Numbing cream is one of those little-known beauty secrets that can help make laser hair removal treatments more comfortable (yes you read it right, comfortable).
We know many can be put off from even trying out laser hair removal due to a lack of knowledge of what the treatment involves and how it may feel.
You are not alone, feeling WORRIED.
This is where using a numbing cream becomes an option. Numbing cream is a topical numbing agent that has a cooling effect on the skin making the laser treatment more manageable.
But does numbing cream for laser removal actually work? And if so, how long should you wait after applying it before undergoing your treatment?
Keep reading to find out the answers to all your questions, learn all the benefits of using numbing cream before your treatment and discover what to expect when undergoing laser hair removal treatments.
What Does It Feel Like to Have a Laser Hair Removal Treatment?
First things first, the laser is an incredibly powerful tool that will destroy the hair follicles at their root. So yes it hurts! But laser pain is really only felt when the laser touches the skin and this usually lasts for no more than 10 seconds.
It’s more of an uncomfortable, stinging sensation that can be quite intense. Some people describe it as the feeling when you get soap in your eyes or when someone sprays perfume in your face, but worse!
It’s important to remember though that the more treatments you have, the better they become.
So although there is discomfort during each treatment, results will be apparent from the first time you have a treatment and new hair growth will be eliminated each time it appears.
The sight of laser beams is also quite disconcerting but it’s actually a very quick process so there isn’t really any need to worry about being in pain for hours on end!
Safety and Efficacy of Numbing Creams
Numbing cream is a topical cream that is applied directly to the area of skin where the laser removal treatment will be performed. The cream has a cooling effect on the skin, numbing it making you feel less pain during your treatment.
The use of numbing cream for laser hair removal is completely safe but there are some people who should avoid using it, including those using Retin A, Accutane or similar medications.
It is also not suitable for those under the age of 18 and anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding.
In addition to these guidelines, you should always read the instructions that come with your cream from your laser hair removal technician/provider as they may recommend avoiding its use in certain situations.
According to the Associations of Anaesthetics, one of the most well-known topical anaesthetics is lidocaine or lignocaine.
It’s important to remember that you should not apply a topical numbing cream to open wounds, irritated skin or if you’re allergic to any of its ingredients.
Other than this, you can rest assured that numbing creams are safe to apply to any part of your body. You may want to avoid sensitive areas such as the eyes.
It’s also important not to use numbing cream for laser hair removal if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or diabetic.
Finally, remember to never share your numbing cream with anyone else- it can spread skin infections.
Do Numbing Creams Work for Laser Hair Removal?
If you are looking to try numbing cream with your laser hair removal treatments, there are a few things you should know first.
Numbing creams have been traditionally used to help people undergoing dental procedures feel less pain from injections or other types of pain from the mouth or jaw.
Now, numbing cream is being used for cosmetic procedures, in the same way, to decrease discomfort during laser hair removal treatments.
The best part is that it decreases the pain without decreasing the effectiveness of the laser hair removal treatment.
It’s not like the cream numbs down the entire area of your body. Instead, it’ll numb only the areas where you apply it.
The cream is placed on the skin before the treatment is conducted. It’s best to apply it about an hour before your treatment.
Looking for some relief from those aggravating aches and pains? Bengay has you covered with their Pain Relieving Lidocaine Cream.
This cream contains 4% lidocaine HCl, which is the maximum strength allowed, to help desensitize your nerves and provide numbing relief.
Plus, it has a light tropical jasmine scent that is both soothing and pleasant, so you won’t mind using it. And it also has a non-greasy formula that doesn’t leave any residue behind, so you can get on with your day without feeling uncomfortable.
Can Creams Alleviate the Pain of Laser Hair Removal?
Yes, a simple cream alone can alleviate the pain of hair removal (hard to believe I know).
When applied to the area where you’re going to have a laser hair removal treatment, numbing cream can help reduce pain and discomfort.
However, it won’t eliminate it completely.
That’s because laser hair removal is a medical procedure that involves using lasers to remove unwanted body hair by targeting skin pigment cells in the hair follicle.
Laser light is attracted to the pigment in skin cells, so when you are having this done on your skin, it heats up very quickly.
But because the laser targets the pigment in skin cells, you will feel a slight burning sensation.
The only way the numbing cream can reduce this is by decreasing blood flow to the scalp.
You may feel a little less discomfort, but the procedure is still going to hurt.
So if you’re looking for laser hair removal treatments sans pain, your best bet is to look into other methods of hair removal that don’t involve lasers.
Not All Numbing Cream Works The Same
If you’ve tried other numbing creams before and found they didn’t work, it’s simply because there are different types of numbing agents.
Lidocaine is the most widely used anaesthetic in medical settings such as dentistry or hospitals during surgical procedures.
It has a safe profile and can be used at different concentrations depending on the type of procedure.
A concentration of 4% to 5% is enough to cause mild-to-moderate skin numbness for about an hour or so, making it perfect for laser hair removal treatments.
If you do purchase numbing cream at your local pharmacy, make sure it contains Lidocaine and Prilocaine.
Some creams may say they’re numbing but will actually contain different agents that can cause irritation or may not even work at all.
Numbing cream is the perfect solution for laser hair removal treatments because it helps make your treatment more comfortable and ultimately speeds up your whole laser hair removal process.
How Long Should You Wait to Have Laser Hair Removal Treatments After Applying Numbing Cream?
I’d recommend waiting about an hour before undergoing your treatment so the numbing cream can take full effect.
The amount of time you leave the cream on your skin depends on the numbing cream that you are using.
Some products say to apply them immediately before having a procedure done, while other creams require you to leave them on for half an hour.
Not everyone experiences the same degree of pain from laser removal treatments, so the waiting time may vary from person to person.
Read Here: Numbing Cream for Epilation
Is Numbing Cream Necessary for Laser Hair Removal?
Numbing cream is not totally necessary if you want to have laser hair removal treatments.
All it does is make the process a little easier on your skin and a little more comfortable.
But if you’re absolutely terrified of getting laser hair removal, then I’d recommend using numbing cream for your treatments.
In all honesty, some people experience more pain than others.
So if you’re someone who can’t stand the pain and discomfort of laser hair removal treatments, a numbing cream may be your best friend.
The benefits outweigh the costs anyway.
Numbing Cream Side Effects
As with anything that is applied to your skin, numbing cream has some side effects and risks associated with it.
- Raised blotches
- Prolonged numbness
- Residual itching
So, is the numbing cream necessary when using laser hair removal? The answer to that question is a little complicated. It depends on your pain threshold and how much your mind feels a little bit of discomfort.
However, we’ve had a lot of success stories from our readers who have used numbing cream before their laser hair removal appointment.
If you’re looking to avoid any pain or discomfort during your treatment, then we definitely recommend using a numbing cream.
Have you tried laser hair removal with or without the numbing cream? Let us know in the comments below!