In general, laser treatments are safe if performed by experienced, well trained physicians or nurses. I’ve found that there are a few things to watch for before undergoing a treatment:
- Beware of salons that don’t have a licensed medical doctor at the site. Some salons or spas are chains that have a medical director supervising one or more sites without having a close daily involvement with the patients and staff.
- Beware of a site that pressures you to purchase a series of laser treatments upfront. The clinics like this because it’s lucrative for them. The problems with this are: 1. You might not like the treatments. 2. The treatments might not work as well as you hoped. 3. You might not need more than one or two treatments. 4. I’ve had patients say they paid for a set of treatments and the office or spa closed down before the series was completed. If you do prepay for a set of treatments, I suggest getting their refund policy in writing before you pay. Also, make sure they have been in business for a few years and have a good track record.
- Beware of places that don’t offer to do a test site (for a minimal fee) before a treatment if you have darker skin. In general, laser procedures are more risky in darker skinned people, so doing a test site is safer.
- Beware of places that try to upsell you and pressure you to have additional types ot treatments. It’s not unusual to have a spa advertise a low cost “loss leader” treatment just to get you in the door with the idea that you can be convinced to purchase more costly procedures.
- Beware of places that will start treating a few different areas at one visit. For laser hair removal it’s better initially to do just one or two areas a few times in order to make sure you’re getting good results.
- Beware of places that claim to treat “any color hair”. It’s very hard, if not impossible, to get a significant reduction in white, or grey, hair.
- Beware of places that promise to eliminate cellulite. Most unbiased experts in this field agree that there is no proven method to significantly reduce cellulite.