What is the best microneedle numbing cream available over-the-counter (OTC)?
The best microneedle numbing cream should have certain specific attributes that set it apart from the rest. Among the list of these attributes they should include:
There are many topical anesthetic options that claim to be the best microneedle numbing cream, but only one that offers those important attributes can truly satisfy the needs of discerning clinicians.
An important factor contributing to the efficacy of most topical anesthetic products is the safe delivery of the API’s through the skin. However in skin, the stratum corneum is the main barrier for drug penetration. Penetration enhancement technology increases the amount of anesthetic available for transdermal administration. The permeation of drug through skin can be enhanced by both chemical penetration enhancement and physical methods.
Successful delivery into the dermis will naturally improve the effect in terms of depth and speed of penetration. There are many safe and effective penetration enhancing agents available to both compound pharmacies as well as OTC monograph and Rx drug manufacturers. One somewhat common chemical enhancer which is known to be effective in terms of rapid delivery is Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO). DMSO is a universal solvent used by many drug suppliers, both human and veterinary, to rapidly transverse the barrier layer of the skin, which is made up of both fatty and keratinoid (protein) structures. DMSO has the ability to denature proteins, which can be problematic.
Other, less risky, penetration enhancers are fatty acids, urea, MSM and glycols, such as ethoxydiglycol and propylene glycol. The use of these other agents may not carry the same issues potentially associated with DMSO. When choosing a topical anesthetic in terms of the best microneedle numbing cream, understanding the mechanisms and risks of the included penetration enhancers may serve to reduce the risk of unwanted side effects.
There are many prescription, OTC and compounded currently, commercially available preparations on the market. However, many have significant drawbacks associated with their use prior to or during minor cosmetic procedures due to inappropriate pH levels.
A high pH (alkaline) e.g. EMLA cream pH 9.0-9.2 (a product with a pH much above 8.0) may pose significant risk to the sight of the client/patient if used on the face anywhere near the eye and may also be disruptive to cellular functioning (healing) of the dermis and supporting structures if used prior to skin penetration procedures.1
A pH scale which is most often described as a range between 0-14 is a logarithmic measurement of hydrogen ions H+ and the scale provides us the indication of acidity or alkalinity of a liquid, a pH of 1 having very toxic acidity (acid) and a pH 14 having very toxic alkalinity (caustic), distilled water is neutral with a pH around 7.
Because it is a logarithmic scale each whole number increment above or below 7 is; 10 times as acidic (when below 7), or 10 times as alkaline
(when above 7) e.g. a pH of 3 is 10 times as acidic as a pH of 4, and a pH of 12 is 10 times as alkaline as a pH of 11. Each incremental change
of 0.1 on the pH scale represents about a 26% increase in the acidity or alkalinity of the solution as you move away from the neutral point at
7.0 on the scale.
When choosing the best microneedle numbing cream, keep in mind that even small changes in pH can have dramatic changes in the potentially damaging acidity or alkalinity of a product being applied to the skin; especially one that may accidentally enter the eye. The human eye is extremely sensitive to even slight changes in pH. Due to the risk to the human eye, a topical anesthetic that is used anywhere on the face should be in the pH safe region and definitely not outside of the irritant zone indicated below. There are cases within the medical literature where chemical injury to the eye has occurred due to the use of alkaline topical anesthetics near the eye.1
Even if a topical anesthetic is pH safe, if it is to be used on the face then great care should be taken to ensure the anesthetic does not enter the eye because if the eye surface becomes anesthetized then a corneal abrasion could easily occur inadvertently without the patient becoming aware. The patient will more than likely feel any damage once the anesthetic wears off.
The safe and appropriate use of topical anesthetics can be a very valuable tool in improvement of patient comfort and procedural outcome. Using good judgment and discretion when choosing and using the best microneedle numbing cream can allow for the best outcomes while mitigating any associated risks.
Sambria Pharmaceuticals maintains the highest degree of care when supplying the professional clinical practitioner with its variety of safe and effective topical anesthetic options.
NeuroMed BLT Combination includes benzocaine, lidocaine and tetracaine all in single-use, sanitary packets
QA tested three times throughout the manufacturing process to ensure the highest degree of quality prior to entry into the supply chain.
1. Eaglstein, NF. Chemical injury to the eye from EMLA cream during
erbium laser resurfacing. Dermatol Surg. 1999 Jul;25(7):590-1.