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Is Laser Hair Removal Painful?

Is Laser Hair Removal Painful?

By Beverly Fischer on September 20, 2017

Laser Hair Removal Back to Blog

Are Hair Laser Removal Procedures Painful? - Dr. Beverly Fischer, MD - Timonium MD

Laser hair removal is a popular and excellent choice for many people seeking to permanently remove hair from certain parts of the body. A treatment method is an effective option over the daily hassle of tweezing, shaving and waxing. It is also a very targeted approach, treating hair growth in sensitive areas such as under the arms, legs, chest, and on the face.

A common question that people ask is whether laser hair removal is painful. Laser hair removal typically feels like a rubber band snapping against your skin. The extent of discomfort that the laser can cause to you depends on your skin type, color, amount of hair to be removed, and the area of your body that is being treated.

Here are some of the sensations that you would expect to feel in different parts of your body.


The level of discomfort will depend on the different areas of your face and how much skin is present. The area around the upper lip is often the most sensitive, and it feels like a rubber band snapping very quickly against it during laser treatment. Other areas such as the cheeks, chin, and sideburns are less painful due to the thicker skin.


The underarms are the most sensitive area of the body for hair removal. It is also where patients feel the most pain and discomfort. The feeling can be likened to a deep needle, but the hair removal is often very effective. New laser treatment methods cause far less discomfort than the feeling of a needle (numbing cream helps to reduce the pain).

Effective laser hair removal can also prevent skin irritation and ingrown hairs that are caused by other hair removal methods, further reducing discomfort. The end result? No more worrying about underarm hair after just a few treatment sessions.

Bikini line

The bikini line is also a sensitive area for hair removal. Compared to other hair removal methods such as waxing, laser treatment is far less painful, although it takes longer. Therefore, it is a trade off between the sharp but shorter pain of waxing, and the mild but longer discomfort of laser treatment.

When done correctly, laser treatment can prove to be more effective and cause fewer side effects to the skin after treatment.


The thick skin around the arms makes laser treatment patients experience minimal discomfort. The pain can be likened to a weaker rubber band snapping against your arms. The discomfort is so minimal, that many patients don’t require numbing cream when being treated around the arms.




Laser hair removal around the legs feels like a slight sting on your skin. It is often very tolerable and causes little pain. The feeling can be likened to a tolerable-snapping sensation.


Laser treatment on the stomach may give a ticklish sensation with a slight sting. The skin in this area tends to be thicker, and the pain experienced is minimal.


The back is sensitive due to the skin and the extent of hair-growth in that area. If you have a lot of hair on your back that needs removal, the procedure may be painful due to the hair density. Numbing cream can help make the pain much more tolerable.

Skin color

Darker skin leads to greater sensitivity because the laser radiation is absorbed by the higher-pigmentation in the skin. If you have dark and coarse-hair, you may also be more sensitive to the laser treatment. The level of discomfort often reduces after each successive treatment session, due to the hair becoming lighter and thinner.

At the Advanced Center for Plastic Surgerywe have invested in the correct equipment to help reduce pain and reduce the healing time. Our years of application with these popular treatments also add to the level of comfort you will experience when getting these treatments. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact us!  

Advanced Center for Plastic Surgery | (410) 308-4700 | Website | More posts

Dr. Beverly A. Fischer is passionate about her role as a leading female plastic and cosmetic surgeon in Baltimore, Maryland and beyond. She believes that plastic surgery makes a positive, life-changing difference, whether you’re renewing your body, face, and skin or embarking on an entire gender transition.

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