What should my doctor do to minimize pain during laser treatment?
The first and easiest way is to select the least painful laser. Laser hair removal is a great case in point. I recently switched my clinic's hair laser from the Lumenis LightSheer to the Soprano system by Alma lasers and it has been a great move. I know that this will sound like I'm just trying to promote the laser that I have - but its really not. This laser is markedly less painful than the others we have used. Clients say so and so do I - I get it on the back of my neck. It is just as effective as the lasers that feel like you're being being branded.
If you're getting IPL / photofacial, you usually should not use numbing cream - it affects the results. Vicodin an hour before, however, is a great idea.
For Fraxel, Active Fx and other lasers that hurt you can use a combination of Vicodin, Xanax, numbing cream, ice and cool air (during the procedure). Most people sail through the procedure (actually "fly" would be the more accurate description of the experience) on this kind of combination treatment.
The other piece of advice is to go to a reputable clinic (duh!) with an experienced doctor who cares enough to have the most potent numbing creams and good technicians who are speedy and empathetic to your experience.