Less pain with injections, procedures, and lasers is a good goal.
So glad you asked this! There must be as many different ways that dermatologists and clinics help their patients manage discomfort/pain as there are clinics.
Please see #2 below for your answer!
Bruising is a different issue, so please see our last post on avoiding bruising after injections.
Before your treatments or visit:
- Talk to the clinic you’re working with. Ideally they have a set of written or verbal instructions. Do they have a small amount of numbing cream they can provide you to put on for the drive in? Many clinics have a numbing cream (usually with a lidocaine base), that they use IN clinic, but can also provide a small amount for you to get started early.
- Many clinics, including ours, provides 20-60 minutes of numbing time prior to any procedures with needles, or lasers as needed. Photos are taken, consents done, then some quiet time to read or work while you numb before the appointment. Take advantage of this!! It really helps and you can arrive a little early, if you want or need more time.
- Be sure to let your doctor/nurse know if you are allergic to Lidocaine or any other “caines.”
- Tylenol (acetominophen), as long as it’s safe for you, doesn’t cause more bruising, unlike aspirin, Advil (ibuprofen), or Aleve (naproxyn). Taking it as directed the night before or morning of may help.
During the treatment:
- Yes – it’s true that Sculptra and all of the hyluronic acid fillers now have a numbing agent (usually lidocaine) mixed in. This helps, but only if your doctor knows how to make it help. If the injections are all over the face, it won’t help. If the injections are done first in one area, then the numbing allowed to take place, and THEN more injections thru the already numb area, it’s less painful. This depends on the treatment plan.
- Could the clinic provide someone to ice you during the treatment?
- Using “squeezy balls” along with breathing and relaxation techniques helps.
- A vibrating “distractor” device can be placed on the arm or leg which helps some patients.
- Never under estimate “talkesthesia!” 🙂
After your treatment:
- Take an ice bag provided by the clinic with you, and ice a bit longer than you need to.
- Ice for 5 minutes several times the first day at home. Never put an ice bag directly on the skin. Always cover it with something.
- Take Tylenol for the first 24-72 hours, as long as your doctor says okay. Women shouldn’t exceed 6 a day and men 8 a day. See the instructions.
- Take it easy! If you work out, or get your heart rate up, you may increase bleeding under the skin and have more pain.