Laser Patch Test Protocol | The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery
Laser procedures are commonly performed in both surgical and non-surgical forms. Lasers are not always safe for all skin tones, and some treatments may be riskier for certain people. To ensure a safe and optimal outcome, a patch test is often performed on these patients. Lasers can be risky for certain skin tones, but some are safe for everyone. The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery offers a premier laser patch test protocol to protect patient safety.
Overview: What Is A Patch Test?
A patch test is a way to determine if your skin will have an adverse reaction to a particular treatment. Many different kinds of treatments may involve a patch test such as chemical peels, laser or light procedures, and even some prescription topical medications. If you do not have an unexpected or adverse reaction, your provider will likely determine you can proceed with treatment.
Patch tests can also serve as peace of mind for patients. Even if you are not in a high risk group, some patients will undergo a patch test anyway. This is because it relieves the worry of a complication or allergic reaction.
Patch Test Area
Most patch tests must be performed in the area the prospective treatment will take place. For most people when it comes to IPL or similar procedures, this is the face. While this may seem worrying, our master estheticians perform the patch test on a small area of skin with little visibility. A common patch test area for the face is behind the ear. This way—if any pigmentation issues arise—they are well hidden and not overly noticeable.
Patients Who Need A Patch Test
Patients who require a patch before treatment may include:
- Anyone with a Fitzpatrick skin tone above III
- Those taking immune suppressant medications
- People prone to scarring
- People with especially sensitive skin
- Anyone worried about adverse reactions
People with high Fitzpatrick skin tones are required to undergo a patch test to ensure they do not hyper pigment or experience other adverse reactions. However, anyone can undergo a patch test protocol for laser treatments.
Benefits & Risks
Performing a laser patch test is a precautionary measure to ensure safe and effective treatment. However, since the laser is used, there are still benefits and risks.
The benefits of performing a laser patch test include:
- Determining your skin’s reaction to laser treatments
- Ensuring candidacy for certain treatments
- Peace of mind for both provider and patient
- Gain a better understanding of how treatments may affect your skin
- Ability to undergo treatments for pigmentation concerns, fine lines and wrinkles, and overall skin quality
- Little to no pain
- Performed over several weeks to gauge the long term effects of the procedure
- Patch test performed in low visibility area of the treatment area
Risks of a laser patch test are similar to those of the treatment itself. Some of the risks of a patch test include:
- Localized negative reaction that becomes highly visible
- More severe reaction than the average positive result
The risks of a laser spot test are minimal because the treatment is performed in an area that is not easily visible. A patch test spot is also highly monitored and you stay in good contact with your master esthetician.