Do Laser Skin Treatments Hurt?

A young woman peers down at her skin and smiles
Dr. Renuka Diwan provides many types of laser and IPL treatments, which correct an array of skin problems:

  • Age spots and brown discoloration
  • Facial veins, red spots and redness
  • Wrinkles
  • Acne
  • Scars
  • Unwanted hair
  • Sun damage
  • Tattoos

If you’ve never had a laser treatment before, you may be wondering what it will feel like. First-time laser or IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) patients are often nervous about the potential for pain.  Overall, our patients do not describe laser treatments as painful.

It is normal to experience what can be described as mild pinching, stinging or snapping with laser treatment of more superficial problems such as pigmentation, veins, redness or unwanted hair.  Most people say the pulsing of the laser is similar to how it would feel if you had a rubber band around your wrist and snapped it against your skin. The sensation is momentary and the entire process takes about 15-60 minutes, depending on the specific laser treatment. The sensation of each procedure will also depend on the specific treatment and the treatment area.

Because Dr. Diwan provides several types of laser and IPL treatments, you will be advised about what you will feel based on the treatment that is selected for your specific skin issue.  In general, we can confidently say that any discomfort that is expected can be minimized with different techniques and treatments are well tolerated.
A small graphic highlights the popularity of laser treatments

Cooling the skin is all that is needed for treating veins and redness.  A topical numbing cream can be applied to the skin before treatment for treatment of pigmentation or laser hair removal. A numbing cream is also effective for superficial laser resurfacing, while anesthetic injections are effective for preventing pain during deeper resurfacing treatments for wrinkles.

After laser treatments for the above issues, there is no residual discomfort or only minor discomfort that is relieved with a cold pack on the skin.  After deeper resurfacing, most people do well with a dose of an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Advil or Tylenol.

In the hours after your non-invasive or minimally invasive superficial laser treatments, it is normal to experience mild redness and swelling for a day or two, and make it possible to get back to your normal routine quickly.

The recovery is longer after more aggressive resurfacing for deeper wrinkles and scars and may take a week or two to heal to the point of applying make up.

Learn More about Laser Treatments

To find out if one of Dr. Renuka Diwan’s laser skin treatments may be right for your goals, please call our experienced, helpful staff at 440-871-9832. We are located in Westlake, OH, and proudly provide cosmetic services for people from all over, including Cleveland and the surrounding areas.