How to Make a Shot Not Hurt

Many people have phobias of getting needles.
Many people have phobias of getting needles. (Image: Siri Stafford/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Very few people look forward to getting a shot at the doctor's office, but for many people, these shots are a regular part of life. If you get a flu vaccine shot every year, you may find yourself dreading the experience. While a shot is only a small poke into your skin, some people are more sensitive to it. If you can't stand the thought of getting a needle, and get squeamish when you have to get a shot, there are steps you can take to lessen the pain.

Visit the pharmacy in the days prior to receiving the shot to purchase a medication that will help dull the sensation of the needle. Pharmacies carry a variety of over-the-counter products, such as EMLA and Ametop, which are local anesthetics you can use to desensitize your skin.

Apply the anesthetic product to the skin in the area in which you'll receive the shot. Many immunizations, for example, are given in the shoulder. Remember to read the specific instructions on the product you buy. Typically, they last for up to 1 hour, so make sure to apply the product at the correct time.

Ask a trusted family member to sit with you while you receive the shot and hold your hand. Make and maintain eye contact with the family member as you receive the shot to keep your mind off of it.

Listen to music from an iPod or other portable device as you receive the shot. Try to concentrate on the music rather than thinking about the shot.

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