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Frequently Asked Questions


LASER HAIR REMOVAL

Q. What is Laser Hair Removal and how does it work?

A.
Laser hair removal works by selectively targeting an area using a specific wavelength of light that is absorbed by the melanin, or pigment, in the root of the hair. When the light is absorbed by the pigment, it heats up the root (dermal papilla), and destroys it. The hair has three different phases of growth; the active phase (anagen), the resting phase (catagen), and the shedding phase (telogen). It is only during the active growth phase that the hair shaft is attached to the root and the root will be destroyed. Each hair moves through the three phases of growth over a 6 to 8 week period. This is why laser hair removal necessitates multiple treatments. Because the laser light targets pigment, it is not effective on blonde, grey, white, and some shades of red hair.

Q. What is the difference between all the bikini shapes that you offer? Do you have anything I can see?

A.
The Basic Bikini Line only removes the hair that would show if you were wearing a bathing suit. The Extended Bikini Line removes more hair than a Basic Bikini but less than a Brazilian. It takes most of the hair off of the top, and comes in further on the sides, leaving you with a small area of groomed hair (this option does NOT remove the hair on the labia or the thong line). The Brazilian Bikini gives you the option to remove all the hair down below (though you can leave a triangle or strip if you like). It is the only option that we offer that removes the hair from the labia and thong line. If all else fails and this doesn't make sense, please look at the image below.

Q. Does it hurt?

A.
For most clients, it is a quick discomfort. Many people say it is less painful than waxing. Candela uses a patented cooling system with Cryogen spray to cool the skin immediately before the laser hits its target. If you are very uncomfortable, however, we sell a numbing cream that you can apply an hour before your treatment.

Q. How many treatments will I need?

A.
Industry standard recommends 6 treatments per area. However, some larger areas such as men's backs, or hormonal areas on women like the lip/chin, can take 6-8 treatments.

Q. What should I do to prepare for my treatments?

A.
Please come to your treatments clean shaven, and free of lotions, makeup, deodorant, or sunless tanner. We suggest that you shave the night before your treatment, as any excess surface hair wastes the energy of the laser and creates excess plume. If you use sunless tanner, please exfoliate your skin 5-7 days before a treatment. If you decide to use a numbing cream, please apply it one hour before your appointment. If it is your first time visiting us, please come with your consultation forms printed and filled out.

Q. Are there any contra-indications for Laser Hair Removal treatment that I should be aware of?

A.
We cannot treat anyone that has an active tan. The GentleYAG (used on tanned or dark skin) requires that you be out of the sun for 2 weeks. The GentleLASE (used on fair skin) requires that you be out of the sun for 4 weeks. Please call our offices and let us know if you have recently been exposed to the sun so we can reserve the appropriate machine for you.

We cannot treat anyone that is currently taking antibiotics or other light sensitive medications. You must have completed a course of any antibiotic 14 days prior to your treatment. If you are not sure whether the medication you are taking is light sensitive, please ask your prescribing physician prior to your visit.

If you are pregnant, please bring us a doctor's note.

Q. How long does each treatment take?

A.
How long your treatment will take depends on the size of the area. For the most common areas such as underarm or bikini, it takes about 15 minutes. Larger areas such as a back or full leg can take an hour or more.

Q. Are there any side effects?

A.
Side effects may include redness at the treatment site, as well as swollen follicles. In some cases, crusting and blistering may occur, though this is not common.

Q. What should I do to care for the area after my treatment?

A.
For the first 24 hours following a treatment, you should treat the area as if you have a sunburn. Please refrain from heavy exercise that will make you sweat, steam rooms, saunas, or very hot showers. If you are having your underarm treated, please do not use deodorant for 24 hours. Within the first 2 to 3 weeks following your treatment, the hair will fall out of the follicle. Following this shedding phase, the hair will re-grow. However, it will be sparser and finer.

Q. How often do I need to come in for treatment?

A.
How often you will visit Pulse depends on the area that you are treating and the cycle of hair growth. We suggest 4 weeks for the face, and 6+ weeks for other areas of the body, though we will treat everyone as an individual.

Q. Is Laser Hair Removal safe?

A.
Yes, laser hair removal is safe. If you have questions or concerns, take any medications or are pregnant, please call us to discuss this prior to scheduling your treatment. In certain cases, we may require a doctor's note.

Q. Is Laser Hair Removal permanent?

A.
Laser Hair Removal is a permanent reduction. Barring any hormonal changes, or medications that cause hair growth, you should not experience regrowth following the recommended number and course of treatments.

Q. What areas of the body can I laser?

A.
We can laser ANY area that has excess hair on men and women, except for the area of your eye directly beneath the eyebrow.  

Q. What are the advantages of Laser over other forms of hair removal?

A.
There are many advantages to laser hair removal over other forms of hair removal such as waxing, epilating, shaving, or electrolysis. First, laser hair removal is permanent. For those who suffer from ingrown hairs or razor burn, laser hair removal is a great solution. You are left clean and smooth with no irritation. Waxing and epilating are painful, sometimes causing clients to bleed or get ingrown hairs - and you have to do it month after month - for life. Shaving may cause bumps and rashes, and electrolysis is time consuming and painful. Laser hair removal only uses light that bypasses the skin to destroy the root of the hair.

Q. Who is NOT a good candidate for Laser Hair Removal?

A.
As lasers use light that targets pigment, people with blonde, grey, or white hair are not good candidates for Laser Hair Removal. However, if you are not sure whether your hair has enough pigment, please come in and see us for a free consultation and test patch.

Q. What technology does Pulse use?

A.
At Pulse, we use the Candela GentleLASE Alexandrite 755nm and the Candela GentleYAG 1064nm lasers. These lasers can safely treat all skin tones and ethnicities.

Q. What about IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)? Do you use that for hair removal?

A.
At Pulse, we do not use IPL for laser hair removal. All laser hair removal technology is not the same, so it is important to be treated with machines that are used in modalities for which they are best suited. IPL is a broad band width of light, it is not a laser, and it does not effectively target and destroy hair follicles the same way as an Alexandrite or YAG laser. Many other establishments use IPL, but this is because the machines are less expensive to purchase and operate. With IPL, you need many more treatments, and sometimes see no reduction at all. IPL will retard the hair growth, but ultimately it does not destroy the follicle.

Q. Who will be performing my treatment?

A.
At Pulse, only Licensed Estheticians and Certified Laser Technicians will be performing your services.

Q. What other services does Pulse offer?

A.
In addition to Laser Hair Removal, Pulse offers skin rejuvenation treatments, such as removal of Pigmented Lesions (sun spots), Wrinkle Reduction, Skin Tightening, and Vessel therapy. We use the Candela Smoothbeam to treat active acne, acne scarring and deep wrinkles. It is FDA approved to eliminate acne lesions for 18 months following the completion of 6 sessions. Pulse also offers customized low intensity enzyme and chemical peels using Rhonda Allison Skincare products to treat hyperpigmentation (darkening), rosacea (diffuse redness), and aging skin.

Chemical Peels

Q. What is a chemical peel?

A.
A chemical peel is a procedure that involves the application of a combination of acids and/or enzymes to the surface of the skin to remove damaged skin cells. These chemicals or enzymes encourage cell turnover and exfoliation.

Q. What kind of peels do you use?

A.
We use peel protocols developed by Rhonda Allison. Peels can be progressive, mid-depth or deep. Progressive peels affect the stratum corneum (outer most layer of the skin) and only cause mild sloughing. Mid-depth peels affect the intra-epidermal layers of the skin and exfoliation occurs within three days of the application, akin to flaking experienced following a sun burn. Deep peels affect the inner most layers of the epidermis, the skin may darken or crust, and considerable peeling occurs within three days of application, lasting anywhere from three to seven days. Examples of acids used are Lactic (derived from milk), Salicylic, TCA (trichloroacetic acid), Lotus (modified Jessner), and Kojic Clay (derived from mushrooms).

Q. How much will I peel?

A.
How much you peel depends on many factors such as the specific acids being applied and their strength, as well as the overall condition of your skin. We cannot guarantee how much a person will peel or whether a particular skin condition will be resolved following a specific number of peels. Peeling is different for everyone and some will only experience light flaking, while others may peel more than once. In addition, the skin may not always visibly peel. Two to three treatments may be required for this to occur.

Q. What will I look like after I get a peel?

A.
You might experience redness in the areas where the peel was applied, and your skin often feels tight before the peeling occurs. Depending on the condition being treated and the acids applied, there may be a slight color change from pink to red the first day and then a browning or crusting until peeling occurs.

Q. What are the benefits of a chemical peel?

A.
Benefits include smoother, softer skin, a healthier glow, balanced oil production, hydration, refined pores, lightened discoloration, diminished fine lines, and a reduction in blemishes.

Q. What should I do to prepare for my chemical peel?

A.
Please discontinue the use of Retin-A, or other retinoids (Differin, Tazorac), and Alpha Hydroxy Acids for one week prior. It is required that you wear sunscreen daily and use the appropriate home care topical products recommended by your esthetician.

Q. What should I NOT do after my chemical peel?

A.
You should refrain from exercise for one week post peel. You should also refrain from professional hair blowouts, using harsh topical products on your skin and exfoliation until your skin has finished peeling. Do not pull, pick, or peel the skin with your fingers.

Q. What should I be using on my skin after my peel?

A.
Rhonda Allison requires that appropriate post care products be used in conjunction with certain types of peels, depending on the intensity. Such post care, which is unique to RA, reduces any dry and tight feeling, as well as helps heal and nourish the new skin that emerges as the damaged skin cells flake off.

Q. What does a chemical peel feel like?

A.
Most chemical peels range from a warm sensation on the skin, to tingling, stinging or burning. We have a fan handy for our clients to keep them comfortable throughout the process, and once the acid or enzyme is removed, this sensation gradually subsides.

Q. Who should NOT get a peel?

A.
You are not a candidate for a chemical peel if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have been on Accutane within the last six months. A comprehensive questionnaire must be filled out and consultation performed prior any chemical peel during which any allergies you may have, such as to Aspirin, any skin conditions or medications should be discussed with your esthetician.

Q. How soon after I get a peel, can I use laser?

A.
You can resume laser treatments on the affected area three to four weeks following a chemical peel.

Acne Treatments

Q. What is Smoothbeam?

A.
The Candela Smoothbeam Laser targets and heats the collagen in the upper dermis, stimulating the production of new collagen. The new collagen replaces damaged collagen, which plumps the skin, and fills in fine lines around the eyes and reduces the depth and edges of acne “pit” scars. In addition, the laser shrinks the sebaceous glands, which causes them to produce less oil and reduces the appearance of large pores. Finally, the Smoothbeam destroys the bacteria in the sebaceous glands that cause acne.

Q. How many treatments do I need?

A.
We suggest a series of 6 treatments spaced 4 weeks apart, however results vary with each person and additional sessions may be beneficial. What kinds of effects will I notice and how soon after the treatment? Typically, you will notice a reduction in oil production following your first treatment. If you have active acne, the break outs will become less frequent after your second or third treatment. By your fourth treatment, you will start to see the effects of the collagen production in a reduction in the appearance of your acne scars.

Q. How should I prepare for a Smoothbeam treatment?

A.
You must discontinue the use of any oral or topical antibiotic for two weeks, and any prescription strength Retin-A, or any retinoid product for one week prior to your treatment. Please be well hydrated - drink a lot of water for 24 hours before your treatment. We suggest no alcohol or caffeine for 24 hours prior, as both cause dehydration. In addition, you cannot have direct sun exposure on the area to be treated for four weeks before and after the treatment. Please come in with clean skin, free of makeup or lotions.

Q. What does the Smoothbeam feel like?

A.
The Smoothbeam Laser wavelength penetrates the upper dermis, which can be uncomfortable for most people. We suggest numbing with a topical anesthetic cream for 45 minutes to 1 hour prior to your treatment. This makes the procedure much more comfortable and the numbness feeling wears off shortly after the treatment.

Q. What can I expect after the treatment? Will I be red?

A.
You might experience mild redness after the treatment. This typically occurs if you are not properly hydrated and subsides within a few hours. Temporary discoloration of the skin may occur, however the skin will typically return to normal over time as long as the proper protocol has been followed prior to and following the treatment (well hydrated, no antibiotics, no direct sun exposure or tanning beds). Please refrain from the use of harsh topical products for 48 hours post-treatment. Please refrain from sun exposure for two weeks after the treatment. Wear sunblock with an SPF of 15 or higher daily.

Vessel Removal

Q. What is vessel reduction and how does it work?

A.
Vessel reduction is performed with our GentleYAG laser, which wavelength targets the hemoglobin, or oxygen-carrying pigment of red blood cells in dilated capillaries. The laser disrupts the blood flow and subsequently shuts down the offending vessel, which is then re-absorbed by the body.

Q. Who is a good candidate?

A.
Men and women that have dilated capillaries on their face or legs (also known as spider veins), as well as those clients that have larger vessels on the legs under 3mm in width are good candidates for the laser treatment.

Q. Who is NOT a good candidate?

A.
Clients with Rosacea, overall facial diffused redness, or varicose veins that protrude from the skin are not good candidates for laser treatments. If you take Accutane, photosensitive medications (such as antibiotics), or anticoagulants you may be unable to be treated until your course of medication is completed. The laser does not see bright “red” so those vessels that are only red in appearance may not be affected.

Q. What does it feel like?

A.
The treatment generally feels like a bee-sting, but can be more intense on larger vessels. No topical anesthetics may be used as this may effect blood flow and compromise the efficacy of the treatment.

Q. How many treatments will I need?

A.
You may need multiple treatments to achieve optimal results. We cannot guarantee that our laser will work on your vessels as everyone’s circulatory system is different.

Q. How should I prepare for the treatment?

A.
Please come to the treatment with shaved, clean skin, free of recent sun exposure and antibiotic use for at least two weeks prior. Do not take ibuprofen or aspirin for 48 hours before your treatment and for best results, refrain from drinking alcohol for 24 hours before and after the treatment.

Q. What can I expect after the treatment?

A.
Your skin may experience erythema (redness) at the site, as well as edema (swelling) which typically subsides in approximately 2 hours. In rare instances, there can be bruising on larger vessels, blistering or crusting. The healing process may take anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks depending on which areas are treated.

Q. What should I avoid after the treatment?

A.
You should treat the area as if you had a sun burn for the next 48 hours. Avoid hot baths or showers, strenuous exercise, massages, picking, scratching, or rubbing the area. In addition, no direct sun exposure or tanning beds for two weeks post-treatment.