FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) ABOUT LASER CERTIFICATION AND LASER TREATMENTS
The Internet is a great resource to learn about things, but it also contains a lot of incorrect information.
After all, anyone can post anything they want on the internet. Anyone can call themselves an expert, and anyone can make themselves look good by designing a really nifty website.
Just because information is on a website, or just because someone calls him/herself an expert, or just because the website is the most professional-looking website ever produced, does not mean the content contained in the website is true or that the person claiming to be an expert really is.
The information on the internet about laser treatments, their effectiveness, their side effects, and how laser treatments work isn’t all true. In fact, some of the articles are far from the truth. The purpose of this page is to provide accurate information about laser treatments and laser certification.
Please note: we’re not suggesting that we know everything, but based on our experience, we have found these following questions to be inaccurately answered on the internet when doing a general search. We’re presenting answers that we think are more accurate, and which are based on our experience.
What are the health risks of laser treatments? The laser treatment is very safe; organs and lymph nodes do not absorb the laser light due to the limited depth of penetration. However, if light sensitivity is a concern, the laser light flashing may trigger a migraine. In addition, there can be some unwanted side effects if customer is taking any photosensitive drugs. If there is a concern, it is recommended that you perform a test spot and wait a week to see if there is any side effect. Also, it is our policy to not treat a pregnant person.
How much money can I make as a laser tech? The laser industry is relatively new, and the potential of income is only getting stronger. Wages and salaries vary depending on where you live and the number of certified laser techs that are needed in that area. If you work for yourself, you will probably always make more money (but you are also responsible for every aspect of the business). Regardless, the key to making money in this industry is to have a good laser and enough clients to fill your schedule. Keep your prices reasonable and competitive and your schedule filled, you can easily make a minimum of $50,000 a year. The sky is the limit though. The smarter and harder you work, the more money you’ll make.
What are the side effects to laser treatments? The good ones: stuff goes away. Negative ones include temporary swelling, redness, hyper pigmentation, hypo pigmentation, and bruising. Rare side effects include scarring and blistering.
Do I have to be a doctor, nurse, esthetician, or cosmetologist to do laser treatments? In the United States, more than half of the 50 states have no licensing or certification requirement. This means that anyone can operate a laser. It is often the private office, med spa, or doctor’s office that requires the technician have other credentials in addition to a Laser Certification. Check with your state or local government licensing agency for the most current and accurate rules and regulations. In most states, there must be a supervising medical director with a medical license who supervises the practice.
If the State I live in doesn’t require that I have a license, then why do I need a Certificate from a Laser School? Whether you are going to work for a laser business or start your own, it is recommended that you acquire Malpractice and Liability insurance. Most insurance companies require that anyone operating the laser be certified to operate a laser. Lasers are medical devices with the potential to permanently damage someone. You want to make sure you are covered in the event that something goes wrong during a laser treatment, or someone trips outside your office. In addition, because you are using a medical device, wouldn’t it be a good idea to get trained to use it? Would it be a good idea to drive a car if you had never studied how to drive?
How does laser hair removal work? The laser light is attracted to the melanin in the hair follicles, particularly in the bulb and bulge. Heat is collected there, damaging the cells’ lining to the hair follicle with the potential to also damage the vascular matrix, preventing future hair from growing. Basically, it disconnects the blood supply that feeds the follicle.
Can the laser get gray, white, or blond hair? Technically, no, but often there is some pigment in gray and blond hair, and we have had some success in reducing this hair color. We encourage you to try a few treatments. What do you have to lose?
Does this process cause hair to grow? Hormones are the main thing that activate or deactivate hair to grow. And in contrast to many wives’ tales, the act of shaving or plucking does not activate hair to grow (if that were true, bald men would be shaving and plucking and we’d have no bald men).
How many laser hair removal treatments will I need? There are countless cycles of hair growth and only a certain number of hairs may be growing at the time of the treatment. The minimum number of treatments is typically 6; the average number of treatments it takes to get rid of all the hair is 10. This makes sense, since at any given time, only about 10% of your hair is in the growing stage (the anagen stage). But results vary, and everybody has a different body. Hormones, stress, lifestyle…all these affect how and when your hair grow. So Jane Doe may need more or less treatments than Joanne Doe.
I didn’t see much result after my last hair removal treatment. Did it work last time? Assuming the laser used is a good laser and that the settings were accurate and the technician went over the area thoroughly, then yes, the treatment worked. Remember that an average of 10% of the hair is in the growing stage at any given time. This means that the hair follicle has blood feeding the root, and the cells surrounding those hair follicles are killed. Some months you are just hairier than other months, and you have more hair in the growing stage. Sometimes there is 30% in the growing stage; sometimes maybe only 8%. Think of the five million hair follicles in your body as 5 million children—they all have a mind of their own, they do their own thing in the own time in their own way. Not one of the hairs sticking out of your skin is just like its neighbor.
I have white skin and fine hair. I heard lasers won’t work well on me. Is this true? In some cases, yes. BUT there are lasers available that are safe and effective on any skin color, from the fairest skin to the darkest pigment. The texture of the hair (how thick/coarse or thin/wiry) it is can also be a challenge for some lasers. Again, though, please know there are lasers available that are effective at significantly reducing the amount of hair growing. The GentleYag and GentleLase lasers made by the Candela Corporation are the best lasers for removing any color and texture of hair on any skin color, safely and quickly.
I have dark skin and dark hair. I heard lasers are too powerful to work on my skin without damaging and scarring it. Is this true? In some cases, yes. BUT there are there are lasers available that are safe and effective on any skin color, from the fairest skin to the darkest pigment. The texture of the hair (how thick/coarse or thin/wiry) it is can also be a challenge for some lasers. Again, though, please know there are lasers available that are effective at significantly reducing the amount of hair growing. The 1064 nm Nd:Yag laser is what you want to use; the GentleYag made by the Candela Corporation is the best laser for Iasering dark skin. there are lasers available that are safe and effective on any skin color, from the fairest skin to the darkest pigment. The texture of the hair (how thick/coarse or thin/wiry) it is can also be a challenge for some lasers. Again, though, please know there are lasers available that are effective at significantly reducing the amount of hair growing. The GentleYag and GentleLase lasers made by the Candela Corporation are the best lasers for removing any color and texture of hair on any skin color, safely and quickly.
I heard that if I have dark skin that I should make sure a doctor does my treatment. Is this true? No. With all due respect to doctors, when it comes to permanently removing hair, it is the type of laser that is more important than who performs the treatment. Just because a doctor is doing something does not mean it’s going to be a safer or more effective treatment than if someone with proper training and education is doing the treatment. If a doctor has an inadequate machine, nothings/he does is going to make the laser work better. This said, in some states, only a doctor can fire the laser, and so in that case, be safe and follow the rule and make sure a doctor does the procedure. The deciding factor in choosing someone to do your laser treatments should be the laser s/he uses.
I’m pregnant and want to get a laser treatment. Good idea or bad idea? Bad idea. No laser tech should knowingly do a laser treatment on a pregnant woman. There are about a million things that have to go perfectly right in order for a baby to properly develop in a woman’s womb; don’t add to the challenges.
Why is it necessary to shave any area that’s going to be treated with a laser? There are a few reasons: 1) you don’t want to smell burning hair, 2) you want the power of the laser to go to what it’s targeting (hair bulb, brown spot, spider vein, etc.) and not just staying on the surface of the skin, and 3) you want to avoid a fire hazard.
I heard lasers can’t treat tanned skin. True or false? True. In many cases the laser will damage the skin. There are some 1064 nm Nd:Yag lasers that are FDA-approved to treat tanned skin, but to be safe, have the client avoid the sun, tanning beds, spray tans, and sunless tanning creams for at least a week prior to the treatment.
Should I use something on my brown spots to make the brown spot removal treatment work better? Sure, if you want. Use a hydroquinone product. But a good laser is going to be much better than any product you use.
Is post treatment swelling normal for spider vein treatments? Yes. It’s a sign the laser treatment was effective.
What is the best aftercare for tattoo removal? If it was an effective laser treatment, there will probably be some swelling and maybe even have some open wounds. So treat the wound like you would if you’d scraped yourself: don’t pick or scratch, keep the area clean and dry, and use an antibiotic treatment to prevent infection.
Is it common for laser hair removal clients to have itchy legs after their treatment? Yes, this is a histamine reaction to the laser. It’s not dangerous and laser manufacturers admit they don’t know what causes these symptoms. The symptoms are usually temporary and can be treated with an over-the-counter anti-itch product.
Are all lasers the same? Why or why not? No, all lasers are not the same. Each device has its own specific wavelength which specifically targets something specific. Lasers are engineered differently and their components are different. It’s like saying that a motorcycle, automobile, and speed boat are the same thing. They each are a mode of transportation, but they are completely different.
Why is there a need for multiple treatments? Hair Removal: hair grows in cycles, and a good laser will target the hair that’s in the growing cycle. Not all the hair sticking out of the skin at the time of a treatment is in the growing cycle. Tattoo Removal: the depth and age of the ink take some time to break down and can’t be erased in one setting without severely and permanently damaging the skin. Vascular Treatments: The laser can target only one color at a time and that color breaks down in stages. Skin Tightening: Collagen regeneration is based on microcellular regrowth, which takes time.