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Short Communication Open Access

Pain management in aesthetic medicine


Managing pain in aesthetic medicine takes a different leap when compared to general medicine or surgery, where some level of pain or discomfort has already set in. Pain in an aesthetic medical procedure is multifactorial; it depends on the type of procedure (botulinum toxin, fillers, threads, lasers, radiofrequency, infrared and chemical peel), site of treatment (face, body, bony area and hairy area), type of pain–nociceptive, neuropathic or inflammatory and patient’s threshold to pain. To some, the psychological pain of what may go wrong can be more than the physical pain caused by the procedure. There is also the proportion of pain to skin color in laser related procedures. It is well known that anxiety and fear also play an important role in aesthetic procedures. Managing pain is just as much about managing expectations and it starts during consultation. Giving an insight to the pain and describing the sensation helps to prepare the patient. A holistic approach will be to provide a soothing ambience, clinical hypnotherapy and engaging all the senses - sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch, which are proven adjuvants in minimizing pain. Thereafter, simple and easily available approach will be to use ice cubes, cold sprays, ice gels, topical anesthetic cream, etc. Pharmacological pain relief can be classified into non-sedative and sedative options, with proper monitoring and emergency facilities required for the later. With so many options available, the physician’s suggestion for pain management must be discussed with the patients and must not be carried out without their consent. Additionally, the choice of pain management must not interfere with the treatment outcome, such as using sedation when the patient’s input is important during augmentation procedure.


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