Frequently Asked Questions

Permanent Hair Removal

How does it work when removing hair?

The visible light source used in this treatment procedure is attracted to melanin, which is the pigment found in hair.  Because the light is attracted to dark colors the darker the hair is the more effective the treatment.  During the treatment procedure a gel is applied to the skin to aid the treatment.  The applicator is then pressed onto the skin and the light leaves the applicator.  The light is then absorbed into the hair follicle causing a heat reaction within the follicle to destroy the hair.

Ellipse IPL is a safe and effective treatment for the removal of unwanted hair.  We would recommend a course of 3-6 treatments with 6-8 weeks intervals in between for the best results.  When you come in for treatment hair is needed on the treatment area so all methods of hair removal must be avoided for 4 weeks prior to treatment. Sun exposure should also be avoided 4 weeks prior to treatment and 4 weeks after.  As the treatments progress the amount of hair present on the area will reduce and become much finer in texture so you will not be as aware of it.

Who can be treated?

Clients with dark hair will find the treatment most effective due to the large concentration of melanin found in the hair, which gives an optimal absorption of the light energy.
Clients with fair hair will find the treatment less effective as there is little melanin found in the hair therefore less heat is produced, giving less certainty of the destruction of the hair.  This means blonde, white and gray hairs cannot be effectively treated.
The upper layer of the skin also contains melanin and the concentration increases when the skin is exposed to UV-light.  It is therefore necessary to treat darker skinned and tanned individuals with less energy to avoid generation of heat on the skin.  The ideal client to treat is fair skinned with dark hairs but the Ellipse system has pre-programmed treatment suggestions for different hair and pigment types and can treat most skin types. 

Does it hurt?

A common & important question asked by most clients!
The treatment sensation varies from area to area and from client to client.  As the light energy is absorbed by melanin, the sensation that is felt depends upon the amount of melanin found in the epidermis and the hairs.  Therefore it hurts more if you are dark skinned or have dense black hair. 
Because of the special filtering system of the Ellipse IPL the sensation experienced is much less than that of other IPL treatments as there is no heating of the skin, only of the hair follicles.  Most clients describe the sensation as quite moderate almost like the snapping of a rubber band & say that it is better than the pain of waxing.

What happens to the hair after the treatment?

After the treatment you will leave with hair, the heat produced from the Ellipse system kills the hair in the follicle but the hairs remain in the follicles and have often become attached to the epidermis.  These hairs will start to shed/fall out in a 1-3 week period after the treatment as the epidermis is renewed.  During this period it may seem that the hairs are growing as the epidermis pushes them out. 
If the hair bothers you while it is shedding from the skin you can shave the area 48 hours after the treatment and for the next few weeks while it is shedding.  Exfoliation with a body brush or mild scrub is also recommended to encourage the shedding process.

What are the after effects?

The most common skin reaction is a mild erythema/redness of the skin (similar to a post waxing reaction) this normally subsides a few hours to a few days after the treatment.  In rare cases transient pigmentation changes of the skin can occur or small blisters as from excessive sun can occur. 

Is any post treatment necessary?

We would advise that you avoid the sun for at least 30 days after treatment.  It is also advised to avoid all perfumed products and heat treatments for 48 hours.  Clients with very delicate skin may also benefit from an application of 100% aloe Vera gel as and when necessary.  (A full list of post treatment recommendations is given to you after your treatment)

What precautions are needed?

Eye protection glasses are worn by both the technician and yourself whilst receiving your treatment.
You should avoid tanning 1 month ahead of and during the entire treatment scenario to avoid excessive pain or burns from excessive light absorption in the epidermis.  Immediately after the treatment the skin is particularly sensitive to UV light. A sunscreen of at least SPF 20/30 must be used for 30 days after treatment.

How many treatments are needed for permanent hair reduction?

To answer this question we need to discuss the hair growth cycle.

There are 3 different stages of hair growth.

When we treat an area all hair growth stages are targeted however only hair in the anagen (growth) stage can be treated successfully as this is where the hair is attached to the bulb and blood supply and is most likely to be destroyed.  The hairs can be in any of these three stages at any one time.  The number of hairs in the anagen phase at any one time varies from 10-70% depending on the body site. 
We would therefore recommend 3-6 treatments with 6-8 week intervals for the best results.

Is the Ellipse treatment like waxing or electrolysis?

No.  Ellipse hair removal is quite different from electrolysis and waxing. 
In comparison to electrolysis - Electrolysis is a much slower process, as the needle has to be inserted into the hair follicle one at a time.  Electrolysis is also quite painful and can cause side effects such as scarring; its success is also dependant on a good operator.
In comparison to waxing - waxing can be painful.  The hair growth needs to be a certain length before waxing can be repeated.  In some cases the after effects of waxing can be a disadvantage i.e. in-growing hairs and skin reaction.
Ellipse treats larger areas of hair growth in shorter periods of time.  It is less painful, much faster, and more convenient and has shown to reduce in-growing hairs and skin reaction.        

Is permanent hair removal possible?

Nobody knows for sure.  Hair management is an increasingly used terminology.  After the first treatment the client gets significant reduction in hair density.  Also re-grown hairs tend to become much finer and slightly less dark. 

What can the client expect as far as results?

With the Ellipse treatment the results are as follows:
The number of hairs will become reduced in the treatment area.
Hair will become finer & less pigmented in the treatment area.
Overall the hair will grow back less visible on the treatment area.


Photo Rejuvenation

How does the Photo Rejuvenation treatment work?

The light is absorbed by the darker areas of skin & the superficial blood vessels in the skin and the heat reaction reduces the colour of pigmentation, reduces redness in the skin, reduces pore size & stimulates collagen production.  Your skin will appear visibly younger, brighter & clearer.

How does the treatment feel?

It is a sharp, warm sensation which lasts just a short moment, and although slightly uncomfortable will vary from person to person depending on the amount of pigmentation in the area.  Afterwards the area will feel quite warm a bit like sunburn.

What is the skin reaction after Photo Rejuvenation treatment?

Your skin will feel quite warm & slight redness is seen immediately after the treatment and this will disappear in 1-2 hours, it may feel a little like mild sunburn.  The pigmented areas of the skin will become noticeably darker and the skin will take on a ‘dirty look’ as the surface skin clears in 7-10 days.

How many treatments are needed for Photo Rejuvenation?

1-3 treatments may be necessary but this will depend on the degree of sun damage.  Most pigmentation should be reduced after 3 treatments but more treatment may be necessary for any remaining blood vessels. 


Collagen Stimulation

How does the Ellipse work to stimulate collagen?

With this treatment the light is absorbed by the hemoglobin in the blood vessels in the skin which stimulates the fibroblasts to produce more collagen.  This process is enhanced by up to 500% and continues to work for several months!  Your skin will appear brighter & firmer with reduced pore size & will look visibly younger.

How does the treatment feel?

Similar to Photo rejuvenation it is a sharp, warm sensation which lasts just a short moment, and although slightly uncomfortable will vary from person to person depending on the amount of pigmentation in the area.  Afterwards the area will feel quite warm a bit like sunburn.

What is the skin reaction after Photo Rejuvenation treatment?

Similar to Photo rejuvenation your skin will feel quite warm & slight redness is seen immediately after the treatment and this will disappear in 1-2 hours, it may feel a little like mild sunburn. 

How many treatments are needed for Collagen Stimulation

For the optimum collagen stimulation effects, a course of 6 treatments with 4 week intervals is advised.


Thread Veins

How does the Ellipse work to treat Thread Veins?

The light is attracted to the hemoglobin in the blood vessels.  As the light is absorbed by the vessels a heat reaction is caused which coagulates the blood & damages protein in the wall of the vessel.  There is an immediate visible reaction with the vessels sometimes disappearing straight away.

How does the treatment feel?

The sensation is a hot prickling feeling which lasts just a short moment, afterwards the area will feel quite warm a bit like sunburn.

What reactions can be seen after treatment for Thread Veins?

Usually the area will be a little red after treatment, and this may last for 2 to 24 hours.  Sometimes slight swelling can occur in the area particularly around the eyes but this is a natural & expected inflammatory response which will normally subside in 24 – 48 hours.

You can use 100% Aloe Vera gel at home for the next 24-48 hours to reduce any skin reactions, a cool pack can also help to relieve the skin.

How many treatments are necessary to remove Thread Veins?

1-4 treatments may be necessary but this will vary from person to person depending on the depth, size and site of the vessel.  For larger veins on the legs sclerotherapy is recommended prior to treatment with the Ellipse, to remove ‘feeder’ veins.
For Spider nevi & Campbell de Morgan spots 1 treatment is often all that is required.


Acne Treatment

How does the Ellipse work to treat acne?

The treatment works in 3 ways; the light destroys the bacteria in the acne lesions, reduces excess oil production, & stimulates collagen production to soothe & heal the skin.

How does the treatment feel?

Similar to Photo rejuvenation it is a mild, warm sensation which lasts just a short moment, and will vary from person to person.  Afterwards the area may feel quite warm a bit like sunburn.

What is the skin reaction after the Acne treatment?

Similar to Photo rejuvenation your skin may feel a little warm & slight redness may be seen immediately after the treatment and this will disappear in 1-2 hours, it may feel a little like mild sunburn. 

How many treatments are needed for Acne Treatment?

For optimum effects, a course of 4 treatments with 3 week intervals is advised.

In order to normalize the skin thickness a combination therapy is advised.  Pre-treatment with Adapalene cream (marketed as Redap or Differin by Galderma) for 3 weeks prior to the Ellipse treatment will achieve the best results.