Is Laser Hair Removal Painful, and Can You Make it Hurt Less?

Is Laser Hair Removal Painful, and Can You Make it Hurt Less?
January 18, 2022 Arviv Aesthetics
In Blog
How To Reduce Pain During Laser Hair Removal

Updated for 2024

So, How Painful is a Laser Hair Removal Procedure?

Laser hair removal can help you look your best on the beaches of Miami, FL, which is why so many people choose it over shaving and waxing. However, new clients may wonder, “Does laser hair removal hurt?” Unfortunately, this procedure is a little painful, but there are ways to reduce discomfort.

Tips for Managing Pain During Laser Hair Removal

We should clarify that not everyone experiences pain during laser hair removal–in fact, the sensations can vary from person to person. What does laser hair removal feel like? Most describe it as being flicked with a rubber band during the procedure and a mild sunburn afterward. You won’t feel any actual heat, but your skin may be red and tender.

So, what can you do to experience the least amount of discomfort? Before you arrive for your appointment, make sure you do the following.

Schedule the Procedure Around Your Period

The answer to the question, “Does laser hair removal hurt?” can vary for individuals based on when they get the procedure. During menstruation, pain receptors are more active, which means what didn’t bother you before may feel painful. And let’s be honest–you may already feel poorly, and the side effects of laser hair removal won’t help. For the least discomfort, aim for right after your period.

Stay Well Hydrated

Hydration is always important, as it ensures your cells have enough water to function. Drinking lots of water is also an excellent way to flush your system of substances that may increase pain. Caffeine is notorious for making clients more susceptible to discomfort, so avoid coffee and other caffeine-heavy beverages before your appointment.

Medicate Prior to the Appointment

Is laser hair removal painful if you take medication beforehand? Actually, pre-medicating with over-the-counter pain relievers can significantly reduce discomfort during the procedure. If you’re not sure what type of medication to take, discuss it with your doctor beforehand and make sure you only take the recommended amount.

Be Sure to Shave Beforehand

You should always shave before getting laser hair removal treatments. While this may seem counter-intuitive, shaving makes it easier for the laser to do its work and significantly decreases the risk of side effects.

Tips for Reducing Pain from Laser Hair Removal Procedures

Does laser hair removal hurt after your appointment? While not everyone gets intense side effects, you should prepare for the following:

  • Temporary or permanent changes to skin pigmentation
  • Irritation
  • Red bumps

These last about the same amount of time as the side effects of waxing or plucking in most cases.

Avoid Scratching

Scratching may temporarily relieve skin irritation, but it can damage already-sensitive areas. If the irritation is too much to tolerate, try pain medication, numbing cream, or other forms of relief.

Choose the Right Pain Relievers

Speaking of pain relief, what’s the best medication to use? A numbing cream is a good option for immediate effects. Ibuprofen is another excellent choice since it can reduce inflammation, but it can take up to 30 minutes to work.

Wear Loose Clothing

Tight clothing can rub against the skin and further irritate inflamed areas. To avoid this issue, wear loose-fitting clothing on the affected areas.

Use Sunscreen

Wearing sunscreen is always a good idea in Tampa, FL, but it’s essential when getting laser hair removal. The procedure makes your skin more sensitive so that you may burn more quickly after your appointment. You also shouldn’t get laser hair removal on a sunburn, so make sure you use sun protection in the weeks leading up to your procedure.

Ice the Area

Does laser hair removal hurt more than other hair removal procedures? That depends on your own experience and pain tolerance. For example, many people find sugaring extremely painful but can tolerate the laser fairly well.

One thing that may help no matter your personal tolerances is applying ice. Cold compresses can reduce inflammation, which is indicated by redness and swelling. The cool sensation may also alleviate some people’s “sunburn” feeling. Just make sure to only ice an area for twenty minutes at a time since prolonged exposure to cold can burn your skin.

Postpone Your Workout

You want to avoid exposing recently-treated areas to sweat, so you may have to postpone your workout for a few days after laser hair removal. If you absolutely have to exercise, make sure you keep the treated skin as sweat-free as possible.

Book a Laser Hair Removal Appointment in South Florida

Laser hair removal may be the perfect option if you want smooth, hairless skin with less maintenance. Fortunately, Arviv Medical Aesthetics offers this service among others, and we also offer memberships to save you money on regular treatments. To learn about specials or easily schedule your appointment, visit our Tampa location or Miami Med Spa. You can also visit our new location in Ocala, FL as well.

Image Source: Juta / Shutterstock