Laser hair removal continues to be a popular cosmetic treatment for both women and men. Even with the increased use of Botox, fillers, laser resurfacing, and skin tightening devices, laser hair removal is still the most frequently requested treatment. While usually not as painful as something like laser resurfacing or a deep chemical peel, laser hair removal can still be uncomfortable. Many individuals having laser hair removal request a numbing cream to make the experience easier. The best numbing cream for laser hair removal is a triple anesthetic cream made at a compounding pharmacy.
What is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal involves using a concentrated light beam that focuses on pigment in hair follicles. Because it targets pigment, the darker the hair color the more effective the laser will be. The surrounding skin should not be affected because it is not the same color as the hair. That is why it is recommended that tanning be avoided for six weeks before treatment. Tan skin will make the laser less effective at targeting only the pigment in the hair. Unlike shaving, which cuts the hair at the surface of the skin, the laser targets the hair follicle. With repeated treatments it is possible to get permanent or semi-permanent hair removal.
The Best Numbing Cream for Laser Hair Removal
Not everyone who gets laser hair removal finds it painful. Most individuals find it to be less painful than waxing. The sensation is sometimes equated to a “snapping” like a rubber band. Others say that the treatments are more painful than that and experience a burning, stinging sensation. The laser is working by generating heat to destroy the hair follicle. For those that are more sensitive it can be painful enough that a low-strength numbing cream is not effective. A higher-strength BLT cream is the best numbing cream for laser hair removal.
A triple anesthetic cream, also called BLT cream, includes benzocaine, lidocaine, and tetracaine. There is no commercially available formulation that contains these three anesthetics together. The higher-strength combination creams need to be obtained from a compounding pharmacy that specializes in anesthetic formulations. The most common formulation is a cream with benzocaine 20%, lidocaine 6%, and tetracaine 4%.
BLT Numbing Cream Precautions
One technique that is sometimes used before laser hair removal is occlusion. This refers to the method of applying a numbing cream, then covering the area with plastic wrap. While this does increase the numbing effects it also increases the chances for adverse effects. Occlusion increases the amount of anesthetic that gets absorbed systemically which can lead to increased heart rate, dizziness, and nausea. BLT numbing cream is the best numbing cream for laser hair removal because it is a powerful combination of anesthetics. In general, BLT cream should only be applied by a skilled professional in their office – not at home by the individual before their treatment.
Laser Hair Removal Can Be Painless
Laser hair removal does not have to be a painful procedure. Newer laser hair removal devices have better cooling tips that can reduce the pain sensation from the heat the laser generates. Additional recommendations for making the experience less painful are to take a painkiller a half hour before treatment and to apply ice to the treatment area. Numbing creams are the best way that treatments are painless. Many professionals agree that a BLT numbing cream is the best numbing cream for laser hair removal. With the use of a BLT numbing cream, the laser hair removal sessions are much easier to get through.