Does Restylane Injections Hurt?

I am only 27 and get a fair amount of sleep but my dark circles have become developed into slight hollowness. I have a great fear of needles going in me that I don't even have my ears pierced. Can you be put to sleep while getting or can you close your eyes while they are injecting near your eyes?

Doctor Answers 22

Minimal Discomfort with Facial Filler Injections Such as Restylane

Hi Girl Like You in LA,

Restylane injections only hurt if the injector accidentally sticks the needle in his/her only finger!  Oh, you mean does Restylane hurt the patient?

Most skilled and experienced injectors can use a number of techniques to minimize discomfort during the injection of facial fillers including Restylane.  Most patients tolerate the injections with just a little ice pack before the injection.  Restylane now comes with local anesthetic mixed in the syringe making the process much easier for patients to tolerate.  Topical anesthestic creams and local anesthetic nerve blocks are available to patients who wish to feel no pain in certain areas. 

In your case given your needle phobia, I suggest that you have a close friend or family member dirve you to the office, I would give you an appropiate dose of Xanax about 30 minutes before your injections, ice your lower eyelid area, have you keep your eyes closed during the 15 minute treatment, and have my nurse hold your hand. 

Most women can tolerate the injections very well having put up with menstrual cycles, having babies, and dealing with men.  Don't let your worries about discomfort keep you from facial filler injections, just keep reminding yourself how worth it will be to look so much better. 

Do choose your injecting physician most carefully, as injection techniques vary, comfort levels vary, and most importantly the aesthetic sense of naturally proportioned facial beauty varies (especially in the lower eye lid hollow area which is delicate and unforgiving).   Please see the below reference for the aesthetic sense of the Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Encino, CA

Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Pain from Injections, Restylane Injections

Contrary to how uncomfortable it sounds; discomfort from under eye injections actually tends to be minimal.  In my office, patients receive a topical numbing cream on the area being injected prior to their injections.  Most people do close their eyes when they are injected.  You are certainly not the first or last person who doesn’t want to see a needle coming toward them! I don’t see any reason why closing your eyes would be problematic, just check ahead of time with your injector.

Karyn Grossman, MD
Santa Monica Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Restylane - Does Restylane Injections Hurt?

No, and Yes.

While it's completely understandable that you would not be happy about having needles inserted for a treatment such as this, being "put to sleep" is excessive treatment for the procedure in question.  There are risks with all anesthesia, and they would simply not be justified for this.

You can, of course, close your eyes, and that will help.  More than this, though, is to have a topical treatment to numb the skin (it takes about 20-30 minutes to work so you need to allow a little extra time).  That is then usually enough so that the discomfort is minimal.  In extreme cases you could take an anti-anxiety pill, such as Valium, before your treatments but this is not normally necessary.

Easy for me to say that...

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Do Restylane Injections Hurt?

Hi GLY.  We certainly understand your anxiety.  We have lots of patients that are concerned about pain when they first come in for injection procedures.  

While pain is a very personal issue, we will say that the undereye area is one of the easiest places to have Restylane injected from a pain perspective.  We use topical numbing cream (a 30% mix of benzocaine, tetracaine and lidocaine) as well as a cold pack.  In addition, the Restylane itself has lidocaine in it.  So, there are several measures taken to ensure a comfortable treatment.  

Unfortunately, general anesthesia is not an option for this type of treatment.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Restylane under the eyes involves minimal discomfort


As scary and painful as having injections under the eyes may sound it is actually surprisingly uneventful and very tolerable.  We generally use a topical anesthetic on the skin prior to injections and there is also lidocaine (an anesthetic) in the Restylane as well.  Patients are always pleasantly surprised how little of the treatment they even feel....and yes, you can close your eyes.  I really wouldn't suggest, nor would I think it's necessary to do,  general anesthesia for such a procedure.  I think you'll be surprised about how quickly and easily these injections can be done by an experienced injector.

Good luck~

Dr. Grant Stevens    

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Restylane injections to tear troughs do not hurt.


We use a little local anesthesia inside the mouth, which numbs all the nerves.  Then, the Restylane injections do not hurt at all, and of course you keep your eyes closed.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

The hardest part of the filler injections is the anticipation

They really aren't too bad. I have performed thousands of facial filler injections, (and been on the receiving end of them too). 

Most fillers do have numbing medication mixed with them.  In addition numbing cream can be used.  Also numbing nerve blocks are very helpful for some areas of the face.

Finally, it is often the apprehension that is the worst part.  If you think this might be the case, come with a friend. You can have a mild sedative tablet, and your friend can drive you home. Once you have done it once, you will probably find it is not anywhere as hard as you might have imagined. 

Christopher J. Peers, MD
South Bend Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Methods are available to provide injections without much discomfort

While some patients choose to undergo sedation in order to get fillers, its more typical when there is a large amount of product being used.  Injecting Restylane into your tear troughs to address dark circles or hallows will likely not require much product, relatively speaking - and therefore, not many needle pricks.  That being said, given your fear of needles, its important to understand that things have come a long way in terms of patient comfort and pain management with non-surgical treatments. Restylane currently comes in a formulation containing lidocaine (numbing medication) which numbs the area immediately.  To calm your nerves, you might consider speaking to your doctor about prescribing Valium prior to treatment (just make sure you arrange a ride home, as you should not drive).  

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

The hurt of restylane inections

  It is difficult to treat a patient with a real, genuine needle phobia with injectable fillers.  Of course, you could have sedation but as stated by others, the cost of this could be prohibitive.  But if your fear is really of the pain more than of the needle, there are numerous techniques that can be employed to make this injection tolerable.  Certainly, I see no reason why you could not close your eyes during this treatment.   Do mention your fears to your treating physician and he/she will likely go out of his way to make you comfortable.

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 131 reviews

Does Restylane Injections Hurt?

The costs for sedation would far out weigh the costs for the Restylane injections. Think about this. Or try numbing creams, local blocks, hypnosis to alleviate your fear of the needle. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.