Improper Use Of Skin Numbing Products Can Be Deadly

These days, “no more pain” creams are on rise. Technically, these creams are referred to as the topical anesthetics or Numbing Agents and are used to numb our body making it senseless to feel any pain.

Whether it’s tattooing, piercing, needling, microdermabrasion or common body pain, people around the globe today prefer to use these numbing creams. Simply, apply the recommended quantity over the affected area and you know more feel any pain.

However, to everything there comes some issue. And hence, using numbing creams in an improper way can lead to severe consequences, even death.

In January 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public health document describing the ill-effects of the improper use of skin numbing products. These topical anesthetics are widely being used to reduce pain in certain procedures such as laser hair removal and skin treatments.

FDA revealed in its report about the adverse actions and deaths of two women who used topical anesthetics before undergoing laser hair removal.

These numbing cream can be obtained with or without prescription. These topical creams work by blocking the pain sensation in the skin. They are made up of anesthetic drugs like lidocaine, tetracaine, benzocaine, and prilocaine in form of cream, ointment, or gel that gets absorbed into the blood stream.

If used improperly, numbing creams can cause:

  • irregular heartbeat
  • seizures
  • breathing difficulties
  • coma
  • death

Recent Study

FDA came across a case in which women had less discomfort during mammography when she was applied lidocaine gel before undergoing the procedure than when they used plain gel or took oral acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

No serious or life-threatening side effects were reported in the study. As such, FDA discussed the results with the doctor who performed the study.

The study proved that given the patient with the right amount of topical anesthetics and applying them in a proper way doesn’t lead to any side-effects often. And hence using these creams is safe to relieve various skin pain in people.

Advice for Consumers

If you are considering using a topical anesthetic before a any skin procedure, it is must to talk with your health care professional first.

Your health care professionals will determine whether adequate pain relief can be achieved safely with a topical anesthetic, or whether a different treatment would be more appropriate according to the extent of your skin procedure.

Here are some advices for you to follow if a topical anesthetic is recommended for you:

  • Ask your health care professional about the possibleside effects and how to reduce the chance of having life-threatening side effects from anesthetic drugs.
  • Use a topical anesthetic that contains the least strength and theminimalist amount of medication that will ease your pain.
  • Apply the topical anesthetic carefully and only to the area where pain exists or is expected to occur.
  • Don't apply topical anesthetic products in abundance over large areas of skin.
  • Don't use formulations that are more concentrated than necessary.
  • Don't apply these creams over irritated or broken skin.
  • Don't wrap treated skin with plastic wrap. Wrapping or covering treated skin with any type of material can raise the chance of serious side effects.
  • Don't apply heat, say from a heating pad to skin treated with numbing creams. When skin temperature rises, the amount of anesthetic reaching the blood stream becomes unpredictable. The increased amount of compositions of these numbing creams like lidocaine in the blood can increase life-threatening risks.
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