Does the mere thought of pokes and pain turn you off from the idea of getting Botox?
If you’ve never had it, you’re probably curious about how painful it really is—and, oh, do we get that!
Few of us enjoy the poke of any needle all that much, nevermind having one pointed at our face in multiple locations.
Yet millions of men and women happily get Botox every year.
Is there a secret side of cosmetic sadism, or is Botox just not all that painful to begin with?
Here’s all you’ll ever need to know about how painful Botox is—and isn’t.
For some people, Botox does hurt
People who say Botox doesn’t hurt may not be lying, but they’re certainly not speaking for all of us. Yes, sometimes Botox does hurt. Is it an unbearable pain? Not for most people.
But if you’ve been led to believe that there’s no pain at all associated with Botox, or that all you will feel is a “pinprick” or “mosquito bite,” well, that may not be accurate.
For the vast majority of people, Botox injections are a bearable pain, a necessary evil. (Because “even if you’re not ready for the day….” right?) For others, they can expect to feel a mild to moderate pain at Botox injection sites for up to about a half-hour. Again, it’s typically a very bearable and relatively mild pain, but not always and not for everyone.
(And for the record, it isn’t the mosquito’s bite that hurts; it’s its saliva, injected to stop your blood from clotting. What a guy. Or gal.)
All things considered, most ‘virgin toxers’ should expect more surprise than pain
Botox injections use one of the thinnest needles available. But even needles can be scary or outright painful to some patients. If you have a particular dislike for needles or a very low pain tolerance threshold, a good injector will still have a trick or three up their sleeve, minimally including all of the following:
Three ways to reduce Botox pain for those with low pain tolerance
- Ice: In the simplest method of making Botox more tolerable, ice can be applied to injection sites.
- Topical anesthetic: A topical anesthetic can be applied prior to the Botox injections. Since this is a numbing agent, any pain or discomfort is greatly reduced.
- Distraction technique: Distraction?! But will this work if we tell you about it? Most likely. Vibrations, for instance, have been clinically shown to reduce the pain and discomfort associated with injections.
By using one or more of the three pain management options listed above, your injector should be able to turn the experience into a comfortable one.
Does pain set in after Botox injections?
Not particularly. Most of any discomfort experienced would be while the product is being (semi-repeatedly) injected into your skin through the needle.
What would a Botox connoisseur do?
For the virgin toxer, we’d recommend one of two pain management approaches:
- Use your preferred means of pain control—ice, anesthetic, distraction, or all three—only on your first visit. At your next, now that the fright’s over, try going without it and see how the injections feel. Taken in baby steps, this approach will eventually allow you to bear the pin prick pain of Botox without any pain intervention.
- Go without pain management entirely from the get-go. On your first visit, give Botox a try without pain management options, because they can always be quickly administered as needed and you may find the pain is far more bearable than you anticipated. Because hey, it can’t hurt to try, right?
But either way, there’s absolutely no shame in having to use pain management before, during, or even after Botox.
A great Botox injector will also help you feel mentally and physically relaxed and will be able to take the edge off of any jitters experienced by first-time Botox injections.