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Topical anesthetics are medications that help to soothe irritated skin. They work by dulling the nerve endings in the skin so that you do not feel the pain or itchiness. Most topical anesthetics are available without prescription in a variety of different forms. These include patches, foams, liquids, swabs, dressings, pads, solutions, creams, gels, kits, sprays, ointments, and lotions. While topical anesthetics help the pain of burns, bites, and scratches, they should not be used on open wounds or large cuts as they may cause infection or further irritation. Many antibiotic ointments are combined with anesthetics to provide both protection against infection and pain relief.
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