What’s involved in a patch test?

For clients with lighter and medium skin tones a patch test is required 24 hours minimum prior to the first treatment.  Darker skinned clients with South Asian or African skin types require several weeks to ensure no pigmentation changes occur.

When you attend the clinic for your initial consultation for laser hair removal, you wilnursel be required to undergo a ‘patch test’ prior to commencing your laser hair removal treatment. The purpose of the patch test is to determine a safe and effective setting of the laser for your skin and hair type. We will advise you during your patch test how long to wait before undergoing your first laser hair removal treatment to ensure there is no adverse reaction.

A range of settings will be used in the patch test, tailored to your individual skin and hair type, starting at a lower level and gradually increasing until a good clinical endpoint is achieved. We would expect to see slight reddening of the skin, some frazzled and sometimes slight swelling around the hair follicles – giving a goosebumpy appearance. You may be able to feel a slight elastic band like sensation when the laser is used.

The patch test is only done on a very small area and will normally take only a few minutes. The skin usually recovers very quickly and you should experience no discomfort afterwards. Aloe vera would normally be applied to the skin afterwards to cool the area.

Consultations and patch testing are only carried out by experienced, registered nurses or VTCT Laser Therapist Specialist.

In general it is rare for hyper or hypo pigmentation to occur and generally it's instantly visible - so it's safe to book your fist appointment for the next day, should you have any adverse results your first appointment will not be considered as cancelled and no charge will be incurred.

  • There is no need to shave prior to a patch test
  • Please ensure you don't take Ibuprofen 7 days before any laser therapy treatments
  • Your patch test will consist of a few shots in the region you require treated
  • The aim is to ensure you don't have any rare reaction to laser like hyperpigmentation.
  • With Brazilian or Bikini Line we'll conduct the patch test on the upper bikini line so trousers are more convenient than dresses etc
  • The patch test takes just 5 minutes
  • It's important that you complete your online consultation and print your consent form.
  • You may schedule your first appointment even before you've had your patch test - we'll send you information about how long to book as soon as you make your patch test appointment.
  • If you have a pre-paid voucher from an online website we require the code prior to your appointment - don't worry you'll receive an email from us asking for this.
  • Please carefully read the emails we send you about the laser hair removal process so we can answer any questions at your face to face consultation.
  • Our practitioners are male but are particularly sensitive to maintaining your privacy and well used to conducting sessions on more private areas like Brazilian Bikini and nipple hair.  We're not in the least shy but are aware you may feel vulnerable - we do our best to make you feel at ease during the process.  You may bring a guest to accompany you however they must also wear Laser Safety Glasses in the consultation room.