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IPL & Laser Treatments > Sterility of laser hair removal handpiece


I'm looking into getting laser hair removal in the genital area (e.g. Brazilian), and I'm wondering if there's ANY chance that I may contract a sexually transmitted disease if the machine hand piece was not sterilized properly. What is the standard procedure for sterilization between client uses, and how do I make sure that the clinic has sterilized it properly?


09.20 | Unregistered CommenterWondering

that is the best question I've seen here in a long time.
I have NEVER seen any question about this here or any place else.
It will be interesting to find out what the consensus of opinion is.

09.21 | Unregistered Commenterlefty2g

Sterilize the hand piece yourself or ask the provider the sterilize the hand piece again before your procedure. The provider will do it without blinking an eye.

09.21 | Unregistered CommenterJames

The laser technician typically wipes the laser every time it is picked up and put down to deliver a pulse with a cavicide wipe. The wipe cleans off the conducting gel, and also kills almost everything it comes in contact including MRSA, HIV-1, Herpes1-2 and HBV.

Smart question- and one I appreciate when our patients ask. Because the goggles are on it's hard for them to know what we are doing for their protection.

Have you asked the practice you are going to? they should be able to answer this question easily.

James- I just saw your answer. My handpieces cost $30K+ each. I wouldn't let any patient handle them.

This really isn't a tricky question- any good practitioner should be able to answer this and actually show the cavicide wipes to the patient where it clearly spells out what they kill.

You are right BON - We are asked this question every day and it is very easy to answer and to show the how and what the hand pieces are cleaned with. We have never had a problem educating patients on this issue.

09.22 | Unregistered CommenterJames

Thank you for the replies!

Would wiping the handpiece down with 70% ethanol be as effective as the cavicide wipe? I called the practice and they said they use alcohol to clean it.

09.22 | Unregistered CommenterWondering

Here's the thing- Cavacide wipes are expensive. I have a medical director that refuses to cut corners by using something less effective but not as costly.

It is my understanding that 70% ethanol is effective in killing herpes, but not at killing HIV. But HIV can't really "live" on an exposed surface for any length of time. (which is why you can't get it from toilet seats)

It sounds like you're doing your research- I would encourage you to go for a consultation and ask for more details. I would be interested in knowing if the handpiece is cleaned in between pulses or in between body parts, or are they cleaning the handpieces only after the treatment is done.

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