FAQs - Laser Center

A. Hair Removal

Laser hair removal uses technology in which a beam of light is applied to unwanted hair on various parts of the body. This light is a specific wavelength that targets the melanin—the pigment in the hair that gives it colour—in the hair follicle. When the light enters the follicle, it is converted to heat energy that inactivates the follicle, preventing the hair from growing again.

There are three stages of hair growth. They are: Anagen—active growth; Catagen—a brief phase in which growth stops and resting begins, and Telogen—a resting phase in which no further growth occurs. In order for laser treatments to be effective, hair must be in the active growth stage—Anagen. Because individual hairs are at different stages of growth at any given time, multiple laser treatments are required to target all of them when they are in the Anagen stage.

Absolutely. When performed correctly by a certified, experienced laser technician, laser hair removal is both safe and effective. However, it is a clincal procedure. As such, there is a potential for associated risks. Fortunately, they are minimal and seldom dangerous, particularly when the necessary precautions are taken.

As a professional laser hair-removal clinic, we will not perform any procedures without first assessing: your complete medical history, your current health condition, and any potential you may have for complications.

Most people describe the treatment as uncomfortable rather than painful. The level of discomfort varies between individuals and the different areas being treated. Some people feel nothing, some feel a heat sensation, and some have likened the sensation to mild stinging or the flicking of a rubber band. Generally the coarser or thicker the hair, the greater the sensation. There is usually some form of skin response post treatment, normally a mild redness. 

At Skinsmiths, all of our clinic staff are highly professional and experienced and have been trained extensively, so they can perform the treatment quickly and efficiently – it’ll be over in no time! 

There are certain physical characteristics that make some people better candidates for laser hair removal than others. Specifically, we look at your skin tone and hair colour. Blonde and grey hair does not respond well to laser hair removal because of the lack of pigment in the hair follicle. However, because of the advances in laser hair-removal technology, more people can now be treated successfully.

During your complimentary consultation (see below), you and your technician will determine whether or not you are a good candidate for laser hair removal. Should you not be, the two of you can discuss other hair-removal alternatives.

We treat the following areas:

  • Face, including: ears, nose, upper lip, chin, cheeks, sideburns, and neck. We do not recommend eyebrow shaping, however, we can treat the area between the eyebrows, or the “unibrow;”
  • Arms, including: underarms, forearms, upper arms, and shoulders
  • Legs, including: the full leg, thighs, and lower leg
  • Feet, including: the upper foot, and toes
  • Torso, including: the full back, upper back, chest, and abdomen
  • Pubic region, including: the bikini line, full Brazilian, Brozilian
  • Buttocks

The price for laser hair removal will vary depending upon the size of the area to be treated, and the amount of hair to be removed. We will give you a price quotation during your consultation.

Most clients experience a few side-effects, and complications are extremely rare. Most commonly, you can expect minor swelling and redness around the treatment site. These are your body’s natural reactions to the slight irritation caused by the laser’s intense light energy.

There are some risks that you should be aware of, though they tend to occur at the hands of inexperienced technicians. Burning and discoloration of the skin can occur during treatment. In rare instances, burning can be severe, and in some cases, infection may occur. If you experience a burn as a result of laser hair removal, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Skin discoloration is the lightening (hypopigmentation) or darkening (hyperpigmentation) of the skin at the site of laser treatment. While not usually dangerous, this outcome is undesirable. Dark patches may revert to natural skin tone over time, whereas lighter patches tend to be more permanent.

Burning and discoloration of the skin are more common among people with darker skin tones. This is because there is more pigmentation in dark-skinned individuals than in fair-skinned individuals. However, that is not to say that laser hair removal cannot be both safe and effective for individuals who have dark skin tones.

Most areas require six-to-eight treatments. Ideally, they should be four to six weeks apart. However, depending upon your skin tone, and hair colour and density, this may vary. Your technician will be able to provide you with a more precise estimate during your consultation.

Results vary from person to person, and hormonal changes can affect the hair growth as well, but we expect long-term results. We also offer an exclusive guarantee to help you achieve long lasting results – we can talk to you about this during a consultation. 

Any complex medical situations require individual care and assessment by our team in clinic to determine whether the treatment would be suitable. 

B. Tattoo Removal

Laser light is calibrated to direct an intense beam of light at the tattoo. The light is calibrated by the laser to be a certain wavelength so that the pigment molecules absorb the laser energy and burst into small fragments. The body’s lymphatic system will then carry away the pigment fragments, which will then be excreted from the body.

Each laser treatment destroys and removes the pigment closest to the skin surface. That top layer may take approximately four weeks to be absorbed before the deeper tattoo pigment can be treated. So, laser tattoo removal is done one layer at a time.

Some tattoos will respond only partially, while others will completely disappear. There are many factors involved in the equation: location of tattoo, the depth of the placement, the color of the ink, the health/lifestyle of the patient, and the tattoo removal system. For example, tattoo removal in smokers typically takes more treatments; diabetes also slows the process of removal. Patients who opt for PicoSure™ tattoo removal generally experience more effective tattoo removal with fewer treatments.

Yes, there is some pain associated when the laser makes contact with the skin, although PicoSure™ is less painful than traditional tattoo removal. Patients often refer to this as similar to hot bacon grease hitting the skin. We use numbing medication, applied topically 15 minutes prior. The good news is that it only lasts as long as the procedure is done (less than one minute). After your tattoo laser removal treatment, you can expect redness, heat, possible blistering, and itching for the next few days. We ask you keep the area covered for about a week.

Depending on the color, type, depth, size of the tattoo, and laser removal system, it may disappear in as little as five treatments. Our PicoSure™ tattoo removal system requires fewer treatments that traditional tattoo removal and is more effective at eliminating stubborn ink areas. In some cases, complete removal is not desired. The tattoo artist may want the area lightened before recovering with a different image, such as changing from Mickey to Daffy. However, always clear tattoo modification with your artist. For example, we know that many artists won’t touch someone else’s work.

While the number of required treatments depends on the size, locations, colors, and age of the tattoo, we can assure you that PicoSure™ requires fewer treatments than traditional tattoo removal.

Our laser works on all colors of the spectrum, but black, dark blue and yellow are most successfully removed. Red and green are the hardest colors to remove and may never completely resolve. All of the colors will take multiple treatments to achieve the desired result.

It may take as little as 2, but we recommend you work with your tattoo artist to decide the goals for lightening and recovering.

First, we place a numbing lotion on the tattoo, after 15 minutes we remove the topical cream. Then the laser beam rapidly moves across the tattoo. If the tattoo has several colors, the laser is adjusted for each color and we may have to make several passes over the tattoo.

The laser makes a rapid popping sound as the beam fires each time. The entire treatment session is quick, with total treatment time usually taking only 30 to 60 seconds. The short treatment time is fortunate, since each laser burst definitely hurts – patients often say it feels like hot bacon grease is being dripped on the skin. Our PicoSure™ tattoo removal system is generally less painful than a traditional laser system.

As soon as the laser stops firing, we cool the area with an ice roller and the pain immediately goes away. Aquaphor is then spread on the site and a dressing is applied. Although you can shower the following day, we want you to keep the site covered with a dressing otherwise. You can expect any/all of the following: swelling, redness, scabbing, light bleeding, blistering and fading.

The cost varies, depending on the removal system and tattoo size. 

PicoSure laser tattoo removal uses picosecond (trillionth of a second) laser technology that is 100 times faster than nanosecond technology. As a result, the PicoSure™ system breaks up tattoos faster than traditional lasers and requires fewer office visits. In addition, PicoSure™ is more effective on stubborn ink colors (blues and greens) and is able to treat benign pigment lesions such as brown spots.

Yes, it is FDA-approved technology performed by our Medical Director, James Franz, DO.

The best way is to schedule a free skin consultation with JdV. However, here are some general guidelines: 1) you have a tattoo with stubborn ink colors and want to ensure the best possible outcome, 2) you have color “remnants” leftover from a previously treated tattoo, 3) you want to remove your tattoo in as few visits as possible, 4) you have benign pigment lesions.

While there is some pain associated with the procedure, PicoSure™ is less painful and requires less visits than traditional laser removal. If minimizing pain is important to you, this is the way to go.

Studies show that PicoSure™ is effective, even on black, green, blue, and yellow tattoos. With PicoSure™, you’re assured of a better outcome in fewer visiting than with conventional Q-Yag laser removal. Red and green are the hardest colors to remove and may never completely resolve. All of the colors will take multiple treatments to achieve the desired result.

C. Skin Problem

Among its many uses, the PicoSure laser is an excellent choice for skin rejuvenation and skin tightening. This treatment is primarily used for wrinkles and fine lines on the face. It is FDA approved for several skin treatment procedures including:

  • Dark Spots
  • Acne Scars
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Tattoo removal

PicoSure works by delivering ultra-short pulses that break down damaged skin cells to promote the growth of new, healthier cells. This process stimulates the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, which are both necessary for a firm, youthful appearance.

The PicoSure laser has several benefits including:

  • Safe treatments with minimal skin damage
  • Little to no discomfort or pain
  • Fewer treatment sessions required
  • Few to no side effects
  • Little to no downtime after treatment
  • No damage to surrounding skin

PicoSure is not limited to skin tightening. It can also treat dark spots, acne scars, and unwanted freckles. Patients can treat multiple conditions at once using this laser. The targeted design of the laser ensures that only the treatment area is affected and healthy skin around the area is left undamaged.

The ideal candidate for PicoSure treatments is in good health and wants to treat minor blemishes or spots on the skin as well as target fine lines and facial wrinkles. Deep wrinkles on the skin will see less dramatic results from the PicoSure laser and may require a different treatment type.

While it varies by patient, three to six treatment sessions is average. They will be spaced several weeks apart to allow for the skin to heal in between treatments.

Consult a dermatologist to determine your exact treatment plan. The PicoSure laser has many advantages and may be the right treatment for your skin conditions.