It’s no secret that lasers can hurt. We aren’t going to lie to you over here! But… There are a couple of things you can do to make it a lot more bearable.
At City Laser Clinic, we use the three different types of medical grade lasers. These machines are;
- CANDELA GentleLase for laser hair removal and some pigmentation removal.
- FRAXIS Co2 for intensive skin brightening, some pigmentation removal, skin rejuvenation, and scar reduction.
- Medlite Q-Switched for pigmentation removal, tattoo removal, skin rejuvenation, melasma management, acne, acne scarring, and skin brightening (basically everything!).
Although all of these machines use lasers, they each use different wavelengths of light. For this reason, they all feel very different on the skin and require different settings depending on what we’re trying to achieve.
To combat some of the pain, we provide three forms of relief during our treatments.
- Cryogen. This is dry-ice that is sprayed out of the Candela GentleLase. Its purpose is to cool the skin back down (and give you some relief!) after the laser beam has hit it.
- Aloe Vera Gel. Aloe Gel is provided in every room at City Laser Clinic and is free to anyone who may want to use it after their treatment.
- Ice pack. For sensitive areas, we provide ice packs to cool the area down and calm any redness. If you aren’t treating a sensitive area but would still like an ice pack, you’re more than welcome to request one.
Contributing causes of sensitivity
Other than the type of laser you’re receiving, there are other reasons you may feel pain. It’s totally normal if you also experience different levels of pain each session. The reasons for this might be:
- Time of the month. Ladies, I don’t know about you but everything hurts when I’m on my period. And unfortunately, getting laser done is no different. You can still come in for a treatment during your period (with a tampon, please!), however get ready for a bit more of a pinch than usual. This sensitivity can start 1 week prior or 1 week after your period.
- Treatment Area. The area of your body that you are treating will significantly determine how painful the treatment might be. For instance, your Brazilian area will understandably be a lot more sensitive than your arms or legs.
- Illness.We kindly ask you to reschedule your appointment if you wake up with a cold or flu. However if you don’t quite know that you’re sick yet and find your appointment painful, it can be a sign that you’re coming down with something.
- Low pain threshold. If you’re normally quite sensitive to pain, you’re probably going to find laser painful too. Nothing to be ashamed of – I’m definitely one of these people.
- Recent surgery. Please let us know if you’ve had any recent surgery as you might be contraindicated to the treatment. If you’re not contraindicated, you may feel more pain than usual as your body is still recovering.
- Recent hormonal change. This can include changing your method of oral or internal contraceptives, or taking any other new hormonal medications. Your hormones play a huge part on your sensitivity levels. If this is the case, be prepared. Don’t worry though – it will only last a month or two!
That’s me! What can I do to help?
There’s a few things that you can do to help you cope with the pain of lasers. The first thing that I recommend to all my first timers, is give it a try without any numbing. By all means, you don’t have to. But 9/10 times, the first thing my first timers say when the treatment is complete is “was that it?”. The relief that we provide during the treatments combined with the speed of the treatments is usually enough to void extra pain management.
If you have your first treatment and would still like to manage the pain, here are some things you can do:
- Ibuprofen (aka nurofen). You will still feel the treatment, however it will take the pinch off.
- Topical anaesthetic cream (aka numbing cream or local anesthetic cream).
Where can I get numbing cream?
Firstly, you do not need prescription numbing cream. It isn’t a medical procedure – I promise it’s not that bad to require a script! In Australia, you can buy numbing cream over the counter at your local pharmacy without the need for a prescription. There are many types of brands, so please ask your pharmacist which numbing cream is best. If you give us a call, we will be happy to provide you with some names of ones we recommend.
Make sure when asking for the product, state that you’re after ‘skin numbing cream’ or ‘topical anesthetic cream’ as anesthetic creams can come in multiple forms such as numbing sprays, numbing patches, or numbing gel. These may work too, however I don’t have enough experience with them to recommend them.
Where can I use the numbing cream?
The topical numbing cream (topical anesthetic cream) doesn’t have to just be your ‘laser cream’. You can also use numbing cream for injections, numbing cream for waxing, or numbing cream for tattoo removal. Basically, it can be used anywhere that you know you might experience mild pain on the surface of your skin.
It can also be used on any part of the body. You won’t need to look for a specific face numbing cream or vaginal numbing cream. If you are using the numbing cream for your face, I suggest avoiding using it near your eyes of course.
Can I use the numbing cream for all treatments?
You can use topical anaesthetic cream for laser hair removal treatments but please notify your laser technician that you have had it on. At City Laser Clinic, you may use numbing cream prior to all of our treatments. We don’t recommend it prior to any Ulfit HIFU treatments though, as we are working too deep into the skin that it will be ineffective.
How do I use the numbing cream?
It is super important that you apply the numbing cream correctly.
Warning – If you don’t apply the numbing cream properly, it won’t work at all.
To make it easy for you – I’ve broken down the application process on how to numb skin into five easy steps.
HOW TO NUMB YOUR SKIN IN 5 EASY STEPS
- Apply a pea sized amount onto your finger and rub into the area that you will be treating.
- Apply a generous amount on top of your first layer. This time, you don’t want to rub it in. Instead, you want to pat the cream onto the area so that it is still visible.
- Once you’ve applied the numbing cream evenly to the whole area, cover the cream with cling wrap. The cling wrap will prevent the cream from rubbing off. Please note: Cling wrap is always necessary especially if the area is covered by clothing. If not, your clothes will absorb the cream.
- Keep the area warm. If the area is covered with clothes, that should be enough. Heat will ensure the numbing agents can work to their full potential. Do not apply a heat pack to warm it up though! Natural heat only.
- After 1-1.5hrs, use a dry paper towel (stocked in our clinic rooms) to wipe off the numbing cream. Please don’t use any soap or water.
And that’s it! Any pain you may experience will decrease from a 10 to a 2 at most.
How long does numbing cream last?
If the topical anesthetic is on for too long (over 3 hours), it will wear off by the time you’re due for your appointment. Similarly, if it doesn’t sit on the skin for long enough (30mins or less), it will barely work at all. We recommend applying the desensitizing cream 1-1.5 hours before your appointment.
IMPORTANT: If you take any medication or have any illnesses, please make sure that you check with your doctor or pharmacist before using the numbing cream.
Does numbing cream work? Absolutely! Some of our sensitive clients cannot have their treatments without it.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need help choosing which numbing cream to use. If you are unsure if you will need a numbing cream, we are also happy to provide a free test patch during your initial consultation so that you can have a feel of what the treatment will be like.