Numbing The Skin Before Laser Hair Removal
Many people who use laser hair removal use some kind of numbing cream before to ease some of the laser zapping pains. But is it safe to numb the skin? what products are recommended for numbing the skin before home laser hair removal procedures.
Numbing Creams Before Laser Hair Removal
Numbing creams such as Dr Numb, LidoCream, EMLA or LMX can all numb the skin for 45 minutes or several hours depending on the skin area and the personal reaction to the active substances. These numbing gels are used often to reduce the pain at laser hair removal session, for people who have sensitive skin or for sensitive skin areas.
Most creams have an active lidocaine, tetracaine, benzocaine, and prilocaine in some percentage.
These creams have caused in the past severe side effects and even death, to people who applied too much of the cream or for too long. See the FDA safety report on this issue:
Without this supervision, patients may apply large amounts of topical anesthetics to their skin. This application can result in high levels of these products in the blood causing life-threatening side effects, such as an irregular heartbeat, seizures, and death.
Topical anesthetics are sometimes used in ways not approved by us and at doses that may pose a risk for serious harm to consumers. We are aware of two instances where women, aged 22 and 25 years old, applied topical anesthetics to their legs to lessen the pain of laser hair removal.
These women then wrapped their legs in plastic wrap, as they were instructed, to increase the creams’ numbing effect. Both women had seizures, fell into comas, and subsequently died from the toxic effects of the anesthetic drugs. Read more..
Pros Of Using Numbing Cream
There is no doubt that laser hair removal is a painful procedure. Though pain is a relative feeling and skin sensitivity can vary from person to person, one fact stays unchanged, the laser produces heat that burns away the hair bulb.
Once a numbing cream is used, the level of pain is reduced, the person undergoing the laser hair removal treatment can complete the session faster and easier.
Pros of using topical anesthetic creams at home for laser hair removal:
- When the pain is reduced, a higher level of laser energy can be used.
- When a higher level of laser is used, the treatment is more effective.
- Better hair removal results can be expected using higher levels of energy.
- 6-8 sessions are usually needed to complete a treatment plan, when no pain is felt there are more chances that the sessions would be completed as planned.
- With numbing gels getting pretty and smooth becomes a possible for more people.
- Using numbing gels on specific skin areas (bikini, abdominal, pubic) allows these areas to be treated at home with laser hair removal.
Cons Of Numbing Gels Before Laser Hair Removal
There are some cons for using numbing gels for laser hair removal at home. Except for the medical threats mentioned above which are part of the products reported side effects, there are other side effects related to the hair removal procedure.
When using a numbing gel, no pain is felt but pain is a natural protection sensor for the body. When no pain is felt at the skin the user may keep using the laser on high levels. If the skin is tanned, or has a natural dark/olive tone to it, using laser hair removal may cause the light to get absorbed at the skin and not at the hair.
Normally people would feel the pain of the heat scarring the flesh, and quit immediately. When using numbing gels, no pain is felt,and unless the user smells the odor of flesh getting burned, they will keep zapping the skin causing themselves severe skin burns!
Using Topical Anesthetic Safely at Home
You must read the safety labels and act exactly by them. Using a large amount of numbing gel, or covering large skin areas means more of the active substances will be absorbed to the blood stream! When large quantities of topical anesthetic reach the blood, severe side effects occur!
Use only the least amount you need to numb the pain. Apply on small areas not on large skin surfaces.
Use topical anesthetics that has the lowest amount of anesthetic drugs.
If you can not stand the pain of the laser, reduce the level one step lower and try again.
Use ice packs to numb the skin naturally.
What Others Buy For Hair Removal Numbing
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