Laser hair removal is an effective & efficient method of permanent hair removal.

However it is important that every person who undergoes this procedure has some understanding of how laser light works.

When laser light is fired at skin, it is attracted to the dark colour of the pigment melanin, which gives it the dark colour.

Unfortunately, melanin is also present in the surrounding skin & not confined to the hair shaft. Therefore, this laser light which should be travelling down the hair shaft & heating up the follicle only, heats up the surrounding skin & this is what makes the skin red, tender, swollen & sometimes darken.

This is called “Scatter” because the laser energy spreads to skin surrounding the hair shaft.

Therefore, the safest situation for laser hair removal is fair skin & dark hair. This is rarely the case in ethnic skins where the surrounding skin is light brown to dark brown. The darker the surrounding skin, the greater the chance of causing permanent skin damage such as scarring or dark patches (Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation, PIH).

However, there are methods of avoiding these laser injuries if the skin is adequately prepared before treatment & protecting the skin after the procedure.

Pre-treatment preparation (Priming) of skin is mandatory in all skins before laser hair removal.

The mechanism of inflammation caused by the thermal energy of laser light involves the release of  Free Radicles which cause chemicals such as Prostaglandins & cytokines that result in leaking of capillaries & dilation of blood vessels.

The skin becomes red & angry.

To avoid this, the skin should be loaded topically with Anti-oxidants, which neutralize these free radicles and abort the inflammatory cascade. These Anti-oxidants include High strength Vitamin C, Retinaldehyde, Niacinamide, Vitamin E ,Ferulic acid, and Green tea extract. In addition, intense moisturizing with Hyaluronic acid along with bactericidal anti-inflammatory agent such as Salicylic acid 2% is necessary.

An ideal preparation designed for this priming of skin which contains a high strength  formulation of all the above actives  is

Pre-Aesthetix® serum that should be massaged into skin every night on clean dry skin for at least three weeks before the first session of laser hair removal.

Post treatment-healing cream

It is also well established that protecting the skin with occlusion (covering) & maximum hydration immediately after injury is essential if inflammation is to be prevented. Silicones are well established in their role of occlusion. Use of microscopic microfilms such Subliskin helps as well to have the effect of a “silicone bandage”. Vitamin C  & Hyaluronic acid are also essential. Arnica along with Bromelain are excellent, well used & established ingredients in the management of bruising & swelling.

Post-Aesthetix® cream is such a preparation that contains all the above ingredients. It should be applied immediately in the Laser room to seal & heal the treated skin.

It should be applied twice daily to skin for a further one week.

*Results may vary in every individual.*

Shashi Gossain
Skincare Expert