Health Team

Anesthetic gel brings a new wrinkle to skin treatments

Pliaglis, newly approved by the FDA, helps women feel less pain when undergoing treatment with Restylane to get rid of wrinkles.

Posted Updated

RALEIGH, N.C. — Millions of women get injections to get rid of wrinkles, accepting both the slight pinch from a needle and more pain from some fillers used to smooth out the skin.

Now there's something to stop the pain.

Esther Aruca-Ortez tried fighting wrinkles with the filler Restylane, but the injections hurt.

“On a scale of 1 to 10, it was a 9,” Aruca-Ortez said.

Dr. Mark Steven Nestor, a Florida dermatologist, says that for many people, wrinkle remedies hurt too much.

“A lot of people are very frightened of them because of the discomfort or pain,” Nestor said.

Now, though, patients can have these cosmetic procedures without paying the price in pain – thanks to a new topical anesthetic called Pliaglis.

The federal Food and Drug AdministrationFDA recently approved Pliaglis. It's a combination of two common topical anesthetics – ones that are applied to the skin. Pliaglis forms a gel-like mask that releases them.

“Because of the amount of anesthetic in there and because of this occlusive aspect – this gel or mask that it forms – it is very, very powerful and it works very well,” Nestor explained.

After 30 minutes, the dried gel is peeled away, but the numbness stays. The prick of the needle is almost pain-free.

“The patients feel that this is virtually painless, and it makes the procedure for them much, much more pleasant,” Nestor said.

The cream is not just for wrinkle-fillers, either. Doctors use it to numb skin before laser treatments and even tattoo removal.

For Aruca-Ortez, getting Restylane the next time was easy.

“I actually felt no pain, and I will definitely be back for my touch up in six months,” she said.

Getting rid of wrinkles no longer has to hurt.

Other skin fillers like collagen contain lidocaine to reduce the pain from injections, but Restylane has grown in popularity because the results last longer – six months or more.



Allen Mask, M.D., Reporter
Rick Armstrong, Producer
Ron Gallagher, Web Editor

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