My Experience of Laser Hair Removal at sk:n
Kirsty has suffered from PCOS (poly cystic ovaries syndrome) for many years. One of the more distressing symptoms for many women like Kirsty is male-pattern hair growth, particularly on the face. Sufferers can become obsessed with plucking waxing, threading and shaving – but of course none of these offer a permanent solution, and as you get older the issue tends to get worse.
Q. How did you feel about your first treatment?
A. When I first heard that I had been selected to undergo a free course of treatment I was thrilled. It came at exactly the right time as I had recently been to my doctors about the worsening of my PCOS and left the surgery in tears, because, although there are NICE approved treatments available on the NHS, due to funding cutbacks, none of these are allowed to be funded in my area. Many other women around the UK may also be finding their GPs reluctant or unable to authorise effective treatments for something that is deemed a cosmetic issue, regardless of the psychological effects it has on people.
The staff from sk:n have been unfailingly sympathetic and helpful and have put me at ease at every step of the way. I'm disabled, so I sometimes face some accessibility challenges, but this was no problem at all for sk:n. I found the staff to be very thoughtful and helpful – I’d definitely give them 10/10 for accessibility.
Q. What were your expectations of laser hair removal?
A. I expected that there may be some pain in the procedure, but it has been described as being akin to having an elastic band twanged off your skin. The staff definitely put me at ease so I wasn't at all worried about my appointment – I was excited.
I knew that laser hair removal for PCOS is expected to typically give around an 80-90% improvement, but is not guaranteed to remove all of the hair indefinitely, as your body will keep producing the hormones that cause the growth. However, it will make a noticeable difference, and for me, every little helps.
Q. What happened during your consultation?
A. The staff were all fantastically welcoming and helpful. They are used to people visiting for treatment for a variety of issues, so are unfailingly kind and welcoming.
The room is airconditioned, spotlessly clean and professional and the laser machine also has a cold air feed to blow on your face to help prevent discomfort. The practitioner explained how the procedure works, what I might feel and what aftercare requirements there would be. I was asked to wear blackout goggles to prevent any eye exposure to the laser whilst the practitioner carried out a patch test. My chin and neck then had some cooling aloe vera gel rubbed in and I was advised to apply it at home, as well as sun cream whenever leaving the house. After a couple of days, once I was sure I was happy with the treatment, I called and booked my first appointment.
Q. What happened during your first treatment?
A. The staff double-checked if there had been any changes since my consultation, re-explained the treatment, then went ahead and had me lie on the couch for my first full laser hair removal session. As with the test patches, for the most-part I felt nothing at all. Only once or twice, with what were presumably the thickest, darkest hairs, did I feel a slight sting, but it was only for a split second. Of course, the hair isn't simply going to go away after one treatment; you need a full course to see results, so I still need to carry on shaving in the meantime. To give you an idea of how bad mine is: if I shave last thing at night, by the morning the stubble is already back again. I can't wait to see the back of it.
We caught up with Kirsty after she’d had six laser hair removal sessions to find out how she felt about the results.
KIRSTY'S BEFORE AND AFTERS
Q. How do you feel now you have finished your course of treatments?
A. My quality of life has improved so much; my self-confidence is higher and I no longer feel constantly self-conscious about how I look. I used to pluck the hairs obsessively, I never went anywhere without tweezers and even had them by the bedside because if I felt a bristle on my face I simply couldn’t sleep until it was gone. It took over my life. Now though, I would say there has been well over a 95% improvement. I finished the course a couple of weeks ago and haven't had to pluck since. I am thrilled to bits with the results. I noticed a steady improvement from the first session all the way through. It's now one less thing I have to worry about.
Q. There are lots of other laser hair removal providers out there. Some, unlike sk:n, are performing the treatment with little or no training or regulation. How do you feel about this?
A. I am not happy about untrained and unregulated practitioners carrying out such treatments. If they’re not performed correctly, it could cause skin damage and scarring.
Q. Would you recommend sk:n to others?
A. I absolutely have done. It's a frequent question on the PCOS groups online and I'm so happy with my own results that I want others to feel that way too. I have friends who want hair removal for other reasons and I recommend sk:n to them as well.
Q. If you could give a message to others thinking about laser hair removal, what would you say?
A. I would say absolutely do it! If you are as miserable as I was about problem hair and it takes over your life, then it makes a real difference. The staff are so friendly and welcoming, no matter who you are or what you look like, there's no need to feel embarrassed as everyone there understands. Even other clients in the waiting room are there because they feel the same way you do and have something they want to resolve. It's always a warm and understanding environment.
Q. What are the top three reasons you would give to someone to come to sk:n for treatment?
A. Highly trained, professional, friendly staff; clinics across the UK who are welcoming to disabled customers and; effective results!