I have had IPL in the past to treat redness and sun damage and LOVE the results, as I have very fair skin. However, though I really want more treatments, I just can't take the pain - even with having the doctor apply lidocaine a full hour prior to treatment. Last time it was so severe, even with lidocaine, that I started crying and couldn't finish the treatment. Does any doctor do local anesthesia or something stronger than lidocaine, or another alternative treatment that would be less painful?
Any Way to Reduce Pain of IPL More Effective Than Lidocaine Cream?
Doctor Answers 5
In addition to the topical numbing cream (combination of benzocaine, lidocaine, and tetracaine), we use cold air that is applied to the treated area at the same time the laser is being used.
Reducing Pain in an IPL Treatment
IPL Photofacial is a wonderfully effective treatment for removing sun damage in skin of your type, so you should work with your doctor to find a way to lessen the pain. At Boris Cosmetic we use a combination numbing cream with 20% benzocaine, 6% lidocaine, and 4% tetracaine. It is highly effective, and may work for you. In addition, the application of ice packs, cold air, or other forms of cold just prior to the pulse of light definitely makes the procedure more tolerable for sensitive people. Good luck!
Topical anesthetic prior to IPL
There are a few different types of topical numbing cream, so ask you physician which one is being used and perhaps you can get a stronger one. As well as a topical numbing cream, we use a very cold air chiller during the procedure that helps tremendously. Very few offices do this, but if you can find one that does, I swear it won't hurt even close to as much! See below for my thoughts on making IPL a better procedure.
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Topical Anesthetics and IPL...
I agree with Dr. Yoo. Consult with your provider for some other topical anesthetic and consider Tylenol and Motrin 45 minutes prior to treatment or if you have someone who can drive you to and from your treatment you can get a prescription for a pain pill from your doctor. Hope this helps good luck.
Dr. Grant Stevens Marina Plastic Surgery Associates Marina del Rey, CA The Institute
Availability of stronger topical anesthetic formulations
Not all topical anesthetics are created equal. Talk to your doctor about getting a stronger formulation. In my office we have a couple different topicals, including a mixture of lidocaine/prilocaine/phenylephrine that provides near complete numbing.