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What is the difference between IPL hair removal at a salon or clinic in Singapore?

Aesthetic Medicine

Hi, I am a 26 year old female. I have been doing Brazilian IPL at an aesthetic salon with a frequency of once every 3 months. I am worried about the possible side effects of having IPL at a salon. What is the difference between IPL hair removal at a salon or clinic in Singapore? Can IPL done by a doctor-run clinic guarantee that hypopigmentation won't happen? 

DOCTOR’S ANSWER (2)

This is a question that I get quite often. The main differences between medical clinics and beauty salon for IPL hair removal are:

1) Ability to manage complications. 

No hair removal procedure is 100% safe and no doctor can guarantee 0% complications. 

This being said, in the rare event that there is a complication (eg hypo-pigmentation), it is safer to have a doctor to manage the complications using medical-grade creams and medicines. 

Doctors are also able to pick up potential complications early - this is important because earlier identification of complications means earlier treatment and lower chance that these complications becoming permanent.

2) More Effective Medical-grade IPL/Lasers

Only licensed medical clinics are authorised by Ministry of Health to possess medical-grade hair removal lasers/IPL, which are more effective and safer. Apart from safety, medical-grade hair treatments also translates to cost- and time-savings in the long-run.

For more information, please check out this Complete Guide to Permanent Hair Removal in Singapore

Hope that this helps! Best regards,

Dr Justin Boey

779 views 19 Jul 2018

To address your concern, no one can guarantee no complication. Doctor-run clinic would,however, more careful as the doctor may loss his/her licence if he/she did not do the proper care. The doctor should also be the one doing the hair removal according to MOH/SMC's guideline. It may not be the same if the treatment is done by a non-doctor personnel. As for doing it in a salon, the risk will be on you. Let me explain.

There are many causes for excess hair. It might due just genetic in which some people are just more hairy. I have also diagnosed cases due to polycystic ovarian syndrome  (some little cysts in the ovary) which requires ultrasound to diagnose, tumor of the pituitary gland ( we found it on Xray of the patient's skull), thyroid problem (from blood test),as well as other medical reasons that require further test to confirm. It will not be possible for a beauty salon to do any of the diagnosis. The underlying cause, if present, must be in order for the hair removal treatment to be effective and lasting.

Next, IPL sounds like a simple equipment to use. just hold and shoot. In reality, it is not. Depending on the skin colour and the hair colour, you must use the correct wavelength, pulse duration, pulse interval and the fluence. I have treated burnt from IPL done at beauty salon. It is not a pleasant sight. 

Complication from hair removal is not restricted to beauty salon but a doctor would be in a better position with better knowledge to prevent and manage it, should it still occur despite taking all the precautions. 

Regards,

Dr Elias Tam

693 views 31 Jul 2018
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