Due to the popularity and rapidly increasing number of cosmetic procedures, there is a high demand for effective anesthetics. Injectable anesthetics such as nerve block can be perceived as painful therefore they are not suitable for patients afraid of needles. Topical anesthetic creams offer elimination of needles, fast, effective pain reduction and a very little exposure to the agent. However, local anesthetics are often considered inconvenient because of the need for occlusive dressings in order to enhance their skin penetration.
Currently, there are many different topical anesthetics available on the market to make cosmetic dermatologic procedures such as dermal filler injections, botox injections, laser resurfacing or any other procedures that require needle insertion less painful. These anesthetics differ in terms of effectiveness, ease of use and application time, need for occlusion and side effects.
The newest option that offers effective pain relief is Pliaglis, the lidocaine/tetracaine cream.
Pliaglis is the first FDA-approved stable mixture of 7% lidocaine and 7% tetracaine cream. It has the highest approved concentrations of these two local anesthetics and indicated for use on intact skin in adults 18 years and older to provide topical local analgesia for superficial dermatological procedures.
Pliaglis is favored by many aesthetic practitioners thanks to being well-tolerated and having mild side effects when used as recommended compared to other topical local anesthetics. In addition, lidocaine/tetracaine cream has several other unique attributes:
Hypersensitivity to lidocaine, tetracaine, other anaesthetics of the amide or ester type, to para-aminobenzoic acid (a known by-product of tetracaine metabolism), methyl parahydroxybenzoate (E218), propyl parahydroxybenzoate (E216) or to any of the other excipients.
PLIAGLIS should not be used on mucous membranes or on broken or irritated skin.
Pliaglis and EMLA cream were compared in a head-to-head study of 20 patients before ablative CO2 laser skin resurfacing, a more painful laser procedure than most. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either Pliaglis or EMLA cream to the treatment areas. Patients, investigators and independent assessors assessed the pain relief using the pain scales. Patients who received Pliaglis had lower pain scores compared to those who received EMLA cream. 95% percent of Pliaglis patients reported adequate pain relief compared to 20% of EMLA cream patients. The investigators and independent assessors, who used pain scales, also observed similar results.