Patch test?

I’ve seen people mention getting a patch test and read a bit about it on this site.

Could someone explain the process more? What all does it involve? How many treatments/patch tests should you get for the area? How do places charge for an ongoing patch test?

BTW- I’m looking into LHR on my back and shoulders with the LightSheer.

Any other info would be appreciated


Test Patch is the same as actual treatment, but only in a small area. It is usually to see if you can tolerate the pain, i.e. if EMLA is required.
Also, if you have light hair or darker skin, the the patch would also be used to see the results.
I had my first treatment right after the test patch since I don’t need EMLA underarms and stomach, and skin/hair colours are suitable.

Could anyone else add to this? Andrea?

Much appreciated

Hello Mikekennedy

The test patch is used to determine if you can stand the treatment from a comfort point of view and more importantly it is used to determine the starting parameters for treatment of the particular area. The parameters of interest are energy density level in Joules per cm (J/cm) and the pulse duration in seconds (s). The energy density when divided by the pulse length will yield the power density level (J/cm*s)or (Watts/cm) applied for each pulse.
Usualy they will do a number of test strips at ever increasing power levels to see how you and your skin react. They will more then likely be conservative for this initial test as they do not want to harm you or scare you away.
Laser hair removal is an uncomfortable thing and as such you need to be aware that pain is a part of the process, though that said it should be at a tolerable level. Some people require numbing creames etc. to make the treatments less painful, though pain can be a poor indication of treatment effectivness it can be a very important indication of overtreatment. If it hurts a lot the power levels may be too high and blistering or discoloration may occur. It is better to error on the side of caution for your first treatment round by keeping the power levels lower and then progressivly try higher levels based on how your skin reacted to the first treatment.

I had three test strips done on my chest, two on my legs and only one for my back. As my hair density and skin coloring are mostly consistent in all these areas they only tried the higher levels on the back and legs just to confirm that my skin could handle it. I waited two weeks after my test strips to fully gage the potential side effects. As I had no visible side effects I elected to go full out and start treatments. I have now had three full rounds of treatments and to date have never had any side effects other then the expected discomfort during the treatment and some minor bumps and redness for the following day.
The cooling on the LighSheer does help a lot.
I found the back and shoulders to be a lot less painful then the chest and stomach. The underarms, bikini, arms and legs were about in the middle for discomfort. I have never used any numbing medication but find areas like the chest test my will power. I usualy have the laser treatments in three hour sessions. It takes about 8.5 too 9 hours spaced over three sessions to clear my whole body. Approximate times for me are
4 hours to do from the waist down to my toes.
2 hours to cover the stomach and chest.
1 hour for arms, underarms and hands.
1.5 to 2 hours for back, shoulders and nape of neck.

Hope this helps.


[ December 19, 2002, 08:12 PM: Message edited by: Balius ]

Oh yeah on thing I forgot to say was that I was not charged for the consult with the doctor or the test patches. It took all of 15 min to do all of the test strips and another 30 min for the consult with the doctor. All in all I was in and out in under 1 hour. I got the feeling that if needed the doctor would have spent more time with me had I not been self informed about LHR. Thanks to the information on this site I was able to efficiently use the doctors and my time.