Background Pain is expected during noninvasive skin tightening and can be anxiety provoking, especially for those who have not had prior treatments. Objective To compare pain reported by patients naïve to nonablative skin tightening energy devices with those who were not naive. Methods and Materials The non-naïve group at least three nonablative laser procedures or one nonablative skin tightening procedure, and the naïve group no previous treatments. Four sites at each of two anatomic locations (periorbital and midface or cheek) were treated in each subject with needle prick, pulsed dye laser, radiofrequency, and ultrasound with the order of the interventions randomized. All interventions except ultrasound were also applied to three abdominal sites. The difference in mean pain scores between naïve and nonnaïve subjects were averaged over the anatomic sites. Results Ten naïve and 10 non-naïve subjects completed study procedures. Mean pain scores ranged from 1.3 to 4.9. The mean for all naïve conditions was 2.3 ± 1.0, vs 2.2 ± 1.4 for non-naïve conditions. There was no overall difference according to group, device, or anatomic area. Conclusions There was no significant difference in pain between naïve and non-naïve subjects undergoing cutaneous energy treatments. Individual devices may elicit more pain at specific anatomic locations.
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