When I am consulting a patient at our clinic, the patient is often new to the idea of the treatments we provide. Without knowing what to expect, their fears come to the forefront of the conversation. One of the main questions that undoubtedly come up is “is it painful?” I like to be very honest and up front with my patients and will give them the feedback that either I have felt myself or feedback from other treated patients.
For all the years I have been at Toronto Dermatology Centre, our weekly meetings center around how to make patients more comfortable and how to make results more desirable. We are constantly adding new equipment or options that have been beneficial. Now, we have the cream of the crop. Let me introduce you to the Zimmer:
The Zimmer Cryo Mini cools through the medium of air; therefore, it is always ready for use. Unlike other cooling methods, such as contact cooling, ice packs, or cryogen spray, this Zimmer Chiller can cool the skin before, during, and after a treatment. This Zimmer can filter and cool down ambient room air to -10c by a closed loop circuit, and can deliver an impressive 1000L of air per minute.
This Zimmer Cooler is used during cosmetic laser treatments and other related dermatological laser treatments. Application of cold air during laser treatments can lead to a distinct reduction in pain and may reduce thermal tissue damage. The Cryo Mini is the perfect addition for both patient and practitioner.
With the addition of the Zimmer, Toronto Dermatology Centre is keeping the comfort of their patients a top priority. While we have always used topical numbing creams available to our patients for certain treatments, they simply can’t be used in other treatments. When treating vascular concerns, using a topical anesthetic may constrict the vein, making it much harder for the laser energy to be absorbed into the vessel. The topicals may take 30-60 minutes to become properly effective, and rarely does that fit into the treatment time, unless of course the patient comes in that much ahead of their scheduled visit.
There will always be the addition of topicals applied to such treatments as laser resurfacing or Dermaroller treatments, as the dermis is affected by the treatment. However, we have seen that by also adding the cooling of the Zimmer, not only is the patient considerably more comfortable, but often the patient is in control of the hose. Simply by being aware that they are able to move the hose around to suit their comfort, the patient’s mind is moderately removed from concentrating on any discomfort. I have seen this many times, and always the patient is much happier to have some control of their comfort level.
In milder treatments we also have the use of ice rollers, which can be applied before and after treatments. Patients state that, once again, being able to hold the roller themselves and using where they feel they need it, is a great relief for them. This works well in BBL/IPL treatments or photodynamic therapy (PDT) treatments, where the topical numbing agents can’t be applied.
Occasionally, and especially for laser resurfacing, such as Profractional laser, an oral medication can be administered, providing the patient has someone to drive them home.
Rarely does the patient feel significant pain, but we all experience discomfort differently. It is best that our clinic is prepared to meet your comfort needs. With each growing year we are working towards giving our patients the most desirable outcome with less downtime, and a more pleasant experience. We are constantly aiming to increase the satisfaction of the patient experience and will continue to research and find the best available solutions.
~ Sheri Roselle, Medical Esthetician at Toronto Dermatology Centre