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Over-the-Counter Skin Numbing Creams
Whether you're considering a new tattoo or planning a trip to the spa for electrolysis, you might be wondering if there is a way to minimize the pain you're about to experience.
The good news is, there are several over-the-counter topical anesthetics that help numb the pain of certain medical procedures and treat minor discomforts and itching.
While not as powerful as prescription skin numbing creams, these over-the-counter topical anesthetics are easy to find at your local pharmacy or grocery store.
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Lidocaine is a local anesthetic that helps deaden the nerve endings in your skin, which causes temporary numbness in the area to which it is applied. It can be found in many over-the-counter skin numbing creams. This topical anesthetic used for numbing the skin in certain procedures, such as skin biopsies, hot waxing, laser hair removal and mammograms. According to the "Journal of Drugs In Dermatology," when used in small amounts and low concentrations over small areas of the body, it is considered safe. It can cause dangerous side effects when used in higher concentrations over larger body areas. After application, lidocaine cream should be washed off the hands completely. It should never be applied to broken skin.
Pain-relieving creams, such as lidocaine, work by numbing the nerve cells in the skin. If the skin becomes too numb to feel any pain whatsoever, there is the danger of receiving a serious burn from a laser or hot wax. These procedures should always be handled by a licensed professional who knows how to use lidocaine cream, and other equipment, safely.
The less serious side effects of using lidocaine cream are mainly dermatological and include redness, itching, burning and swelling in the area where it has been applied. If experiencing any of these side effects occur, discontinue the use of lidocaine cream and wash off the area completely.
As with any OTC product, you may experience side-effects when using on your skin. Talk with your doctor if you have any concerns prior to using an over-the-counter cream.