If you are considering an in-office medical procedure, it is important to discuss topical anesthesia options with your healthcare professional. In many cases, the choice of topical anesthesia and method for delivery will depend upon your health status, the type of medical procedure to be performed and any allergic reactions you may have to the agents used to numb the surgical area.
Lidocaine, in a combination with other agents, has taken the form of LET, offering topical pain relief for in-office surgical procedures including sutures, skin curettage, biopsy and even for treating nerve pain and pain associated with giving blood or chemotherapy. Choosing a topical anesthesia may offer reduced health risks when weighed against injectable or localized anesthesia and even general anesthesia.
While we traditionally believe the use of topical anesthesia is applied by sterile swab, there are many patients who are receiving the benefits of LET, or lidocaine, through other delivery options, offering greater flexibility to the patient and doctor.
For example, the FDA has approved topical anesthesia patches marketed under the name of Lidoderm. With this topical gel patch, the patient who desires topical anesthesia and pain relief can achieve the result with application of a patch, once every four to six hours. Lidoderm patches are especially effective and alleviating pain, offering a topical anesthesia service, to those patients who suffer from nerve pain associated with conditions such as the herpes virus.
Another method for delivering topical anesthesia is the use of iontophoresis. Using an electrical current, sponges soaked in liquid Lidocaine are placed on the skin, electrodes are attached to the sponge, and then the electric current begins the flow of anesthesia to areas of the skin reaching up to two centimeters deep. Iontophoresis is a perfect alternative for patients who require biopsy or other mildly invasive procedures in the doctor’s office.
For those patients who desire a pain relief, or anesthesia effect, that can be applied at home, the use of over-the-counter ELA-Max has shown to be effective. ELA-Max is a topical cream with four percent lidocaine that provides instantaneous pain relief, especially designed for use on cuts and lacerations.
If you are considering any type of medical procedure that requires an invasive process, whether it is an injection, sutures or biopsy, discuss the use of topical anesthesia with your healthcare professional. In contrast to popular believe, the application of topical anesthesia can be used in the form of gel, creams, patches and even by electrical current, offering greater flexibility in those who experience adverse reactions with one anesthesia delivery option over another.