Cosmetic Treatment Frequently Asked Questions

Enhancing Your Beauty within the cities of San Diego, Carlsbad, Del Mar & nearby areas of California

Laser Hair Removal

Who performs the treatments?

All of our laser hair removal procedures are performed by highly experienced Registered Nurses who have specialized training and multiple certifications in Aesthetics. Our on-site medical director is a double Board-Certified physician who will ensure that you attain your desired result while keeping safety the highest priority. With his expertise, together with our highly trained staff and the newest laser technology, you can expect to receive the highest level of service and care.

Who is a good candidate for hair removal? And what areas of the body can be treated?

Everyone! And with proper training and experience, and with appropriate equipment, hair can be safely and permanently reduced on almost any part of the body. The ideal candidate will have lighter skin with darker hair, which makes it easiest for the laser to target the hair follicle without affecting surrounding skin. People with darker skin tones may require a few more treatments. Give us a call! We are experienced at laser hair removal on all skin types and can customize your treatments to fit you.

How do I prepare for my laser hair removal treatment?

Please shave at least 1 day prior to your appointment or, even better, the day of your visit. You must absolutely avoid any tweezing, waxing or use of any other hair removal products in between treatments to make sure that all of the follicles can be targeted by the laser. Shaving is OK.

Stop the use of Accutane for at least 2 months prior to treatment and/or any other products that causes your skin to become sensitive to light such as Retin-A, St. John’s Wort and some antibiotics. Also, no tanning, self tanning sprays or tanning beds for at least 2 weeks prior to treatment. If you’ve had a chemical peel, Botox or any other fillers in the area being treated, we ask that you wait 2 weeks before your laser hair treatment. Note that you cannot be treated if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How many treatments will it take? And how much time is required in between?

At least 6 sessions are typically required; the majority of people will see desired results after this, although sometimes more treatments are necessary. We schedule your sessions about 6-8 weeks between treatments to allow the next crop of hair to grow out and be effectively removed. With this program, you can expect the best results.  We often call you to schedule your next appointment at the appropriate time.

What precautions should I take after my treatment?

We ask that you refrain from any rigorous exercise for a couple of days after your treatment to avoid irritation. Keep the treated area out of the direct sun light for at least 10 days and use a SPF 30 sunscreen every time you go out to avoid skin discoloration (hyperpigmentation). Don’t scrub the area with any abrasive skin cleaners.

Does it hurt? And will I have down time?

When the pulses of light are applied, a mild stinging sensation occurs, similar to that of a rubber band snapping against the skin. Clients have generally tolerated the treatments very well, since the advanced lasers we use employ an active cooling system for maximum comfort. There is generally no down time with laser hair removal and many clients come in for treatments during their lunch break, etc.

A few people report some mild redness for up to 24 hours. In some cases, it takes up to 2 weeks for all of the hair to fall out of the treated area.

Will my hair grow back after the first treatment? Are the treatments permanent?

Yes, you can expect your hair to grow back as normal – just less of it. As your treatments progress your hair will also feel less coarse and will grow less each time. It is important to know, however, that laser hair removal doesn’t prevent *new* hair growth, so occasional touch-ups may be required in the future.

Laser Wrinkle Reduction

What is laser wrinkle reduction?

This is a non-invasive procedure that uses a combination of laser light and radiofrequency energy to tighten skin by stimulating collagen growth under the skin. It also reduces pore size and removes minor irregularities, which can prematurely age the skin’s appearance.

What are the advantages of laser wrinkle reduction?

For one thing, it is less invasive than other rejuvenating procedures, such as a facelift. Also, results are noticeable sometimes immediately after the treatment, and there is little or no downtime. Additional skin tightening will often occur over the next few months after treatment.

How soon will I see a change? And how many treatments are needed?

Many patients notice immediate changes in the tone of their skin following treatment. However, since the process stimulates new collagen growth, it may take up to a few months to see full effect. Individual results vary, but optimal results may require at least two or three treatments spaced about a month apart.

What parts of the body can be treated?

Just about any area can be treated, although most people choose to treat their face and neck.

Photorejuvenation Skin Blemish Therapy

What is Photorejuvenation?

Photorejuvenation is a technology in which light is converted to heat energy when it reaches the collagen in the skin. Specific laser wavelengths of light can treat multiple skin conditions.

What does Photorejuvenation treat?

The procedure simultaneously treats damaged and photo-aged skin while stimulating collagen growth. Many signs of sun damage, red or brown age spots, rosacea, fine wrinkles and spider vessels can be effectively treated. Photofacial therapy can also improve the color, consistency, and texture of the skin all at once. Most people find that their skin looks and feels refreshed and smoother.

Is Photorejuvenation painful?

When the pulses of light are applied, a mild stinging sensation occurs, similar to that of a rubber band snapping against the skin. Avalon Laser offers a topical anesthetic 30 minutes prior to the treatment which can also help ease any discomfort, although we find it is rarely needed.

Is the treatment safe?

There have been few reported long-term side effects of Photorejuvenation, and the most common side effects — redness, minor swelling, and inflammation — usually go away within a few hours to a few days after treatment.

How long is each treatment? And how do I prepare for it?

Each treatment can last anywhere from 30-60 minutes depending on the area being treated. You must discontinue using Accutane for at least 2 months prior to treatment and/or any other products that causes your skin to become sensitive to light such as Retin-A, St. John’s Wort and certain antibiotics. Also, no tanning, self tanning sprays or tanning beds for at least 2 weeks prior to treatment. If you’ve had a chemical peel, Botox or any other fillers in the area being treated, we ask that you wait 2 weeks before your laser hair treatment.

How many treatments are required?

Generally 4 to 6 treatments are recommended to reach optimal results, each approximately one month apart. The initial treatment may even show only modest results while skin remodeling begins to occur in the deeper skin. However, subsequent treatments build upon this foundation to generate a deep improvement in the texture and elasticity of your skin.

For even better results, we recommend a chemical peel spaced between treatments to help you slough off the top layer of dead skin.

How do I take care of my skin after Photorejuvenation or skin blemish therapy?

Your skin may look slightly flushed temporarily. This mild "glow" will usually not be noticed by other individuals, however you can apply powder or makeup right away if you choose. We strongly recommend that a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher is worn at all times for a few days after treatment since your skin will be sensitive and more prone to sun damage.

How long does an improvement last on my skin?

Most patients experience long-term improvement in skin appearance and texture, with collagen buildup and lightening of brown pigmentation, red spots, age spots as well as considerable improvement in superficial telangiectasia’s (broken blood vessels). This results in fresher, smoother-looking skin. Maintenance treatments every 6 months can maintain the positive benefits that have been achieved.

Laser Acne/Acne Scar Reduction

What causes acne?

Acne and cystic acne can both be caused by several factors: hormones, certain foods, an over production of oil from the sebaceous glands and dead skin cells clogging the pores and bacteria. When the pores become blocked, acne bacteria, such as propionibacterium acne species, start to multiply and cause inflammation, redness and unsightly pimples.

How does laser acne reduction correct acne?

The laser light can destroy the bacteria that multiply within the acne and also target the overactive sebaceous glands that cause outbreaks of pustules.

What advantages does laser acne reduction have over other treatments for acne?

Laser acne treatment holds many advantages. It is non-invasive, quick, relatively pain-free and often works better. It also takes away the daily hassle of medications and frequent doctor-visits. Plus, it often works when traditional acne treatments have failed to produce results, because it targets the source of the problem.

Unlike treatments like antibiotics or Accutane, there are no side effects such as liver problems, birth defects, depression, or prolonged light-sensitivity. There is also no risk of bacterial resistance from extended antibiotic use.

Does the procedure hurt? How quickly does the treatment work? How long does it last?

The treatment has been likened to a rubber band snapping against the skin, which may leave your skin a little red but the procedure is well tolerated. Results can be apparent almost immediately. Unlike other treatments which can take months, laser acne reduction can show improvements within days. And the effects can be very long-lasting, even up to two years, which is much longer than most typical acne treatments.

Is laser acne treatment expensive?

Compared with the cost of doctor’s office visits, antibiotics, mandatory birth control with Accutane, benzoyl peroxide and special makeup, the cost of laser acne reduction is very competitive.

How does laser acne scar reduction work?

By using a combination of special fractional optical energy, combined with specialized skin treatments, laser acne scar treatment can induce the growth of collagen to minimize skin unevenness, smooth skin texture and reduce the appearance of irregular pigmentation that make acne scars visible. Depending on the severity of the acne scars, different treatments will be combined to provide you with the best results.

What kind of side effects can I expect?

Some people find that the treated skin is red and a little swollen, so you should schedule treatments so that you will have a few days to recover and not attend any special events immediately afterwards. Otherwise there is no recovery time and you can return to normal activities immediately.

Juvederm

What is Juvederm and what does it do?

Juvederm is an injectable gel composed mostly of hyaluronic acid, which is  a substance that occurs naturally in your own body. It is injected into the skin to restore skin volume and smooth away facial wrinkles and folds like your "smile lines", marionette lines and the nasolabial folds, which run from the bottom of your nose to the corners of your mouth. With proper use, deeper permanent wrinkles and folds can be corrected and reduced.

What makes Juvederm different from other collagen fillers?

Juvederm is the only hyaluronic acid (HA) filler FDA approved to last up to 1 year. It has a smooth consistency that provides a smooth, natural look and feel. And, Juvederm is the first such dermal filler that has demonstrated safety and effectiveness in persons of color.

How is Juvederm used in treatment?

Our physician or nurse uses a fine needle to temporarily fill in and augment the treatment area and smooth moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds. Juvederm temporarily adds volume to the skin and may give the appearance of a smoother surface.

How long does the treatment take? And how does it last?

The injection itself takes about 15 to 30 minutes. After obtaining a medical history and evaluating your skin, our physician or nurse will numb the area to be treated and inject into the areas desired. Treatment with Juvederm can last up to one year!

What kind of side effects can I expect?

Most side effects are mild or moderate in nature, and their duration is short lasting (7 days or less). The most common side effects include, but are not limited to, temporary injections site reactions such as redness, pain/tenderness, firmness, swelling, lumps/bumps, bruising, itching, and discoloration. As with all skin injection procedures there is a slight risk of infection.

BOTOX® Cosmetic

What is BOTOX®?

BOTOX® is a protein used as a muscle-relaxing agent that works at motor nerve endings (nerves that lead to muscles) to relax facial muscles. When injected underneath skin, it prevents the muscles that cause wrinkles from contracting and minimizes lines and facial wrinkles.

What areas can be treated?

BOTOX® Cosmetic is used to treat moderate to severe wrinkles and facial creases such as frown lines between the eyebrows, horizontal forehead lines, and crows feet around the eyes. It can also be used to provide a "brow lift" and reduce "smoker’s lines" around the mouth.

BOTOX® for Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Underarm Sweating)

Axillary hyperhidrosis (sweating of the armpits) that does not respond to topical antiperspirants can be treated with Botox. When injected into areas of the skin that produce excess sweat, BOTOX® temporarily inactivates the the sweat-glands and provides relief.

How long do the effects last?

The effects of BOTOX® in the underarm area can last for as long as 6 months.

Who does the injections?

All of the treatments at Avalon Laser are performed by nurses and our physician and Medical Director.

Does the injection hurt?

A very tiny needle is used for the procedure. A few patients report minor and temporary discomfort from the injection but numbing agents can be used to help minimize discomfort if you choose.

How long does the procedure take?

How long does it take to see results?

The procedure can take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes. Since the procedure is nonsurgical, no recovery time is needed, although in most people it may take 3-7 days for peak effect. After BOTOX® Cosmetic treatment, you can get back to work or other activities right away.

Is there any danger from BOTOX®?

No. Given by a trained physician or nurse in the correct amount, there is no danger of serious side effects from BOTOX®.

VelaShape Body Contouring

What is VelaShape body contouring?

VelaShape is a state-of-the-art technology for treatment of body fat tissue that is sometimes refractory to dieting and other means of fat reduction. It is the only FDA-approved procedure that safely shapes and slims the body. By using a combination of both infrared and RF (radio frequency) elos energy, VelaShape heats fat below skin and shrinks it. During the procedure, the treated area is gently heated and massaged to break up the fatty tissue.

What conditions does VelaShape body contouring treat and how much improvement can I expect?

VelaShape can treat excessive body fat below the skin, in addition to reducing stretch marks, love handles and cellulite effectively. It is also FDA-approved for circumferential fat reduction on the body. Many people report significant improvement in addition to firming of the skin.

And in some studies, VelaShape reduced the circumference of treated thighs by an average of an inch!

What parts of the body can get treated?

VelaShape can be used almost anywhere on the body. Most people, however, tend to treat problem fat or cellulite areas such as thighs, arms, buttocks, love handles, or abdomen. And VelaShape works great to reduce the fat that leads to sagging arms and neck lines.

How long does the procedure last? And what do I need to do before I come in?

Sessions can last anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the treated area. Before your session, you will want to wash the treated area thoroughly and avoid using any lotions, creams or perfumes on your skin beforehand. Please shave the area to be treated. It is also good to use a washcloth to exfoliate the overlying skin and remove dead skin cells beforehand.

How many treatments are needed? And do the results last?

Best results are seen with 4 to 6 treatments, spaced about 1 week apart. And most people do report lasting benefits. However, to maintain your results, we recommend exercising regularly and eating a nutritious, balanced diet, with periodic VelaShape treatments, as needed, to help. By following a healthy lifestyle, you can keep unwanted fat and cellulite from coming back.

Is Velashape body contouring safe?

Absolutely. There are no drugs used or any reported long-term side effects. Most people retain a sensation of warmth or heat for several hours after treatment. Occasionally, you may experience some redness, swelling, and (rarely) bruising, but these tend to subside quickly. You can return to your normal activities right away.

Medical Grade Peel

What is a medical-grade peel?

Medical-grade chemical peels are specially formulated compounds that are used only by doctors and nurses to treat a variety of skin conditions. They can eliminate wrinkles, pigment spots, facial scars and dull looking skin. These treatments are an excellent way to achieve dramatic improvements in skin tone and reduce superficial lines especially when used in combination with laser treatments.

How does a medical-grade peel work?

Chemical peeling promotes acceleration in the turnover of skin cells induced by the peeling agent. The skin responds with shedding, promoting new cell growth and new formation of natural collagen. The rapid turnover of cells also has the benefit of killing the bacteria that cause acne and shedding pigment, thus eliminating age spots for a more clear complexion. Chemical peels work best in conjunction with laser treatments. Several treatments are sometimes needed to achieve optimal results.

How do I know if I am a good candidate for a peel?

A chemical peel is a great treatment for skin that is sun damaged, has areas of uneven pigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, milia, large pores, melasma, freckles, acne, and superficial acne scars. Patients should also be physically healthy. Some peels cannot be done if you are pregnant.

What areas of the body can be treated?

Your face, neck, chest, hands, arms, legs and back can all be treated effectively.

How soon will I start to peel?

The degree to which a patient will peel is determined by the strength of a peel.

Within the first 2-3 days after the peel, patients will notice tightening and darkening of the treatment area, which can be covered up with makeup. On the 3rd or 4th day afterwards, the peeling process will begin and typically lasts for another 2-3 days. Avalon Laser strongly recommends using a sunscreen 25 SPF of higher as well as staying out of the sun during this period.

What is the recovery period like after a chemical peel?

The recovery period after a peel will vary according to the strength of the peel.

During recovery, some tingling, swelling and redness can occur, and a crust may form on the treated area. Peeling starts soon after. Recovery can last about 5-8 days, although it can be shorter or longer, depending on the peel strength.

What types of peels are available?

Your doctor or nurse may use a Salicylic acid peel, Jessner peel or TCA (trichloroacetic acid) peel. We also have proprietary peels for different skin conditions. The strength of the peel, number of layers applied and other treatments will depend on multiple factors, including your skin type, age and the specific condition being treated. Different peels can also be used at different times to achieve desired results.

Before and After Care Instructions

PREPARING FOR YOUR LASER HAIR REMOVAL APPOINTMENT

PREPARING FOR YOUR CHEMICAL PEEL

PREPARING FOR YOUR IPL APPOINTMENT

PREPARING FOR YOUR VELASHAPE

DERMA-PEN CARE INSTRUCTIONS

PREPARING FOR YOUR CLEAR & BRILLIANT APPOINTMENT