Laser Hair Removal 

Pre-Treatment Instructions

  • You MUST avoid bleaching, plucking or waxing hair for 4-6 weeks prior to treatment. The melanin-containing hair must be present in the follicle as it is the "target" for the laser light.
  • RECENTLY TANNED SKIN CANNOT BE TREATED. If treated within 2 weeks of active (natural sunlight or tanning booth) tanning, you may develop hypopigmentation (white spots) after treatment that could last 3+ months. 
  • Avoid the sun 4-6 weeks before and after the treatment until your healthcare provider allows it. Epidermal melanocytes compete with melanin in the hair.
  • Complexions may request that you stop using any topical medications or skin care products 3-5 days prior to treatment.
  • If you have had a history of peri-oral or genital herpes simplex virus, Complexions may recommend a prophylactic antiviral therapy. Follow the directions from your particular antiviral medication. 
  • If you have a tan or darker skin type, a bleaching regimen may be started 4-6 weeks before treatment.
  • The use of self-tanning skin products must be discontinued one week before treatment. Any residual self-tanner should be removed prior to treatment. 

Post-Treatment Care

  • Immediately after treatment, there should be erythema (redness) and edema (swelling) of each hair follicle in the treatment site, which may last up to 2+ hours. The erythema may last up to 2-3 days. The treated area will feel like a sunburn for a few hours after treatment. 
  • Complexions may use an optional cooling method after treatment to ensure your comfort. 
  • A topical soothing skincare product (ie. aloe vera gel) may be applied following treatment if desired. 

Skin Types

Skin type may be characterized by two separate scales: the Fitzpatrick Classification Method which is based on skin response to sun, and the Lancer Ethnicity Scale which is based on genetic factors. 

Although every individual has got one specific type, there may be variations in color in different body locations. Thus, areas which are exposed to more sun, such as the face, will be darker than hidden areas. There is also different natural coloration (such as the inner and outer bikini line). The color should be taken into consideration when treating a specific area. 

Fitzpatrick Classification Model

The Fitzpatrick scale is based on the response of the skin to 30 minutes exposure to sun without sun block. It determines the patient's potential to tan or burn. 

  • Type I: White- always burns, never tan
  • Type II: White- usually burns, difficult tan
  • Type III: White- sometimes burns, good tan
  • Type IV: Olive- rarely burns, good tan
  • Type V: Brown- very rarely burns, easy tan
  • Type VI: Black- never burns, very easy tan

Lancer Ethnicity Scale (Genetic Factors) 

The Lancer Scale is based on typical skin tone representation of ethnicities which help to predict light-tissue interaction, depending on genetic pre-disposition of melanocyte activity. Usually hair and eye color may also help in skin classification. 

General Classifications: 

  • Caucasian: I-III (Celtic is I, Mediterranean is III)
  • Asian, Latin: IV
  • East Indian: V
  • Black: VI


  • Pacemaker or internal defibrillator 
  • Superficial metal or other implants in the treatment area
  • Currently diagnosed with/history of skin cancer, or current condition of any other type of cancer, or pre-malignant moles
  • Severe concurrent conditions (ie. cardiac disorders)
  • Pregnancy/nursing 
  • Impaired immune system due to immunosuppressive diseases (ie. AIDS or HIV) or use of immunosuppressive medications
  • Diseases which may be stimulated by the wavelengths used (Systemic Lupus, Erythematosus, Porphyria, Epilepsy) 
  • Patients with a history of diseases stimulated by heat (ie. Herpes Simplex) may be treated only following a prophylactic regimen
  • Poorly controlled endocrine disorders (ie. Diabetes)
  • Any active condition in the treatment area, such as sores, Psoriasis, eczema or rash
  • History of skin disorders, keloids, abnormal wound healing, or very dry/fragile skin
  • History of bleeding coagulothapies or use of anticoagulants