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Lidocaine-Tetracaine Peel Useful in Range of Procedures

Review assesses effectiveness of anesthetic for cryotherapy, skin resurfacing, injections

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A blend of lidocaine and tetracaine -- called the LT peel -- offers many benefits when used before a variety of dermatological procedures, according to a paper published in the September issue of Dermatologic Surgery.

Tina S. Alster, M.D., of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in Washington, D.C., reviewed a number of trials in which the LT peel was compared with placebo or, in one instance, a 1:1 eutectic mixture of local anesthetics (EMLA) cream. The LT treatment is usually applied 30 minutes before the procedure and dries into an occlusive membrane that's peeled off before surgery. Benefits, according to the author, include rapid onset and usability on large and irregular surface areas.

Studies included in the review associated the LT peel with more effective pain relief than placebo when used before cryotherapeutic removal of actinic keratoses, greater effectiveness for local anesthesia than placebo before facial collagen injections, less pain during non-ablative facial laser resurfacing than placebo, and less pain during cutaneous carbon dioxide laser skin resurfacing than EMLA cream.

"LT peel is safe with very limited systemic exposure and minimal risk of adverse events. Side effects are generally limited to mild, transient erythema. This convenient new method of topical anesthesia, recently approved by the FDA, has the potential to simplify clinical practice and provide for more positive patient experiences," the author concludes.

Study support provided by OrthoNeutrogena.

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