Pre Laser Guidelines
Please note the following important instructions prior to your laser consultation/test patch appointment, as well as all laser treatment sessions.
UV light and Hair Removal
- Avoid Sun/UV for 4-6 weeks pre treatment on the treated area – this includes sunbeds.
- Use SPF 15+ sunblock daily (also available from Metro Clinic). Remember that you are exposed to UV light even when it is cloudy or through your car/office windows.
- Cover treatment areas with clothing when it is sunny to avoid building a tan (eg. wear shorts over the bikini area in summer).
- Reschedule your test patch or treatment if you have been in the sun - the risk of burns is too great (24 hours notice requested for appointment changes).
- Stop waxing/plucking/threading for at least 4-6 weeks before starting laser, to ensure the hairs have a ‘bulb’ in place. Shave hair between treatments as required.
Medications and topical products
Stop the following photosensitising supplements, creams, products or medications pre treatment (applies to every laser appointment including your test patch):
- ALL non approved herbal and vitamin supplements – stop at least 2 weeks prior to starting laser and before any laser sessions.
- Drugs causing marked whole or localised sensitivity – wait 6 months before starting laser. Generally administered for systemic Photodynamic Therapy (PDT), e.g. Photofrin, Foscan, ALA, Metvix.
- Daily Tan / Self Tan / Spray tan – stop at least 2 weeks prior to using laser.
- Depilatory / Hair removal creams – stop at least 2 weeks prior to using laser.
- Citrus Essential Oils (Orange, Lemon, Mandarin, Lime, and Bergamot) – stop 48 hours prior to using laser.
- St John’s Wort – stop 4 weeks prior to using laser. If you have been using this herb for more than 1 month, or using strengths prescribed by a doctor or naturopath, wait 3 months.
- Topical Retinol / Vitamin A at cosmeceutical strength eg. Cosmedix, Aspect or Prescribed eg. adapalene (Differin), tretinoin (Stieva A, Retin A, Re Trieve), isotretinoin (Isotrex) and tazarotene (Zorac) – stop 2 weeks prior to starting laser. You can generally ignore this if the treatment is in a completely different area to where you use the products.
- Oral prescription Retinoids / Vitamin A eg. Roaccutane, Oratane, Accure, Isohexal – wait 12 months before starting laser
- Doxycycline, Tetracycline, Amiodarone and Minomycin (common in antibiotics, antimalarials and antidepressants) –
wait 4 weeks prior to starting laser.
- Oral steroids (not a photosensitizer but can affect skin healing) – stop for 1 week prior and immediately after laser treatment (for approximately 7 days or until skin is healed).
- For all other medications, you must check with your doctor for clearance prior to starting laser treatment.
- If you become pregnant please stop treatments
See your doctor first for advice before stopping any prescribed medications. This should not be considered as an exclusive list of drugs that may interact with the laser treatment. It does not replace any advice or instruction issued by a registered medical practitioner, pharmacist or other registered health professional.
***If you start taking new medications or supplements during your laser course, you MUST advise us at least 24 hours prior to your scheduled laser appointment. A new test patch, medical clearance or a reschedule of your appointment may be required.
To Shave or not to Shave?
- For your test patch, leave hair to grow for 3-7 days so we can see and assess the hair thickness and colour before treatment. We will gently shave the area at your consult.
- For your actual laser treatments, shave hair well the night before.