Dangers of Lidocaine Cream

Lidocaine cream is a topical anesthetic used for numbing the skin in certain procedures, such as skin biopsies, hot waxing, laser hair removal and mammograms. According to the "Journal of Drugs In Dermatology," when used in small amounts and low concentrations over small areas of the body, it is considered safe. It can cause dangerous side effects when used in higher concentrations over larger body areas. After application, lidocaine cream should be washed off the hands completely. It should never be applied to broken skin.

Numbness

Pain-relieving creams, such as lidocaine, work by numbing the nerve cells in the skin. If the skin becomes too numb to feel any pain whatsoever, there is the danger of receiving a serious burn from a laser or hot wax. These procedures should always be performed by a licensed professional who knows how to use lidocaine cream, and their other equipment, safely.

Irregular Heartbeat

A high concentration of lidocaine cream applied over a large area of the body can be absorbed into the bloodstream. This can cause the buildup of toxic levels of lidocaine within the body. According to Consumer Affairs, absorbing lidocaine in high levels can cause an irregular heartbeat that can feel like the heart is beating too fast, too slow, fluttering or skipping a beat. You may also experience dizziness or chest pain. Any of these symptoms require immediate medical attention.

Difficulty Breathing

Absorbing too much lidocaine into the bloodstream through the skin can also cause difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Difficulty breathing is the feeling of not getting enough air into the lungs or not being able to take a full breath due to restricted airways. Difficulty breathing requires immediate medical attention.

Seizure

Seizures are another danger associated with using large amounts of lidocaine cream. They are caused by altered electrical activity in the brain, according to MedlinePlus. A seizure results in loss of consciousness, along with twitching and shaking in the muscles of the body. It is a very serious situation that requires immediate medical attention.

Coma and Death

The most serious danger of using lidocaine cream over large areas of the body is that it can induce a coma that can lead to death. A coma is a deep state of unconsciousness where there is loss of thinking abilities and awareness, according to the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Death can occur if breathing function is depressed too much. A coma requires immediate medical attention and hospitalization.

Less Serious Side Effects

The less serious side effects of using lidocaine cream are mainly dermatological and include redness, itching, burning and swelling in the area where it has been applied. If any of these side effects occur, discontinue the use of lidocaine cream and wash off the area completely.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.