Laser hair removal is a technique that eliminates unwanted hair using laser technology. The treatment involves exposing the hair follicles to an intense, penetrating laser to achieve permanent hair removal. Contrary to popular belief, laser hair removal is not 100% pain-free. The skill of the technician, the age of the equipment as well as your own pain tolerance level will determine the level of pain of the procedure.
Generally, the skin will become red, sensitive and slightly swollen after a round of laser hair removal treatment. For some, the pain is tolerable but for others who are sensitive to pain, they will require after-treatment care to reduce pain. The good news is, there are many ways you can reduce pain during and after treatment.
How to Reduce Pain Before Laser Treatment
For the ladies, timing is everything. Do not schedule a laser removal treatment before or during your menstruation. Due to hormones, you are more sensitive to pain a few days before your period and during. You want to schedule the treatment a few days after your period ends.
Avoid Caffeinated Drinks
You can reduce laser hair removal pains by avoiding all drinks that contain caffeine the day of your treatment. Studies show that caffeine increases a person’s sensitivity to pain.
Shave the Affected Area
Did you know that the length of your hair makes a difference as far as pain level goes? The longer the hair, the more painful the laser treatment will be! Our advice is to shave the affected area a day or two before the actual procedure. The key is to make the hairs as short as possible but still visible.
How to Reduce Pain During Laser Treatment
One of the best ways to reduce pain during a laser treatment is applying a topical numbing cream on the affected area. Let the technician know about your concerns and then ask him or her what type of numbing cream works the best for your needs. Most numbing creams take effects 20 to 30 minutes after application. The technician will ensure that the application of the number cream is done at the right time.
You can also reduce pain and swelling after a laser hair removal treatment by applying an ice pack on the affected are 5 to 10 minutes before the procedure. The ice pack will temporarily numb the affected area.
Newer laser hair removal machines come with an attachment that blows a stream of very cold air on the affected area. The blast of cold air helps numb the affected area and reduce pain. The technician will blow cold air all over the treated area for a minute or two before zapping away the hair follicles with laser.
Picking the Right Pace
To control the level of pain according to your tolerance, ask the technician to experiment with the pacing. Some people feel less pain through quick bursts of pace while others feel less pain from slower, continuous pace. But if the pain becomes intolerable, ask the technician to give you time to recover from the pain before proceeding with the rest of the treatment.
How to Reduce Pain After Laser Treatment
If the pain is intolerable after a round of laser treatment, take over the counter painkillers to numb the pain. The medication also helps bring the inflammation down and reduce redness.
Place an ice pack over the affected area to shrink the blood vessels and numb the pain. The ice pack also helps reduce redness and inflammation.