Lidocaine Cream Dangers, Side Effects, Precautions, Uses

Lidocaine cream is a topical anesthetic that is used to control pain on the skin by preventing nerves from transmitting signals of pain to the brain.

With no signal from the nerve cell, the brain assumes everything is functioning normally, and no inflammatory response ensues.

It may be absorbed following topical administration to various cavities in the human body. Its extent and rate of absorption depend upon the duration of exposure, the specific site of application, total dosage, and concentration.

This medicine was discovered in 1946 and went on sale in the United States in 1948. It is on the WHO’s List of Essential Medicines, which is a list of the safest and most effective medicines required in a modern health system.


This medication is used to treat minor scrapes, burns, and insect bites as well as sunburn. It is also used to treat and prevent pain from some medical procedures. Moreover, this ointment can be used to treat rectal pain caused by hemorrhoids (swollen veins in the lowest part of your rectum). The onset of action is about 5 minutes.


Use this cream precisely as it has been prescribed by your healthcare professional or as directed on the label. Do not apply it in larger amounts than recommended.

For children, the dose must be determined by your healthcare professional and is based on body weight. For adults, the largest amount of ointment which should be used in a single application is 5 grams. For instance, if you use the 5 percent ointment, this is about six inches of ointment from the tube.

Side Effects And Dangers Of Lidocaine Cream

Frequent side effects of this ointment include:

  • altered temperature sensation;
  • edema (the abnormal accumulation of fluid);
  • paleness;
  • burning;
  • pain;
  • application site redness.

Rare side effects include:

  • problems swallowing or breathing;
  • tightness in the chest;
  • swelling of the lips, eyelids, face, sex organs, tongue, feet, legs, or hands;
  • noisy breathing;
  • joint stiffness, pain, or swelling;
  • irritation;
  • hoarseness (voice may sound raspy, breathy, strained);
  • itching, hives, or skin rash;
  • fever;
  • fast heartbeat;
  • cracked or scaly skin;
  • cough;
  • crusting, blistering, itching, irritation, or reddening of the skin.

Precautions And Warnings

After applying this ointment to the skin of your child, you should watch the child carefully to make sure that she or he does not get any of the cream in the mouth or eyes.

Avoid getting the product in the nose, eyes, or ears. If it does get in the eyes, it is recommended to wash the eyes with water for at least twenty minutes and check with your healthcare professional right away.

Because the skin temperature increases, the amount of medicine reaching the bloodstream is unpredictable, therefore, don’t apply heat from a heating pad to skin area where you applied this cream. Also, the risk of serious side effects increases considerably with greater amounts of the medicine in the blood.

It is not known precisely whether this medicine is excreted in human milk. Hence, if you are breastfeeding a baby, exercise extra when you use this cream topically.

This medicine is contraindicated in sufferers with a known history of hypersensitivity to local anesthetics of the amide-type (which also include bupivacaine and ropivacaine) or to other components that are found in this cream.

Since the amount of medicine that passes through the skin is bigger, it increases the risk of life-threatening side effects if you use this ointment over your incision that is not completely healed. This typically takes about one week after your port is placed.

4 Natural Topical Anesthetics

Chilli Pepper

This vegetable is a member of the nightshade family, which is related to tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and bell peppers. It contains a fantastic list of plant-derived chemical compounds which are known to have strong health-promoting and disease preventing properties.

When applied to the skin, capsaicin (the active compound in chili peppers that gives them their heat) causes a temporary sensation of heat and pain. Although the pain may at first increase, it typically decreases after the first use. Capsaicin is also a favorite ingredient in a variety of creams sold over the counter to rub on arthritic joints and sore muscles.


This herb is one of the most potent natural remedies in the plant world, offering both emotional and physical relief for problems as varied as migraines, burns, insect bites, insomnia, infections, skin problems, nervous tension, and stress.

Lavender is especially useful for treating cuts and scrapes since, in addition to relieving the pain, it helps stop bleeding and prevent scarring.


It is used since the 1500s for medicinal purposes and can be applied to the skin to relieve sprains, soothe muscle aches, and reduce inflammation.

Willow Bark

It has been used to reduce inflammation levels, the main cause of most pains and aches, for millennia. Its potent anti-inflammatory properties are due to its content of the chemical salicin, which is similar to the primary ingredient in aspirin.

Image credit – Shutterstock

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