and 35 fluence (?), though I don’t really know what that means - or the air cooling numbness really does work. The best way I can describe the sensation I felt was that of burning, but very slightly. It was probably was my skin getting freezer-burn.
The procedure was over before I knew it – five-seven minutes tops. Afterwards I had to hold the cooling pads to my skin again for about seven-ten minutes, or at least it felt that long. The LHRS then applied a medication called Sofradex, which is a “Cream of Dexamethasone Acetate with Framycetin Sulphate” and is “indicated for all types of dermatitis and eczemas.” I have no idea what this is, except that my skin is not even red right now, though it feels slightly raw along the jaw line. I’ll know better tomorrow.
I have a follow up appointment in one week to see how my skin and hair have reacted and then she’s going to do a follow-up laser session at a slightly higher setting. The pain might be worse at this session. After that the sessions are at 4-6 week intervals. Sorry this was so long. I’ve taken photos and will soon put them up on the web and I’ll share the URL.
I also have one question – is it alright for me to put water on my face after laser treatment? I mean after a few hours if I want to wash my face? I going to err on the side of caution and not put any water tonight, but I really like washing my face first thing in the morning!