Many people are familiar with the numbing effect of topical anesthetics but may need to be made aware of the many essential functions they serve. Topical anesthetics temporarily numb a specific area to which they are applied. Using this method can provide relief from pain, itching, and burning. In addition, topical anesthetics can also help to reduce inflammation and swelling.
Many different types of topical anesthetics are available over the counter or by prescription. Some common examples include lidocaine, tetracaine, and benzocaine. These agents work by blocking nerve signals from reaching the brain. In this case, the area of the application will feel temporarily numb as a result of the application.
The Uses of Topical Anesthetics
The most common method of treating pain is through topical anesthetics. They can be particularly effective in treating pain from sunburns, cuts or scrapes, insect bites, cold sores, rashes, hemorrhoids, and injuries to the eye. Additionally, topical anesthetics may help reduce the discomfort associated with a sore throat.
A topical anesthetic may also have cosmetic applications. A popular method for temporarily reducing wrinkles is botulinum toxin injections (Botox). Anesthetics such as lidocaine or bupivacaine may also numb the area before and after specific surgeries.
As you can see, topical anesthetics are vital in medicines and cosmetic procedures. The next time you reach for a topical numbing cream or ointment tube, remember to use a medication that can relieve pain, itching, and burning sensations. In addition, this medication can also help to reduce inflammation and swelling. Topical anesthetics are safe and effective when used as directed. Be sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about using them correctly.