question about pain


I am considering removing back / shoulder hair. Talked to a dermatalogist who is very experienced. She said most of her male customers end up getting a pain killer shot (I think Demerol) and even after that, she said it is still very painful. Just seeing if people who have gone through this can validate. Thanks.


Pain is a highly subjective matter. Some consumers find laser to be completely bearable with no pain medication. Others have found it to be the most painful experience of their lives.

There are two issues with pain medication:

–They make it harder to tell if you’re being overtreated

–It can lead to serious side effects in rare cases.

After a 20-year old Coast Guard cadet in the D.C. suburbs died from pain medication administered before a laser hair removal procedure, I wrote up an extensive section on pain management:

Hairfacts: Pain management

Back and shoulders tend to be pretty bearable in comparison to other body areas. The main issues with laser are bony areas like shoulder blades and spine, and the ribs in front of the latissimus muscles on the back.

[ September 04, 2002, 10:31 PM: Message edited by: Andrea ]


Have you thought about using Emla? I have used it and am happy with it. See my story in this same section:;f=43;t=000005


I don’t get it.

Sometimes I can feel the laser working, but pain?

I’ve even had a small test patch done with electrolysis and no pain.

I’ve read many many articles on pain management and before my laser treatments I believed it was going to be painfull. But after 5 full treatments thus far I would have to say to everyone that it doesn’t hurt at all. Sure you may feel something every once in a while but so what?

Ok I’ll put this into perspective…it hurts more to get my teeth cleaned at the denstist than it does to have laser on my private parts.

I guess if you really believe it is going to hurt then of course it probably will.


If someone is over expectant of the pain they think they are going to feel, they might actually be relieved when it’s nothing near what they thought it would be, making treatment more tolerable as opposed to being under expectant and then being disappointed.

Having the right mental attitude may be very helpful, but “mind over matter” may not work for everyone, and some do experience real, not “imaginary” pain during treatment.


Everyone experiences pain in different ways. I actually like going to the dentist-- how weird is that?

I know this super-tough chick who does marathons, but can’t stand hair removal. I’ll take the worst bikini wax pain ever over hitting the wall at mile 22!

Some prefer yanking an adhesive bandage off, where others prefer a slow pull.

Some people can fall asleep during electrolysis, where others jump off the table with each zap.

Same is true for laser. It’s all extremely variable and not predictable. Most people describe laser like getting snapped with a rubber band or dripped with hot wax, but some find it absolutely excruciating. It probably comes down to differences in our pain receptors, although there are a lot of general steps one can take to reduce pain (described at the HairFacts link above).

When I first started this web project, I thought people who find hair removal painful were just wimps, but I’ve read enough medical data to know that indiviual pain responses can be completely different, depending on their tolerances for certain types of discomfort.

Most people can tolerate hair removal, but if you can’t, there are plenty of options so you don’t have to suffer. Don’t let pain or the fear of it keep you from seeking hair removal!

[ September 30, 2002, 08:35 PM: Message edited by: Andrea ]