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Is Laser Hair Removal Painful?

I can take some pain (I gave birth!), but what can I expect from LHR?

Doctor Answers (12)

Laser hair removal not too painful

+2

The level of discomfort depends on the treated area, the texture of the hair, and skin. Darker skin people are more sensitive because they have more pigment, not just in the hair, but in their skin as well. Patients with dark and coarse hair experience more discomfort as well. After each treatment, the hair becomes lighter or thinner and the pain subsides, which makes it easier to handle the laser.

To help with the discomfort during the procedure I would recommend using a cooling device, such as Zimmer, applying a tropical anesthetic, or simply icing the area for a few minutes.


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Laser Hair Removal Pain Level

+1

Laser hair removal, to most people, feels like a rubberband snap against the skin. Particular areas of the body can be more sensitive, such as the underarms, bikini, and upper lip. Each person's pain tolerance can vary. Cold compresses or anesthetic creams can reduce discomfort. Some lasers have cooling devices such as cold air or a chilled tip that also helps with making the treatments more tolerable. Laser hair removal has come a long way and the treatments are usually quick enough where the pain is not much of a problem. It definitely should not be excruciating. Always let the person doing your treatment know if the pain is not tolerable.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Pain during Laser Hair Removal

+1

Each individual has a different pain tolerance as well as each area has its own sensitivity level. There is some mild discomfort with laser hair removal as the light creates heat to destroy the hair follicle at the root. It should feel like a rubber band snap or a pin prick in the area. Be sure to express any concerns with your laser hair removal technician. Application of ice may be provided; also, a topical anesthetic such as lidocaine may be prescribed if necessary.

Edward E. Dickerson, IV, MD
Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

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Laser Hair Removal and Pain

+1

We use a patented cooling device for that means a more comfortable treatment and eliminates the need for topical anesthetic. The DCD, dynamic cooling device is the ONLY cooling device that provides consistent cooling from the first pulse to the last. No cooling system is safer or provides a more comfortable treatment.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
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Laser Hair Removal

+1

After giving birth, laser hair removal will not impress you. However, everyone will have a different degree of tolerance.

Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD
Bay Area Dermatologist
4.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Pain is dependant on the type of laser used for hair removal

+1

While every patient has a different pain threshold, some lasers are definitely more uncomfortable than others. The LightSheer Duet, which is a new laser that uses suction and a very large head to minimise discomfort, has been a revelation in our practice. It replaced our old LightSheer Diode 6 months ago and patients have actually written us emails thanking us for this new laser. There is minimal or no discomfort with this laser and we no longer have to use numbing creams, even on sensitive areas like the bikini line.

Some lasers that we have tested in the past, such as the Alexandrite, are far more painful for most patients. Other factors that affect discomfort are skin type, hair thickness and density, and body area treated. 

Arie Benchetrit, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
1.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Laser Hair Removal

+1

Most patients are generally comfortable during the treatment although some indicate some discomfort. Very few have indicated pain. However, this determination is specific to the pain threshold of the patient.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Laser Hair Removal painful??

+1

Everyone has a different degree of pain tolerance. Discomfort may be felt at time of treatment but it quickly diminishes upon completion. Mild discomfort post treatment is common.

Sofia Rubbani, MD
Manhattan Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Laser Hair Removal and Pain

+1

Every patient has a different level of discomfort. Some of the variables are hair texture and body area of treatment. Most facilities offer some numbing cream to make the treatment much more comfortable.

Bruce E. Katz, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

How painful is Laser Hair Removal?

+1

Pain is a very personal issue and what is very tolerable for one patient is excruciating for another. Generally speaking, any female that has given birth will fly right through laser hair removal and in fact, men usually have the most difficulty. The senation is normally described as a sharp rubber band snap to the skin and will vary by area of the body treated.

With that said, there are ways to minimize the pain of laser hair removal so that it is tolerable for all. These include:

  • Laser colling (chill tip).
  • Air colling (blown air)
  • Ice
  • Numbing cream
  • Pain medications

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.