Vibration anesthesia: a noninvasive method of reducing discomfort prior to dermatologic procedures

Dermatol Online J. 2004 Oct 15;10(2):1.


In some dermatologic and cosmetic procedures, local anesthesia is not sufficient for relieving pain; often patients are averse to injections. We propose vibration anesthesia, the use of vibration delivered with commercially available inexpensive massagers to reduce discomfort. We find the analgesic effect of vibration helpful in minimizing pain in patients undergoing injections of botulinum toxin type A treatment for hyperhidrosis, injection of filler substances such as Restylane and Juvederm, laser therapy for leg veins, nail-fold injections, Q-switched laser treatment of tattoos, incision and drainage of abscesses, and cautery of facial warts, as well as facilitating anesthetic injections for needle-phobic patients. We expect that additional uses will be found as experience with this modality grows. Although the use of vibration anesthesia generally does not eliminate pain completely, it can serve to make the injection or procedure much more tolerable.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia / methods*
  • Anesthesiology / instrumentation*
  • Dermatology / methods
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Skin Diseases / therapy*
  • Vibration / therapeutic use*