Laser hair reduction for pilonidal sinus

Kieran, 24, from Hornchurch, Essex, decided to have laser hair reduction treatment for clinical reasons. He had suffered from pilonidal sinus problems for many years. This is when a small hole in the skin in the cleft of the buttocks becomes infected and painful. The exact cause of a pilonidal sinus is unclear, although it is thought it may be caused by hair piercing the skin.

What led you to consider laser hair reduction treatment?

I had a clinical reason. Due to suffering from pilonidal sinus’s over a number of years, keeping the area hair-free is important and my own doctor recommended laser hair removal.  I then did some internet research to find out more.

How long had you considered the treatment before you decided to go ahead with it?

Years. It was spoken about at the start of the sinus problems (2010) but, at the time, considered not overly necessary. I actually had my first treatment towards the end of 2013.

Why did you choose Spire Hartswood Hospital?

My doctor recommended it and the Brentwood location was very convenient for me. The consultations and treatment are in the same premises.

Had you had laser hair reduction treatment anywhere else before, and if so, why did you decide to change to Spire Hartswood Hospital?

I have had LHRT before from another business in the Brentwood area. There was some reduction in the hair loss however the painful sinus problems still occurred afterwards. On hearing that the laser used at Spire is a more precise and powerful one I was willing to try again to get the results I wanted.

What happened in your initial consultation?

In the initial consultation with Nikki, we discussed many things: drawing diagrams of how the laser works, discussing what areas of skin it affects, what happens to the hairs after they’ve been “zapped”, how I felt about getting the treatment etc. I was made to feel very welcome and safe about the procedure. I also felt reassured that many people suffer from ingrowing hairs and sinus problems. I felt more comfortable knowing that it’s perfectly normal to have LHRT. I had a patch test done and, yes, there was a sting to it but you are getting a laser pinged at you! Scoring the pain out of 10, I’d say it was a 3.

What made you decide to go ahead with treatment?

How well it was described to me, how friendly, open and honest the people were. The price is also very reasonable. Ultimately it was an easy decision to make. I did it for my own benefit, to start getting direct results and improve my quality of life. I didn’t do any more research after visiting Nikki at Spire as I was confident that they could help me.

When did you have the treatment?

I began my course during the last quarter of 2013 and have continued them into 2014. I booked a block of eight sessions.

What was your general opinion of the care you received at Spire Hartswood Hospital?

10/10. Faultless. I was made to feel very welcome at every stage.

What did the recovery process involve?

After the lasering, aloe vera or ice is placed on the area to soothe it. You can’t go to the gym or have hot baths or showers for 72 hours as sweat can aggravate the pores but I found this perfectly acceptable, considering the results I would get from the treatment.

What impact has the treatment had on your life?

It’s made such a big improvement. I feel much more confident and less stressed. The worry about my ingrowing hair problems has taken a back seat due to the brilliant results of the treatment.

What advice would you give to another patient in a similar position to you?

Easy – Go and see Nikki! Have the chat, get patch tested and start seeing the results!

Any other comments on the whole experience?

Use Emla cream to help when the treatment is underway

Is there anything you would have done differently in hindsight?

Nothing at all. However, if you are in a similar position to me, battling the pilonidal sinuses, try laser hair reduction before surgery. With results like mine, you might find you don’t even need an operation.

The expert’s view, by Clinical Lead Aesthetic Nurse, Nikki Cambo

Patients who suffer from pilonidal sinuses often suffer in silence and are not aware of how laser hair removal can benefit them. Most people would think that the treatment is used for cosmetic reasons and are not aware of the difference that it can make to medical conditions such as this. 

Kieran was referred to me through one of our consultants as he has previously had several surgical interventions and had been elsewhere for laser hair removal which had not worked so well. I was positive that the laser we use would be able to achieve a significant reduction in hair growth. 

I am pleased to say that as Kieran has progressed through his course of treatment we have achieved the reduction in hair and he has had no new sinuses develop. It has made such a difference to his life and it is rewarding to know such a simple procedure can do so much. 

It's great to be able to raise awareness and let other patients in a similar situation know there is help out there and that we are happy to see them here at Spire Hartswood Hospital.