What is lidocaine?

Lidocaine is a type of anesthetic that causes numbness and loss of feeling. It is used during medical procedures and as a home relief for mild skin discomfort. It is available in many forms. As an injection, lidocaine is only available by prescription and will be administered by a doctor or other healthcare provider in a sterile environment before a procedure. The injection can be administered to whatever region will be affected, and you will not be able to feel pain. Lidocaine can also be administered topically. This may be in the form of ointment, cream, lotion, foam, gel, patch or spray. Depending on purpose and strength, topical lidocaine is available in both prescription and over-the-counter strength. Medical procedures that involve the skin or tissues will require the potency of prescription lidocaine. A doctor will administer this. Over-the-counter lidocaine is used for burns, insect bites, poisonous plant reactions and minor scratches. Lidocaine is in a drug class of anti-arrhythmics and works as an anesthetic by deadening nerves in the skin so they do not transmit pain messages.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.