Lidocaine cream is effective for combating pain, rashes, itching, burning sensation, insect bites, and ringing ears. It is promoted as a temporary pain medication, and excessive application or prolonged usage of this cream may lead to adverse effects. The following article provides information about the various uses and side effects of this cream.
Lidocaine is a widely used local anesthetic administered to the mucous layer or skin. It was released in the market in the year 1949. Since then, its application in therapeutic intervention has increased significantly. Sold under the trade names, lidocaine or xylocaine, it is available in the form of cream or injection. The cream is available as over-the-counter topical ointment, while the injection is delivered under medical supervision in skin grafts, dental works, and other minor surgical procedures.
Topical lidocaine cream is promoted as a curative medicine for multiple pain problems. It is effective for alleviating skin symptoms like rashes, itching, burning sensation, and other inflammatory reactions. This formulation blocks and decreases the pain signals sent by the nervous system to the brain. Therefore, the pain and discomfort symptoms felt in the affected area are greatly reduced. The effect of this cream may last from a few hours to one or two days depending on the location and extent of injury.
The cream is an instant pain reliever that shows effective results within a few minutes of application. Nevertheless, the most important aspect of this local anesthetic is application of appropriate amounts for a specific period. Also, one should strictly follow the usage directions (application tips, duration) mentioned in the label. Failure to do so may increase the risk of manifesting side effects. The various conditions in which one can use this cream are:
- If you are planning to get a tattoo, apply it about 1 hour before the procedure. This will numb the area and reduce the perception of pain.
- Over-the-counter lidocaine cream is an effectual remedy for painful hemorrhoids. However, extra precautions must be taken while applying it on the affected area. Avoid scratching the area, or rubbing the cream.
- Another application of this ointment is management of ringing ear (or tinnitus) symptoms. It is claimed that this cream alleviates the discomfort symptoms of this ear problem in more than two-third cases.
- According to a medical survey for shingles disease, the cream helps in relieving the pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). Thus, a lidocaine patch is often recommended to manage PHN.
Before using this cream, one should inform the doctor about the current prescription medications (if any) and medical concerns like allergies to anesthesia, liver problems, or blood disorders. Pregnant women should use it only under medical supervision. Provided that this cream is applied in accordance to the prescribed guidelines, side effects occur rarely. In case this cream is ingested accidentally, the results are life-threatening. Also, make sure that it does not enter the eyes or nose.
After this cream is used, mild symptoms like skin redness, lightening or tingling sensation may be observed in some patients. These are common side effects, which usually subside on their own with time. If severe allergic reactions such as blister formation, swelling, dizziness, nervousness, breathing discomfort, etc. are observed, then it is recommended to take medical opinion as soon as possible. Also, it should be noted that prolonged usage in excess may lead to severe adverse effects.
The usage of lidocaine cream in therapeutics is effective, but risky in certain cases. Needless to say, there are several brands of this cream formulated with lidocaine as one of the active ingredients. The percentage content of this substance in the products vary and according to this the strength and dosage are determined. However, to be on the safer side seek advice from a qualified physician before using lidocaine cream for therapeutic purpose.