What is Skin Numbing?
Skin numbing is the process of reducing or eliminating sensations of pain, burn and itch felt on a localized external area of the body. There are many reasons why someone may choose to numb the skin. Some of the reasons include, among possible others:
- reduce pain or itch from insect bites
- reduce pain, burn and itch from minor skin irritations and conditions
- reduce itch from poison sumac, ivy or oak irritations
- reduce pain, burn and itch from hemorrhoids
- in preparation of a medical needle procedure
- in preparation of a blood draw procedure
- in preparation of a medical cannula insertion
- in preparation of a superficial medical or quasi-medical cosmetic procedure
- in preparation of a tattoo or piercing procedure
- in preparation of a superficial laser procedure
- in preparation of a suture procedure
- in preparation of a hair removal wax procedure
Not all skin numbing methods are suitable for the treatment of all conditions and procedures. Some skin numbing methods are more appropriate for skin irritating conditions and some for suture procedures. Topical skin numbing products are not appropriate for use on broken skin according to the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA). Suture procedures, for example, usually require a lidocaine injection as the clinicians preferred method of skin numbing.
Skin Numbing Creams:
Skin numbing creams are specific for a variety of conditions and procedures, including:
- medical needle insertions
- medical and quasi-medical cosmetic procedures
- skin irritations
- insect bites/stings
- tattoos and piercings
- blood draws
- medical cannula insertions
Skin numbing creams can be supplied in both prescription and over the counter (OTC) forms. They can be packaged in tubes, jars and in some cases, unique, single-use, sanitary packets. The packets are designed to reduce the risk of cross-contamination in both the home and clinical settings.
Since human skin is designed to resist the entry of foreign bodies, the more effective skin numbing creams include ingredients that help make the skin temporarily more permeable. One ingredient that is sometimes included in some skin numbing creams is DMSO. DMSO is a potent skin penetration enhancement solvent that not only helps active pharmaceutical ingredients (API’s) to enter the lower layers of the skin, but also the blood stream. Anesthetics entering the blood stream can be dangerous and injurious if they enter the blood stream in too high an amount. It may be best to avoid skin numbing products that include DMSO as the skin penetrating driver.
Safer API drivers are: ethoxydiglycol, MSM, isopropyl myristate, propylene glycol, urea and some natural oils. Individually or in combination with one another, these ingredients can help to increase the API in the skin numbing cream penetrate the skin quicker and more effectively.
It is important to choose a topical numbing cream product that is both safe and effective. Some skin numbing products, such as compounded prescription topical anesthetics, can be dosed at very high concentrations with more than one API and include a potent driver. In combination there can be a high risk to benefit ratio that could lead to very serious adverse health events including, respiratory depression (difficulty breathing) and severe bradycardia (slowed heart rate). These conditions, in the extreme can lead to very serious negative health outcomes. US FDA recommends that the lowest amount of the lowest concentration be used for adequate skin numbing as a safety precaution. In other words, only use what you need to achieve your desired skin numbing goal without sacrificing safety.
NeuroMed topical anesthetic (numbing) creams are supplied in both single-use, sanitary packets as well as 63-gram, multi-use tubes. NeuroMed topical anesthetics range from professional clinical to home setting use. They should be used as directed by your healthcare provider or as stated on the packaging.
NeuroMed Brand Anesthetics Product Information
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a licensed healthcare processional (doctor). This information is also not intended to be used to diagnose or treat a condition or in preparation of a procedure of any kind.