Ending Needle Pain: An Interview with Dr. Manju Dawkins, Founder of Thimble

I sit down with Dr. Manju Dawkins to talk about her company, Thimble, that’s dedicated to ending needle pain.


In the world of medicine, the sight of a needle can instill fear and discomfort in even the bravest souls. For many, the mere thought of getting a shot or undergoing a blood draw can trigger anxiety or even a vasovagal episode.

For example, I put on a brave face myself when I need to get a shot, but deep inside my surgeon heart, I hate it!

But what if there was a way to transform this experience into something less painful and more empowering? Enter Thimble, a company founded by Dr. Manju Dawkins, a dermatologist with a mission to change the way we approach needle procedures.

In a recent interview with Dr. Dawkins, I delved into the story behind Thimble and how it’s revolutionizing the world of needle procedures, making them more comfortable and less daunting for everyone, from children to adults.

Watch the full interview on YouTube!

The Birth of Thimble

To start off, Dr. Dawkins shared a story of when she took her daughter for her first set of shots. The look of pain and betrayal in her child’s eyes was a turning point. She thought, “This sucks, and we could do better.” And so, the journey of Thimble began.

As a parent of two boys, I could fully empathize with her experience of watching her children endure the pain of needle procedures. Although my sons are pretty brave with their shots now, it’s still one of the most unpleasant things to have to watch as a parent.

A Magical Solution: The Pain Patch

I actually had the privilege of testing a prototype of one of Thimble’s early pain prevention patches when my younger son was getting some vaccinations, and the results were nothing short of magical.

After wearing the pain prevention patch for about 15 minutes, the nurse administered the shot to my son’s thigh. Instead of sharp, acute pain, my son was just surprised when the needle went in. Afterwards, instead of the traditional tears, he just said, “It didn’t hurt!”

This led to a much better experience at the doctor’s office for everyone involved.

The Thimble Product Line

In my interview with Dr. Dawkins, she introduced us to Thimble’s current product line, which includes the recently launched Recover Patch. This patch is applied after any needle procedure to alleviate soreness and discomfort. Made with natural ingredients like turmeric and arnica, it offers a local, drug-free alternative to pain relief.

I haven’t had the chance to evaluate the Recover Patch yet, but I plan to use it the next time I get a flu shot or Covid vaccine. It’s purpose is to allow individuals to regain their mobility and carry on with their daily activities without the need for medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

The Future of Pain Prevention

Dr. Dawkins also mentioned the upcoming Prepare Patch, currently in the manufacturing stage, which promises even more advancements in pain prevention. This is the final version of the local anesthetic pain patch that my son tried. The new version emphasizes ease of application and use, so I can’t wait to get my hands on it! I think it’s going to really improve annual flu shots for our family.

Additionally, Thimble has developed an app that compiles research-backed techniques and tools to reduce needle pain and anxiety. From breath work to cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, this app aims to make needle procedures less daunting for everyone. This app is finishing development, but will be available on the web and via mobile app stores soon.

Empowering Healthcare

As our conversation came to a close, I couldn’t help but gush a bit over Dr. Dawkins’ bravery at venturing into the world of entrepreneurship to make a positive impact on healthcare. Thimble’s mission to change the way we experience needle procedures is not just about alleviating physical pain but also empowering individuals to seek the healthcare they need without fear.

In closing, I want to extend my best wishes to Dr. Dawkins and Thimble. Their dedication to improving the needle experience is truly commendable. Fear of needles is such a common and well deserved problem in kids and adults alike, so I believe their innovative solutions have the potential to change many lives.

To learn more about Thimble and their pain prevention patches, visit their website at thimblehealth.com.

— The Darwinian Doctor

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