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Lidocaine is known as an effective analgesic, and a main ingredient for local anesthesia. As a topical cream, lidocaine can be used for treatment of pain, soreness, itching and common types of discomfort of the skin as a result of specific conditions including minor burns, eczema, scratches, hemorrhoids, and insect bites.
How Lidocaine Cream Works
As an anesthetic cream, lidocaine topical mainly works by preventing the nerves from transmitting impulses of pain to the brain. Lidocaine cream is used for varied conditions as an analgesic, particularly during surgery. Topical cream that contains lidocaine is often applied to the injection needle before the surgery to lessen the pain caused by conditions such as hemorrhoids, or to cure symptoms caused by skin diseases. The topical cream normally starts working within 20 to 25 minutes, and the analgesic effects may last for up to 48 hours or depending on the frequency of treatment.
Studies reveal that lidocaine, once applied into the skin, will be absorbed by the nerve cells and will be transported to the spinal cord to reduce the level of pain-inducing substance. It may take some time for the lidocaine to stop the pain, so it is ideal to continue application of the cream for several weeks.
The Uses of Lidocaine Cream
Lidocaine cream is normally prescribed for people who experience pain caused by soreness, rashness, burn and insect bit. It is also used to cure the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis. The crean is also used to cure people with postherpetic neuralgia or severe pain caused by shingles.
Many doctors use lidocaine topical cream before giving injections for their patients to lessen the pain as well as the anxiety caused by the shot. Patients, who are receiving regular shots in the same area, or those who are receiving chemotherapy, normally suffer from too much pain and tenderness at the injection area. Frequent intravenous or IV shots may also cause too much tenderness. Cancer patients usually apply lidocaine to the injection shot at least 30 to 45 minutes before receiving the shot.
Lidocaine cream is also used for cosmetic surgery or any other medical procedure that affects the top layer of the skin. A surgeon may use lidocaine to induce numbness in the sensitive spots of the face before collagen shots and other substances used to erase wrinkles. Using lidocaine may also help in the reduction of swelling at the site of injection. Cosmetic surgeons also use lidocaine before wart and mole removal.
Pain caused by constipation and hemorrhoids can also be controlled using lidocaine topical ointment. The anesthetic cream can reduce not only pain but also inflammation by directly applying it to the anus or through a suppository. It is also effective in controlling the pain caused by mucositis by easing the soreness of the digestive tract.
Side Effects of Lidocaine Topical Cream
It is important to seek emergency help if you experience any of these indicators of allergic reaction after using lidocaine topical application swelling of the face, lips, throat and tongue, swelling of the face, and difficulty in breathing.
You must stop using lidocaine cream and call a doctor immediately if you experience any of these severe side effects including drowsiness, confusion, uneven heartbeats, blurry vision, and seizures. There are also less severe side effects, which include redness of the area where the cream has been applied, numbness in places where the cream is applied, and mild irritation.
Healthcare practitioners must also take note of the side effects of using lidocaine in certain medical procedures. For example, there are particular side effects of lidocaine used as local anesthesia. It includes edema, erythema, papules, discoloration, bruising, dermatitis, exfoliation of the skin, abnormal sensation, and blisters. Side effects of using lidocaine cream were generally experienced after treatment. The skin reactions were basically experienced as mild and transient.
There could also have hypersensitive reactions linked with systemic lidocaine, which includes angioedema, urticaria, laryngospasm, pruritus, shock and dyspnea. Other adverse effects linked with lidocaine have included tinnitus, flushing, tremor, and asthenia.
Side effects that affect the nervous system can also be experienced after medical procedures, which include hyperesthesia, paresthesia, dizziness, nervousness, confusion, somnolence and disorientation. Gastrointestinal side effects of using lidocaine include nausea, vomiting, and taste alteration. On the other hand, ocular side effects include blurry vision and visual disturbances.
Precautionary Measures of Using Lidocaine Topical Cream
There are medical conditions that may interact with lidocaine. It is ideal to tell your attending physician if you are experiencing from any medical condition, particularly if you are pregnant or lactating. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking any kind of medicine, which includes herbal supplements, as well as if you have certain allergies to foods, drugs or other compounds.
Also tell your physician or dentist that you applied lidocaine before you undergo any medical or dental surgery. It is noted that lidocaine can cause difficulty in swallowing. Hence, it is best not to eat anything for at least 30 minutes before the surgery.
Take note that this article does not include all side effects and precautionary measures in using lidocaine cream. Be sure to consult your doctor first before using this substance as a topical application.