Is It Ok to Take Painkillers Before Waxing?

I've had some people tell me to take ibuprofin or acetomenphin before I get waxed.... but I've had other aestheticians tell me not to because I might bleed more.

What is the truth??

Doctor Answers 7

Pain killers and waxing

The safer choice would be acetaminophen, but either will work just fine.  To avoid any major pain, make sure your hair is trimmed and about 1/4 inch in length to ensure no excessive "pulling" is needed.  That will help your technician wax easier and faster, which will in return ease your pain. Good luck!

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Reducing pain with laser hair removal

Our office specializes in laser hair removal and we use two different cooling sprays as well as topical lidocaine, when needed. 


Dr. Karamanoukian 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Bikini Wax

If you are concerned about comfort, don't wax at all. Laser hair removal, when performed in a medical facility with the right laser is much safer, much more comfortable than waxing, and it's permanent.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Safe to take pain medication before waxing

Tylenol is a safe choice, but so is ibuprofen. There should not be any immediate risk of even small bleeding from ibuprofen taken immediately before waxing. Ibuprofen and other like substances known as NSAIDs take time to create an effect in the clotting cascade and on the surface of platelets, requiring days of intake before they can promote bleeding.

Leyda Elizabeth Bowes, MD
Miami Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Pain Medication Before Waxing

Bleeding from waxing treatments is usually minimal, if at all, so it really doesn't matter which pain medication you take before being treated. Acetaminophen does not prolong bleeding time so it would always be the better choice if you're concerned.


Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Pain management for Hair Removal

Prior to waxing or any other procedure, acetaminophen would be the better choice to help reduce the pain a little.  Ibuprofen may increase the risk of bleeding and we ask patients to avoid ibuprofen prior to procedures.  We typically use topical lidocaine in sensitive areas for laser hair removal.  Your physician may be willing to prescribe you topical lidocaine for your hair waxing procedures.

Narin (Joe) Apisarnthanarax, MD
Houston Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Painkiller can help take the edge off

Bleeding from waxing? That's hardcore!! Not only can ibuprofen or any of th NSAIDs take off the edge, they can also decrease the redness associated. Topical anesthesia with lidocaine 4% can also help take the edge off. Application should be made 45min prior. If redness occurs, a low dose steroid cream (hydrocortison 1%) helps too.

Hassan Galadari, MD
Dubai Dermatologist

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.