Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt?
Many individuals seeking alternatives to traditional, temporary hair removal techniques come across laser hair removal and ask the same question: does laser hair removal hurt?
Generally speaking, the short answer to this question is it depends. For most people the procedure there is discomfort, but for a rare few laser hair removal will be painful. As your hair is being removed by heat with a laser, the procedure will definitely not go unnoticed. Most hair removal centres report that it’s more of a discomfort than pain, when asked ‘does laser hair removal hurt?’
Primarily because lasers produce heat, you will feel some sort of sensation during the procedure for this method of hair removal. You will know when the laser is working. Most individuals who have undergone laser hair removal treatment have all said that the discomfort is tolerable and entirely worth the results.
Because laser hair removal takes more than one treatment session in order to permanently kill the hair follicle, most hair removal specialists report that the first session is the most uncomfortable. Hair follicles have nerve endings surrounding them which may react to the heat from the laser and cause discomfort.
Most patients describe this feeling as comparable to having a rubber band snapped against their skin. Others say it’s more like a pinch, a tingling sensation, a sting or even a tickle. There are a number of factors that will contribute to the amount of pain experienced including the thickness of the skin, texture, amount of hair being removed, pigment in the hair etc.
As with most pain or discomfort related procedures, like getting a tattoo, a lot depends on the individual’s pain threshold. Some people are able to tolerate more than others. But regardless of pain thresholds, the overwhelming consensus is that the discomfort is quick and bearable and worth the results of having smooth and hairless skin.
Does laser hair removal hurt, even when it shouldn’t? If you feel more than discomfort during your laser hair removal session, or anything that resembles burning, you need to speak up and say something to your technician so they can adjust the laser’s settings accordingly. The discomfort during a laser hair removal treatment should never go past the point where you can handle it. If it does, you need to say something immediately.
Some of today’s laser hair removal systems are now equipped with cooling devices. These cooling devices are designed to cool the surrounding skin so it absorbs the heat left over from the destroyed hair follicle. This helps a lot with the potential for discomfort or pain during laser hair removal procedures.
If you are still wondering ‘does laser hair removal hurt,’ and are worried about being able to handle the discomfort from the laser during the procedure, there are other options. You can apply numbing creams which are usually available from the hair removal clinic. This cream is especially helpful for extra sensitive areas such as the upper lip, bikini, or underarms. Ibuprofen is can also help to reduce discomfort. It reduces inflammation and pain.
So, does laser hair removal hurt? It will vary from one individual to the next. Just remember when you feel that discomfort or strange sensation, it means that the laser is doing its work and removing your unwanted hair forever.
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