Questions about anaesthetics and pain

Dr. Sandy (our specialist) has a diploma from the South African College of Medicine in Anaesthetics.

This allows her to ensure that the non-surgical treatments done at Dr Sandy Medical Spa are relatively painless using anaesthesia.

What are anaesthetics agents?

For the skin to function efficiently, numerous cells and tissues work together diligently. Besides regulating various bodily systems (e.g. releasing sweat during intense workouts), the skin is extremely important for protecting the body from harm by sensing any potentially dangerous stimuli. This is made possible as the skin is densely scattered with sensory receptors. A very important receptor known as nociceptor, which is responsible for the sensation of pain. These receptors are able to detect painful sensations from heat, chemical, mechanical, and silent (inflammatory) triggers.

For example, an injection will activate both mechanical and silent nociceptors. For those seeking minimally invasive procedures, this can make treatment uncomfortable.

Fortunately Dr Sandy is skilled in using Anaesthetic agents are then formulated to numb the proposed treatment areas adequately, so that patients can enjoy a comfortable and pain-free treatment session.

This is made possible as the skin is densely scattered with sensory receptors. A very important receptor known as nociceptor, which is responsible for the sensation of pain. These receptors are able to detect painful sensations from heat, chemical, mechanical, and silent (inflammatory) triggers.

For example, an injection will activate both mechanical and silent nociceptors. For those seeking minimally invasive procedures, this can make treatment uncomfortable.

Fortunately Dr Sandy is skilled in using Anaesthetic agents are then formulated to numb the proposed treatment areas adequately, so that patients can enjoy a comfortable and pain-free treatment session.

What are they made of?

Local anaesthetic, which numbs localised areas while still maintaining consciousness.

Popular anaesthetics brands

Local anaesthetic agents are further divided into 2 chemical classes: esters and amides. While ester-based anaesthetics (e.g. procaine) deliver fast numbing actions, amide-based anaesthetics (e.g. lidocaine, prilocaine etc.) have a slower onset of action and can be more stable. Some of the most popular brands are Emla, Pliaglis, and Coolsense.

  • Emla™ Cream 5%: This cream contains both prilocaine and lidocaine in a ratio of 1:1. The cream is applied in order to numb the skin.
  • Pliaglis® Cream 7%: This cream contains both ester- and amide-based anaesthetic agents, tetracaine and lidocaine, in a ratio of 1:1. The cream is applied to the skin directly and is then peeled away.
  • Coolsense Pain Numbing Applicator: This anaesthetic device is kept frozen until ready to use, and is then applied to numb the skin. This device simply numbs the proposed treatment areas using very cold sensation delivered by a metal pin.

How do they work?

The majority of local anaesthetics share a similar mode of action. Once administered, the anaesthetic agent prevents the generation and release of impulses in the nerve membranes. As a result, the intended treatment area is not as sensitive to pain and the medical procedure can be conducted without distracting discomfort.