New to laser - a question

Well, after seriously researching laser hair removal, and after years of shaving and waxing, I’ve decided to try LHR. I took the questionaire off of this site (I think) and went in for a consultation. It went pretty well except they made me watch this horrible video that didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. From the consultation I found out that the person performing the LHR is an RN that has been doing LHR since June of 1999, they use a LightSheer ET that they’ve had for 3 months, they’ve seen negative side effects in less than 2% of their patients, and the cost is $75 for underarms, $100 for a regular bikini, and he said he would probably throw in the upper lip for free. He said I should expect to repeat the treatment 5-8 times, most likely closer to 8 since I’m Hispanic.

It all sounded pretty good and I saw their appointment book and it was FULL. I live on the Central Coast of California which has a relatively small population so it’s not like there are a lot of people that want procedure like LHR done here so I think that’s a good sign. I did ask for previous client referrals but he said he couldn’t give that out because of confidentiality but the one thing I didn’t think to ask for was previous employment referrals. He did mention working in Santa Barbara and LA in the past so I decided to try to find out for myself.

I searched for his name on the Internet and came up with a laser center in Santa Barbara so I called them and asked if he had ever been employed there. The lady who answered asked why I was asking so I told her that I was just curious about his work history because I was considering becoming a patient and I wanted to know if he had left employment there strictly because he moved or if he was fired, etc. She sounded kind of pissed off and said that she knew he had moved and that it wasn’t pleasant because he had “stolen some of their clients”. But if that’s all he did then I’m not too worried because that’s how new businesses get started all the time, right?

What do you guys think? Should I try to look into it more or am I right in thinking that “stealing clients” isn’t enough of a reason to not go to him?

Also, any suggestions for other LHR places on the Central Coast?

Any of you used Topicaine as a pre-treatment?

My skin type is right on the edge of III and IV (I’m Hispanic). Any idea what fluence level I should expect (so I can ask)?


I’m impressed with your research! It sounds like a pretty good place. Don’t let professional rivalries bother you.

Topicaine is OK, but there are stronger things like EMLA and ELA-Max if you are averse to pain.

Fluences are very difficult to predict, especially without seeing you. You’ll need to trust the practitioner to give you treatment at the optimal parameter. If you chose someone qualified, you should be fine. However, if you are especially concerned, I recommend getting treatment in an inconspiuous area the first time, and maybe start out at a lower energy level to be safe.

Glad I could help direct your efforts a bit-- definitely let us know how it goes.

[ November 16, 2002, 05:47 PM: Message edited by: Andrea ]

The Lightsheer is a good choice for you. It sounds like you have found a good practitioner.


Thanks guys! My appointment is set for Thursday morning so I’ll write again to tell you how it went!

Went in for my first treatment today. I think it went pretty well but I have some questions about the settings used. I forgot to check while I was there so I called the clinic back after I left and the secretary read the levels as “22/20 JCM” and “30 Megs”. What does that mean? Is that a pretty low level? I definitely felt the zaps and could tell when a hair was getting fried. When she was done she wiped some stuff on my underarms and showed me all the hair that came away. I was pretty impressed considering that I had shaved right before the procedure. I got my underarms and bikini done and there are a lot of “tombstones” left. I do not see much redness or swelling though and I’m wondering if I should ask for a higher level at my next treatment. Am I wrong in associating redness with a successful treatment?

It’s tought to compare energy levels to those of other clients, because if the practitioner is good, they will adjust according to your unique needs.

22/20 J/cm2 means you were treated at 20 to 22 Joules per square centimeter. That’s fairly standard for a diode on a first treatment. 30 Megs was probably actually 30 ms or msec, which stands for milliseconds and represents the pulsewidth. that’s how long the pulse lasted. Longer pulses tend to get deeper penetration and may have fewer side effects.

Skin response varies significantly, but a lot of people see and feel the result when diodes are set at the right levels for a permanent reduction. If you tolerated those levels, you might ask them to consider something higher next time, but you should do test patches whenever parameters are changed.

Another update. It’s been 4 weeks since my first treatment and I noticed a lot of clearance! Yay! Went for my second treatment last night and they upped the fluence to 26 joules for 30ms. It hurt a little more but what hurt the most was when the nurse went over areas that they had not done last time so I had not prepared it with topical anasthetic. Ouch! I also forgot to take my ibuprofen before the treatment so it took about an hour to stop hurting in those areas once I took the ibuprofen. But today everything is fine and my next appointment is in 6 weeks. Can’t wait to see the results!