Welcome to Ivory Taylor Hair and Beauty in Colchester
Are You Considering Cosmetic Laser Treatment?
The popularity of Laser treatments for common conditions such as unwanted hair, thread veins and sun damage has increased hugely in the last 5 years in line with our overall demand for plastic surgery. This rise in demand has lead to the uptake of laser (or IPL) systems into many beauty salons and the creation of 'medi-spa' type clinics. Competition amongst these outlets has lowered treatment prices, making aesthetic medical procedures far more affordable and accessible.
Whether you choose to attend a beauty salon or private hospital for your laser treatment, there are several essential facts you should be aware of before you commence treatment. We have seen the radical changes in the aesthetic laser industry and the consequent increase in incidents of long term/permanent scarring as a result of a Laser/IPL treatment. Following, are some essential questions you should ask of a Laser/IPL clinic to reassure you that you have the best chance of receiving a high standard of treatment.
The most essential fact to check is that the clinic is registered with the Care Quality Commission, and can show you a registration certificate. The Care Quality Commission regulates medical establishments and all providers of any type of Laser/IPL treatment. Any clinic practising without registration is an illegal establishment.
At this time, there are approximately 500 registered providers in the UK, with an estimated 5000 Laser/IPL systems sold. Care Quality Commission registration will ensure that the clinic meets strict codes and standards of practice. The Care Quality Commission lists all registered clinics on their web site, and so you could visit www.cqc.org.uk to confirm that your chosen clinic is registered.
It is essential that your IPL/laser operator can show evidence of Laser training within the last 12 months, as all operators are required to have yearly update training. The longer a clinic or operator has been practising the better, and so ask them how long they personally and the clinic has had the system in place. Most operators are trained by the system manufacturer, but there is also a BTEC qualification in Laser treatments offered in the UK
A word of mouth recommendation is usually a good indication of a clinic offering safe, effective, high standard treatments. If you approach a clinic for treatment, ask them for a list of clients that you could speak to yourself.
The clinic should offer you a thorough no-obligation consultation, which will include an assessment of your skin, medical history and current medications to confirm your suitability for treatment.
It is also an opportunity for you to raise your questions, see 'before and after' examples and get an approximate cost for each session. Ask about eye protection and skin cooling too, as these are essential elements of safe treatment.
Giving informed consent
Any IPL or laser treatment could potentially cause unwanted side effects, such as mild burning or blistering (with the risk of scarring if the blisters take time to heal) or long term darkening or lightening of the skin due to pigment changes. The clinic should give you information on both the benefits and risks of the treatment, so that you can make an informed choice before proceeding. You should be given information on the treatment risks and benefits to take home to read after any consultation or treatment.
It is important that you are not over-sold the capability of the treatment. For some treatments it is clinically very difficult to provide a guarantee of permanency or the total number of treatments that will be required. Many unwanted conditions are induced/controlled by hormones, and are therefore prone to reoccur later in life as hormone levels alter. Most conditions can be significantly improved after laser/IPL treatments and therefore the clinic should give you reasonable expectations of the likely outcome.
Your suitability for laser treatment
Contrary to popular belief, darker skin tones have a higher your risk of developing an unwanted side effect from Laser/IPL treatment.
If you have a dark skin tone ask if the clinic has treated other clients of your skin type successfully before. The area to be treated should not be tanned from natural sun exposure or fake tan at the time of the treatment. Similarly some over the counter or prescribed medications can make your skin photo-sensitive and unsuitable for treatment.
Hopefully, armed with these facts you should be able to make an informed and wise choice for your aesthetic laser treatment and enjoy the benefits for many years.