Laser / IPL Hair Removal
What is IPL?
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) Hair Removal System is a non-invasive light therapy device specifically designed to permanently eliminate undesired hair from all parts of the body.
How does IPL remove hair?
The system uses pulsed light to remove hair and impair hair regrowth. First a cool gel and a hand held treatment unit are applied to the skin. Then in a flash, pulses of light, (similar to a camera flash) safely penetrate the skin and disable hundreds of hair follicles simultaneously. When the gel is removed, much of the hair is wiped off with it. The remaining hair in the treated area falls out within a week or two.
Can all hair, hair colours, skin colours and parts of the body be treated?
The system's unique design offers you customised treatment, according to your hair and skin colour, texture and location on the body including the chin, upper lip, cheeks, legs, arms, under arms, and back - as well as sensitive areas such as the nose, chest, breasts and bikini line. Very blond, red and grey hair is more difficult to treat and we are unable to permanently remove pure white hair. (The pure white hair will usually become softer, finer and more translucent).
What is IPL treatment like?
When the pulse of light is delivered to the hair, you may feel a sting or pinch, similar to the snap of a rubber band. No local anaesthesia or pain medication is required. The treatment is non-invasive and no needles are used.
How many treatments are required?
This varies depending upon your hair colour and the location on the body. Several treatments will be needed to cover the hair growth cycle with each session lasting from 10 - 30 minutes. You will require a minimum of 3 treatments, as there are three stages to hair growth. We find on average clients require 5-6 treatments.
Are there any side effects?
You may experience some short-term side effects. This may include slight reddening of the skin similar to mild sunburn, or local swelling which goes away within a few days. In rare instances there may be some temporary blistering.
Are there any restrictions on my activity following treatment?
You can return to work the same day and resume all regular activities. You can use make up as long as the skin is not broken. You must be un-tanned for treatment and do not use sun beds. You must limit your exposure to UV sunlight (use a full sun block - factor 30+) during your course of treatment and for one month following.
Who are candidates for treatment?
Most people can be successfully treated with IPL Hair Removal System. Your suitability will be discussed during your consultation and if there are any queries you will be referred to our highly qualified medical team for further assessment.
How does IPL compare with other commonly used hair removal methods?
Shaving, waxing, tweezing, plucking and depilatory creams are all temporary methods that must be repeated on a regular basis. IPL offers permanent hair reduction. It has FDA approval for permanency.
How does IPL treatment compare with electrolysis?
Electrolysis is a tedious, invasive and painful process that involves inserting a needle into each hair follicle and delivering an electrical charge to destroy them one at a time. Electrolysis often requires years of treatment at regular intervals. It is not feasible to treat large areas.
IPL non-invasively destroys hundreds of hair follicles simultaneously. In just a few minutes, it can effectively treat an area that would take many hours with electrolysis.
How is IPL different from Laser?
IPL's innovative patented technology allows treatment to be customised specifically for your hair colour, density and depth, skin colour, texture and body location. It works using varying wavelengths of light depending on the area to be treated.
This flexible approach to treatment cannot be achieved with any laser or non-invasive method currently available.
How is IPL different from other light systems?
Other systems, e.g. SoftLight, DepiLight, Epilase etc have not had clinical trials to prove permanent reduction of hair growth. Suffolk Medical Clinic is a medical clinic and only uses medically qualified staff and not beauticians.
What to expect during and after treatment
- Some hair loss will occur at the time of treatment, there will be further hair loss after 1-3 weeks.
- With the intensity of the pulsed light used there is often some frazzling of the surface hairs, which causes a slight odour. This is to be expected and is perfectly normal, indicating a good result.
- Do not be tempted to pluck the hairs in between treatments as this may effect the end result. You may, however shave or trim the area.
- If we have treated an area on your body that has freckles you may find that they will fade; this is normal and as time passes these freckles may disappear.
- With darker skin tones it may take a few days for the effects of the treatment to show on the skin. If you find that the skin has changed in any way please apply a suitable unscented moisturising cream and if concerned please contact us.
Pre Treatment Care
- Avoid scented cosmetics/perfumes/herbal preparations etc on treatment area for a few days prior to treatment - use only unscented water based moisturisers, if possible.
- Avoid sunbathing/sunbeds and self-tanning products for 4 weeks prior to treatment, as these activities can reduce the effectiveness of treatment.
- If you currently bleach, wax, pluck, tweeze or use creams, it is necessary to discontinue this for at least 10 days prior to test patch or treatment. However, you may trim or shave the treatment areas, stopping at least 3-4 days before treatment (allowing approx 2-3mm of natural hair growth).
Post Treatment Care
- Care should be taken to prevent trauma to the treated area for the first 4-5 days following treatment.
- A high factor sunscreen, (factor 30+) should be used to avoid exposure to the sunlight during the period of treatment and for one month following. Sun tanning can reduce the effectiveness of the process.
- There is often slight redness that can last a few days and sometimes a small amount of swelling from the treated area that feels similar to mild sunburn. Cool compresses or wrapped ice packs may be used to ease temporary discomfort.
- If the skin is broken or a blister appears, apply an antiseptic cream. Please do not hesitate to call us for further advice if you are concerned.
- Make-up can be applied as long as the skin surface is not broken taking special care when removing it.
- Avoid swimming for 48 hours and aerobic exercise/rough physical sports.
- Loose fitting clothes should be worn to avoid friction on treated areas such as bikini area, legs, arms, chest and abdomen.
- It is recommended that the treatment areas should not be immersed in hot water if the skin feels sensitive. Cool/warm showers/baths are recommended as an alternative.