Topical anesthetic can reduce pain and bruising. Not all topical anesthetics are the same. The very high strength topical anesthetics not only reduce pain but they reduce bruising. The best topical anesthetics have high concentrations of numbing medication and extra medication that constricts blood vessels. Some doctors try to save money by using ice instead of high quality topical anesthetics. Ask your injector what he uses before you agree to the injection.
Blunt tip cannulas look like needles but they don’t have a point on the tip. A regular needle is used to make a tiny hole to allow inserting of the blunt tip cannulas. If the cannula hits a blood vessel, the blunt tip shoves the blood vessel out of the way without causing any bruising. Because they don’t have a sharp tip, they glide painlessly under the skin. It takes a little longer (a few minutes) to do the injections with blunt tip cannulas, and they cost a little more (about $5) but the lack of pain and bruising are worth the extra time.
Mixing extra anesthetic into the fillers is an off label technique that many injectors use to reduce pain and bruising. By mixing the filler with an anesthetic that contains anti bruising medication, the filler can actually stop bruising before it begins. It costs less than a dollar to add extra anesthetic and it takes less than a minute to mix it into the filler.
Avoiding supplements and over the counter medication that increase bruising can be very helpful. Fish oil, aspirin, Motrin, ibuprofen and wine are just a few of the things that increase bleeding and bruising. Ask your doctor for a list of items you should avoid using for at least a few days before your injections.
For younger women, avoid getting injected the week before your menstrual cycle. Women usually have much greater pain tolerance than men, but that advantage tends to disappear the week before your period.
Eating a small high sugar high fat meal (such as ice cream) right before your injections can actually help prevent bruising. The high sugar and high fat meal will enter your blood stream and temporarily thicken your blood which reduces tiny amounts of bleeding from capillaries in the surface of your skin. Just a few tablespoons of ice cream can do the trick.
Never rush your injector! Don’t schedule anything important right after your appointment. If your injector is running a little late, the last thing you want them to do is to have to hurry so you can get to your appointment on time. Rushed injections cause more pain and bruising.