BLT numbing cream (benzocaine, lidocaine, tetracaine) is a triple action topical anesthetic that is made in compound pharmacies for use by clinicians who perform minimally invasive procedures on the face and sometimes other parts of the body.
BLT numbing cream is used to numb the treatment area in order to minimize the pain associated with these procedures. Some of these procedures, among others, may include:
BLT Numbing Creams are often Compounded to Use as a Pre-treatment Pain Management Method Prior to Skin Procedures
BLT numbing creams are know for their strong positive effect. They are made in various concentrations ranging from 20%, 4%, 2% to 20%, 10%, 10% respectively, benzocaine, lidocaine, tetracaine. Many of the BLT numbing cream compounds are made in very high concentrations. These concentrations are well above what is required to appropriately numb the skin according to the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA). It is often typical, that in concentrations above 20%, 4%, 2% that the active pharmaceutical ingredients (API’s) do not stay in solution and therefore present a gritty cream. The grit is often the undissolved API’s that do not enter into the skin and therefore do not improve efficacy. BLT numbing creams that are gritty also open the risk for adverse events, such as grit causing corneal damage in the event it enters the eye. There is a recent 2016, case where this adverse event did, in fact, cause corneal damage.
When BLT numbing cream is made in form that the manufacturer takes into the account that solubility concept, the cream has a much better chance of being delivered in a grit free format.
NeuroMed Benzocaine, lidocaine and tetracaine products are all packaged in individually wrapped sanitary, single-use packets in order to remove the risk of cross contamination. Further, NeuroMed brand topical anesthetics are free of gritty, oily, chalky or waxy residue. The texture of NeuroMed brand topical anesthetics is uniform, consistent and creamy. They are water based and easy to apply and remove. See video below, with Dr Anil Rajani, renowned trainer, physician and cosmetic treatment speaker and educator.
Another risk associated with multi-use jars or tubes of BLT numbing cream is the risk of cross-contamination. When the container is used on multiple patients, often by multiple clinicians, there is an inherent risk that microbes of other contaminants may be passed on to other who are being treated using the same container. Compounded BLT numbing creams are supposed to be supplied on an individual patient basis, in accordance with US FDA policies. When one prescription is supplied based on order from the clinician, yet used on more than one patient, the clinician is exposed to medico-legal risks in the event of a FDA or State Health Department audit, such as in the case of an adverse event.
Compounded BLT numbing cream has the reputation of being very effective. In a 2012, study using it in laser procedures, it was shown to be more effective than other competitive approved topical numbing creams, such as EMLA or LMX5.
Proper caution should be exercised to reduce risks associated with compounded BLT numbing cream. Other effective options may reduce the risk of issues associated with the use of compounded BLT numbing creams.