Many men and women are contemplating on getting some laser hair removal treatment to reduce the hair regrowth in their body. Hair can be pretty annoying if it keeps growing in all the unwanted places. People do not want to take time everyday just to keep removing them. Because of this, life has been made more convenient with hair removal methods done professionally. However, there is always the question of “does laser hair removal hurt?” and if it is worth the pain.
The Process Of Laser Hair Removal
Before discussing the pain level of laser hair removal, it is a must that you get to know the process first. The practitioner or dermatologist will check first if laser hair removal will work for you. If the dermatologists give a go signal, he/she will ask you to do some preparations before the treatment.
A person who has tanned skin or exposed under the sun for a long period of time will have to wait until the tan is gone. It is also best that the patient will have short hairs. Moreover, the patient should not use any hair treatment product like wax or gel three weeks before the treatment.
Once the preparation period is done, the laser hair removal treatment can now start. The practitioner will use a laser device, which will be pressed on the skin of the patient. The patient will be required to wear goggles so that the eyes will not be vulnerable to any laser light that will leak from the device.
The laser light penetrates the skin and goes to the hair follicles. The laser damages the hair follicle. There is an odor, which accompanies the damaging of hair follicles so you will know it was successful. The treatment from one area to another will vary due to the size of the area to be treated and the amount of hair.
The practitioner can apply anesthetic products or a numbing cream before the treatment starts. This will help alleviate some pain and discomfort that the patient will feel. The treatment is usually accompanied by a stingy feeling once the laser has penetrated through the skin’s surface.
After the treatment, the patient will be instructed to avoid direct sunlight for the skin to fully heal. Direct contact to the area should be avoided as well. The patient need not spend a day or two to recover. He/she can go about his/her daily routines after the treatment session.
Is Laser Hair Removal Painful?
Although there are many benefits of undergoing a laser hair removal treatment, there are still some individuals who are quite scared. Some think that the treatment will be too painful. What is the truth behind this?
There is sometimes a stingy feeling that comes with the treatment but your first session is believed to be the most uncomfortable. When the laser light hits the hair follicle, you will feel a sensation due to the nerve endings of the hair follicle. These nerve endings react to the heat from the laser through mild pain and discomfort. Patients say that the feeling is similar to a rubber being snapped against the skin.
Patients who have darker and thicker hair will have more discomfort and pain than those with thin and light hairs. This is due to the dark and thick hair absorbing more lasers light. Since it is your first session, expect your hairs to be heavily pigmented and thick. Nonetheless, the hair will be thinner and lighter as you go along the treatment. Hence, there will be less pain and discomfort felt.
The pain associated with laser hair removal will also depend on the patient. The amount of pain and discomfort will depend on the patient’s skin type, density of hair, thickness of hair, treatment area and the pain tolerance of the individual.
Are There Products Used To Lessen The Pain?
Dermatologists are aware of the slight discomfort and pain that a patient will feel. They apply topical anesthetics or numbing creams to minimize the pain the discomfort. The numbing creams and topical anesthetics are generally safe but it will be best to let the professional apply them to you.
Putting these creams in large areas of the skin can be dangerous because it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Let the dermatologist or practitioner handle it, he/she knows the amount of numbing cream to put and on what areas only.
As the name suggests, the numbing cream numbs the pain a patient will feel during a laser hair removal treatment. There are clinics that will not put numbing cream unless requested so you might want to talk to the practitioner about this. Numbing creams should be free of charge given that you are paying hundreds of dollars for the treatment already. If it is not free, look for a better laser hair removal clinic that is not ripping you off.
While numbing creams can alleviate the pain you are feeling, it is still best to undergo the procedure without it. This is because the cream can make targeting the hair follicles more difficult. In turn, the process will take longer to complete. Well, you can always try the treatment without the cream first. If the discomfort you feel is too much, the practitioner can apply the numbing cream.
What Are The Aftercare Procedures And Products?
After the treatment, you should expect that the treated area would be a little bit red and swollen. This is just normal. It can also feel a bit irritated like how sunburn feels. This feeling can disappear immediately for some patients while others will take a day or two for the skin to return to normal.
Recovery or healing time is really not a big deal when it comes to laser hair removal treatment. Patients can go about their daily routine as soon as the treatment is over. Nevertheless, a patient needs to know the right aftercare procedures and products that will be helpful in alleviating symptoms.
If the area is red and swollen, which makes you feel very uncomfortable then you can apply cold compress on the area to soothe it. You can use a soft cloth dipped in ice water and place over the affected area. You can also use moisturizing creams to keep the skin healthy and supple. You can ask your dermatologist about their aftercare products if she has not offered you any. Surely, the clinic has products to help the skin recover after the treatment.
It is a must that you do not shave the treated area in the first days after your treatment. Waxing, bleaching or tweezing cannot be done during the duration of your treatment. You must avoid strong soaps, which can dry the skin and clean it with a gentle cleanser.
Furthermore, do not expose the treated area to direct sunlight. This will cause irritation and burning on the treated area. Also, if the skin darkened due to exposure to sunlight, the follow-up treatments will be affected. The dark skin will be more likely to experience some burning sensation. You can wear sun block when you leave home to keep your skin moisturize.
How Is The Pain Level Of Laser Treatment Compared To Other Hair Removal Methods?
The other methods of hair removal can be divided into two categories, those done alone and those that are done professionally. For the first category, this includes tweezing, plucking, shaving and using hair removal creams or lotions.
Tweezing and plucking has a mild pain level especially when you get used to it. The feeling can be similar to an ant bite or someone pinching your skin. Shaving does not feel painful at all. The shaver will easily glide on your skin and remove the hair. Using hair removal creams or lotions does not involve any pain and discomfort too. While all these at home methods are far more comfortable and painless, they are less effective in removing hair permanently.
The professional methods includes waxing, laser treatment and electrolysis. Waxing is quite painful but the re-growth of hair is longer. Laser treatment has a stingy and burning feeling while electrolysis is said to have the feeling of tweezing hair. For the last two treatments, numbing creams and topical anesthetic can be used.
Although the professional methods are more painful, they are more effective in reducing and removing hair. The saying “No pain, No gain” is applicable here. Then again, the pain level will vary from person to person.