methods to diminish the pain


Hi All,

I just had my first treatment on the full back and shoulder. I used Apogee 25j at a rate of 16,5.

Although I am not fully happy about the work of the nurse and the clinic - I paid for 1 hour and she used the laser for 40’- I was feeling some pain on the more sensitive areas.
She did 2 things:

  • she applied a distilled water on some parts of the back (quite big) to cool the area, indeed Apogee has a cooling device.
  • she also said that it is not good to apply anaesthetic creams on the skin because they dimish the effect of the laser beam.

Can anyone answer to the following resulting thoughts.

  1. I have read a lot about laser beam absorbtion and believe that they are attracted by the dark melanin of the hair. No I know that the water inside the skin can diminish the effect of the laser, this is why the laser tends to go deeper on to be more intense in the pulse. She has applied distilled water on the skin.
    Has this diminished the effect of my laser treatment?
  2. is it true that anaesthetic creams applied before diminish the effect of the laser treatment because the skin will be asleep.



I’m sure other people have more experience about this, but… I can’t believe that nurse! Any kind of skin anesthetic is fine and has nothing to do with how much laser gets absorbed by the hair. I think most people, myself included, use anesthetic like Emla and see fine results.

It just dulls the nerves’.

Unless the cream contains bleach, I would ask the nurse “How come anesthetic lowers effectiveness?” and see what kind of gibberish she comes up with.

As for the water; water having a cooling effect might help bear the pain, but it shouldn’t have any bearing at all on the treatment. Emla and gel are used in my sessions regularly, to help the laser glide over the skin better.

The only thing I think that may lead to less effective results for you is the 16 setting, which seems very low. You must have very dark hair and/or burn easily, to warrant that low of a setting. If you do burn easy, keep using the low setting, or you’ll be really burned.

Keep in mind laser is best at reduction, not complete removal, and usually requires 4-6 sessions at 2-3 month intervals for long lasting results. It’s a long, time consuming process, and immediate results aren’t always achievable.

Did you get a guarentee in writing?

Hope this helps!



There’s a water-cooled handpiece that usually cools the skin and reduces the pain to bearable levels for some. Other consumers require additional pain relief.

Applying water shouldn’t affect the effectiveness of your treatment.

As far as topical products like ELA-Max or EMLA, some people contend that this reduces effectiveness, but I’m not aware of any studies that back this claim up. These products can cause the blood to be reduced in the skin (blanching), but this shouldn’t affect the laser result. The lasers target melanin, and it’s actually preferable to get the blood out of the skin, as it increases the scattering and attenuation of the beam when it enters the skin.

The major problem with EMLA and ELA Max is that they make it harder for the consumer to tell if she or he is being overtreated. A high level of pain can be an early warning that you are being treated at too high of a level.