The short answer? No. Just like giving birth, you don’t need any sort of numbing to get the job done. However, it helps out more than you can imagine, and you’ll certainly wish you went with it in the middle of the process if you foolishly skip out! Doctors, mothers, and even tattoo artists like to keep numbing cream in the medicine cabinet. Given the vast range of methods and medicines you can use to get the job done, why not go ahead and utilize one of them? Let’s go over how skin numbing techniques help you power through laser hair removal treatment!
Types of Numbing
First, you can choose several different types of numbing. I have a clear favorite, but I want to discuss all of them for you.
- Dynamic Cooling Device (DCD) – Your surgeon will likely have one of these on hand, since they are used exclusively to help with laser treatments on the skin. It quickly cools the top layer of the skin without touching the bottom layer, allowing the laser to ‘heat’ the top layer of skin back to normal painlessly while it zaps your hairs out of existence.
- Ice cubes/cold compress – By applying ice cubes directly to your skin, you can temporarily freeze the nerves and numb the area. It feels absolutely horrible for the first few minutes, but it does work. Unfortunately, this method fades very quickly—well within five minutes. It also returns with a tingling feeling that is a pain of its own (albeit better than the pain of laser hair removal). If you have no other option, then this is better than nothing.
- Local Anesthesia – Your surgeon can give you local anesthesia in the form of a lidocaine shot. This is the same substance found in most numbing creams, but it only uses chemicals safe for your bloodstream. This is the most effective method, although insurance rarely covers anesthesia for a cosmetic procedure, and it can get pricey.
- Numbing Cream – My preferred way of numbing, you just spread a little of this stuff on and wait thirty minutes or so. Then you wipe it off and go straight into your session. You feel nothing and it lasts for hours—enough for the residual stinging to wear off!
How Do I Use Numbing Cream for Hair Removal?
If you’re thinking about using numbing cream for Brazilian laser hair removal or other sorts of hair removal, get ready thirty minutes ahead of time. Apply a thin layer to the affected area and wait thirty minutes. Most creams take thirty minutes to reach peak intensity and remain effective for a few hours. Once you’re sure it’s working, wash it off and attend your session. Always make sure your numbing cream is FDA approved.
Laser hair removal numbing cream side effects include numb skin (duh), swelling, sensitivity, sleepiness, bruising, and skin color changes. These side effects are all very rare—especially rare among the FDA approved OTC numbing creams—but be sure to do a spot test ahead of your laser hair removal session and follow any directions included with the cream. You should also ask your doctor about it.
Final Word on Numbing Cream for Laser Hair Removal
In the end, you don’t need skin numbing for laser hair removal…but you will sincerely regret it if you don’t use it! So consider your options and make it a simple task to power through the worst of your waxes or laser removal. It’s about way more than pain tolerance. The less pain you feel, the faster your doctor can work, and the faster your recovery goes. At least try it once, and if it doesn’t work for you, then you can use the remainder of your numbing cream of choice for sunburns or cuts. There really is no going wrong here! Hopefully this helps with your laser hair removal session, and good luck out there!