I had my first Vanquish treatment today, and it was painful.

I expected to be uncomfortable, but it felt like it was burning my sides. Is there anything I can do to avoid this pain? I will talk with the office where my procedure was performed, but I was scheduled to have 4 additional procedures and now I'm nervous. Can I take ibuprofen before the procedure? Why can't a numbing cream be used prior to the process? Thank you for your input.

Doctor Answers 5


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Hi Amy,

The procedure should feel like there is a warm blanket hovering over your skin. Use of a numbing agent is unnecessary. Please be sure there is no direct contact with the panel during treatment. If there is, this may be the reason for the burning sensation.  I would contact your provider and have your concerns addressed before the subsequent treatments.

Hope this helps!


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While Vanquish can feel warm it should not be
painful. We’ve not had any patients complain about Vanquish being painful. It
is important that the individual performing the treatment is qualified,
credentialed and has received proper training. If you are not receiving
treatment at a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon’s office, I
would recommend doing so. While you can take ibuprofen prior to the procedure
it may not help reduce the pain. No topical medication is needed and should not be used. If you feel pain during the procedure let the tech know and they will changed the applicator so it's not uncomfortable. Often times running a fan will help decrease the significant heat that is felt and does not impede the treatment effects.

Kristine Romine, MD
Phoenix Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Vanquish isn't painful, but can feel hot

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Vanquish isn't painful, but can feel very hot. Discuss this with the provider. There's a tuning process that is done at the onset of the procedure; make sure that the person setting you up has addressed that. The use of a fan to cool your skin is very helpful. Neither a numbing cream or ibuprofen will be likely to be helpful. 

Kimberly Finder, MD
San Antonio Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Vanquish Is SAFE And Shouldn't Have Pain

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I suggest seeing an expert, this shouldn't be painful if the applicator is applied correctly.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Vanquish procedures shouldn't be painful

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The most I have heard from clients is that it is hot. We use a fat and that makes things comfortable. It is possible it wasn't tuned correctly. Also, if there is moisture, it needs to be dried, otherwise a burn can form.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 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.