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Anesthesia combo improves pain reduction

National report — Results of a new study indicate cold-air anesthesia used with topical anesthesia reduces pain significantly more than topical anesthesia alone during ablative fractionated carbon dioxide laser photoaging treatments.

Study results show the mean patient-reported pain score was statistically significantly lower with the cold-air/topical anesthesia combination, at 4.27 (on a scale of zero to 10), compared with 7.47 for topical anesthesia alone, HealthDay News reports. The mean physician-reported scores were similar: 3.73 for the cold-air/topical combination and 7.8 for topical alone.

Researchers with Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, and St. Vincent Hospital, Carmel, Ind., conducted the prospective, split-face study, which involved 15 patients who underwent ablative fractionated CO2 laser treatment for photoaging. Patients and physicians rated perceived discomfort of the treatment on each side of the face to assess whether forced cold-air anesthesia could reduce the discomfort of the laser procedure.

“The anesthetic use of forced cold air in conjunction with ablative fractionated CO2 laser is a practical, well-tolerated modality that allows performance of the procedure with minimal discomfort in the absence of sedation, anesthesia and narcotic analgesia,” the authors wrote.

The study was published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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