“Will this hurt?”

This is a question I get from patients all the time. The answer I typically give is, “Yes, I’m sticking needles in your face…” or “Yes, everything I do hurts…” I’m not trying to be flippant, just honest.

Here’s the deal, every person has different pain thresholds and tolerances. I’ve had patients pass out from the very thought of a needle and I’ve had patients carry on full-blown conversations (without anesthetic), while I have a needle in their lip.

My mother used to say, “It hurts to be beautiful.” I vividly recall hearing this phrase as she was brushing out the pink foam curler curls that were cemented with just the right amount of a green jelly hair-goo. Although I spent years trying to prove my mother wrong, she has almost always turned out to be right.

But over time I’ve learned that there are ways to get through painful procedures.

1. DISTRACTING CONVERSATION

Admittedly, this doesn’t work for everyone. But if you are of sound mind and strong constitution, chatting about Brangelina’s divorce or the latest episode of Real Housewives might be all you need to make it through a procedure with only a small amount of wincing. That’s why it’s a bonus choosing a medical aesthetics provider to make sure they’re up on the latest celebrity gossip.

2. STRESS BALLS

I always provide my patients with purple balls. What? Yes. I’ve had patients over the past seven years who wouldn’t even get in my chair without those “purple balls.” They’re foam stress balls that you can squeeze if you’re feeling the pinch.

There’s something about that squeezing motion that really helps you get past the pain. I don’t know whether it’s a substitute for all of the pent up aggression we have as humans (annoying ex-spouse, pompous boss, self-centered children, etc.) or a transference of energy into an inanimate object. Either way, these stress balls do the trick! They have also saved me from getting an elbow in the stomach a time or two.

3. TOPICAL ANESTHETIC

If you’re looking for something a little stronger, numbing medication is the way to go. At Clarity, we offer topical anesthetics as part of our procedures (and of course, there are no additional fees). It’s applied at the beginning of your appointment and you’ll feel pleasantly numb within 15-30 minutes for your treatment. Please note, Fractora procedures use a stronger topical anesthetic that we apply one hour prior to your appointment.

And if that isn’t enough to help manage your pain for your medical aesthetics, we also use lidocaine with all of our dermal fillers.

Keep in mind that pain is subjective and most people report minimal pain scale numbers with aesthetic procedures. But just in case, you should discuss pain management options with your medical aesthetics provider prior to any treatment. You don’t just have to grin and bear it. Reach for the purple balls and squeeze away!