Pain and side effects
Pain and side effects
Pain and side effects
Is laser hair removal painful?
Yes, it can certainly be painful. However, everyone’s experience is different. Some people hardly notice anything and others are in a lot of pain. Some clients tell us that the sensation is similar to waxing, others say it’s less painful.
The sting will only last a millisecond, when the flash has stopped the pain will be gone as well. After several treatments the amount of hair will be reduced and you’ll experience less pain during treatment. Also, some days our bodies are simply more sensitive than others.
There are certain areas of the body that are much more sensitive: the upper lip, neck, arm pits, wrists, sternum and belly line for men, flanks and sides of the upper arms, pubic area, buttock folds, some areas on the back of the upper legs, knee cavity, ankles and feet. We will work slower in these areas to increase the soothing effect of the cooling mechanism in the equipment.
Are there side effects?
You can experience temporary discomforts: redness and goosebumps, a glowing sensation, a sleepy sensation, tightness of the skin and sometimes small blisters. This is harmless, it’s the natural response of the skin. The skin is trying to repair the hair follicles. Most often these discomforts will disappear within several hours, however, in rare cases they remain several weeks. You can sooth your skin by cooling it, using Aloe Vera gel or an after-sun lotion. Besides this, just wait for your skin to shed this initial response.
Itchiness might be experienced at night when the skin is trying to repair itself. This may even still occur several weeks after treatment when a new batch or hair starts growing. Often this sensation is felt on the lower legs. Licodaine cream of an anti-histamine may offer relief.
When the harmless discomforts last for several weeks, it might help to wear soft light clothing.
Can treatment cause pimpels?
Yes, actually it can. This is most often the case when there are many thick black hairs on a small area of skin. A lot of heat will penetrate this area during treatment, the hairs will scorch and your body will perceive the burned hairs as something foreign. It will try to eliminate it from the skin causing small infections and white bumps. Do not pick at these small pimples and they will disappear naturally.
Because your safety is our priority and we’d like to eliminate such side effects as much as we can, we will always perform tests prior to actual treatment.
Is there anything I can do to reduce the pain?
It is impossible to eliminate all pain during treatment. Pain actually is a sign that the treatment is effective! However, proper preparation can make a very big difference. An untanned skin allows for lower settings because the difference in color between skin and hair is bigger.
Also, it’s helpful to be very smoothly shaven on the day of treatment. The heat will be directly generated to the hair follicle instead of staying on the skin. Being well-rested and relaxed will also have positive effects on your pain experience.
Lastly, it’s possible to take painkillers. See question below.
Can I take painkillers?
Yes, you may choose to take a painkiller if you wish (best to do this 15 min prior to treatment). However, please consult your doctor first! Acetaminophen (paracetamol/tylenol) is our preferred choice, a maximum of 2 tablets for an adult and only if you do not use it on a regular basis. Please let us know if you have taken painkillers so that we do not use a more severe setting because of your lower sensitivity.
Note, the following painkillers can have severe side effects: Rofecoxib, celecoxib, ibuprofen, diclofenac, advil, naproxen: Aleve, Naprosyn, Anaprox. These painkillers are so-called NSAIDs. They reduce prostaglandins in your blood. This can cause tightening in the blood vessels which can increase the risk of a myocardial infarctions and strokes. Do only use after consulting our doctor!
Using anesthetic creams
You can also apply a topical anesthetic cream. You will need a doctor’s prescription. The name of this cream is EMLA (lidocaine). You can also ask your doctor for a anesthetic spray: Xylocaine 10% spray (with lidocaïne 100mg per ml). This spray will have an immediate anesthetic effect after applying it. Prior to the test it is not recommended to use any anesthetic creams or sprays, we would like to monitor the natural response of your skin.
There are disadvantages to using EMLA creams during laser hair removal:
The skin will be irritated more and will swell a little. This is particularly disadvantageous where ELOS treatment is concerned. The highter amount of fluids underneath the skin will react with the RF of the ELOS and this may cause the treatment to be too severe for the skin.
The swelling of the skin will result in the hairs being less accesible. There is a possibility that the heat can not penetrate the root of the hair and as a result, the treatment might not be as effective as it could have been.
Lastly, the topical anesthetics might cause an unpleasant burning sensation after treatment.
None of the topical anesthetics can be provided by Briez. A doctor’s presription is needed for them. Ultimately, it is one’s individual choice (based on doctor’s advice) whether or not to use these anesthetics and we will not be involved in this process.