Lidocaine: What is it?
Lidocaine is usually a topical ointment, though it can also be injected by a doctor or wound care specialist. It is used to numb a certain area, reducing sensation and preventing pain. Lidocaine has become a popular numbing tool because of its efficiency and low cost. Plus, it has minimal side effects. It is often used by dentists to perform mouth and dental procedures and wound care specialists for reducing wound pain or numbing the area during the application of sutures or stitches.
Rapid Onset of Lidocaine
Typically, lidocaine numbs tissue for about an hour, though results can last for three hours, depending on the amount given. Lidocaine is known as a rapid-onset substance. That means it works immediately. It could be a minute or two before you’ll feel numb tissue where lidocaine was applied. Stronger and longer lasting substances are often preferred for more in-depth surgical procedures, but for dental procedures, wounds, and more, lidocaine is the preferred method for numbing. Lidocaine is also preferred because of its healing rate. Studies have found that the post-surgical rate of infection is much less for lidocaine than for saline. With that said, lidocaine is an excellent numbing agent for wound care.
Tips for Applying Lidocaine
When lidocaine is used to treat wound pain, a little dab’ll do you good. That’s right, the smallest amount (a gram or two) will do just fine when applied orally to a dressing. Because lidocaine is viscous, it can be used on any type of wound dressing, including bandage and gauze. You’ll feel the numbing effects of lidocaine immediately, within just a few minutes. That’s the best part of lidocaine. It kicks in right away. Make sure to throw away the wound dressing every 24 hours. Don’t wear lidocaine dressings for more than that. Our advice is always to change the dressing daily. This helps prevent infection and also helps secure the effectiveness of lidocaine.
How Do You Administer Lidocaine on a Wound?
How do you administer lidocaine on a wound? This depends on a few things. Usually, it’s optimal to clean the wound thoroughly with soap and water and then apply the dab of lidocaine and a clean bandage. However, if the wound is already hurting too much, you may have to administer the lidocaine first. When someone goes to the hospital with a wound, lidocaine is often administered by nurses immediately. In the case of administering lidocaine to a wound that requires stitches or suture, you’ll probably wash the wound first, then stitch it up and secure it with a bandage.
In Conclusion: Lidocaine
Lidocaine is either used as an ointment or an injectable fluid. It works immediately. Its rapid onset is the reason it is preferred – but it is also preferred because it is cost effective and easy to use. The way a wound care specialist administers lidocaine depends on the specific wound they are treating.
Contact Wound Care OC for wound treatment in Orange County, CA
Dr. Faried Banimahd is a board-certified physician specializing in emergency medicine, wound care, and pain management. Our team will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan that meets your needs and unique conditions. Our clinic includes highly trained and experienced physicians, registered nurses, and certified medical staff who work together to provide you with the highest standards of wound care treatments.