Skin Deep

Lavender may help ease the stress of pre-injection anxiety

 

Special to The Miami Herald

On some days, I inject up to 40 patients with Botox, Dysport and various fillers. I never know what state of mind they’re going to be in when I walk into the treatment room.

Some patients are as cool as cucumbers (even passing on the numbing cream), while others are anxious bundles of nerves. As with other fears and phobias, the level of anxiety is unique to each patient, but fortunately a study that I was involved in has shed light on a novel way to calm pre-injection jitters, and it may come as a surprise… It’s lavender!

The same essential oil that’s widely used (and accepted) for easing tension and inducing sleep, lavender is commonly found in spas to help set a relaxing tone, as well as products to impart an aromatherapy effect. But a recent study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology set out to see if lavender could quell anxiety associated with Botox injections and indeed, it can!

The study involved 30 patients who had never received cosmetic facial injections, and those who were given a whiff of lavender essential oil. Those who had the lavender oil had significantly lower heart rate after being injected as compared to before. Patients who were exposed to a placebo had no difference in blood pressure or heart rate before and after treatment. Although lavender did not affect pain perception, patients who inhaled the scent pre-treatment were certainly more relaxed.

This is just further proof that aromatherapy works, not only for injections but for many other anxieties as well. So next time you think about reaching for that bottle of Xanax, perhaps you should turn to lavender essential oil instead!

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