physicians often apply topical numbing agents (local anesthetics) such as Lidocaine+Prilocaine or Benzocaine+Lidocaine+Tetracaine (BLT) as a cream/ointment about 30 minutes before laser treatments.

I assume that sometimes a patient might contemplate an injection, assuming that it might "be stronger" but a dermatologist would advice against it; I personally assume that this is because injections tend to be watery solutions and laser can cause too much heat to all these water --- damaging a broad range of cells (especially in large beams).

Is there a standard between dermatologists not to inject numbing agents before laser treatments (rather, to always give them topically)?

Just for comparison; F.U.T hair transplants do generally include a numbing agent injections, but of course, generally it is much more invasive than laser treatments and doesn't include heating water.

  • I doubt that the heating of water has anything to do with it. More likely it's simply a less invasive and less painful procedure than something like hair transplants and therefore doesn't need as much anesthetic. So perhaps a better way to phrase this question would be to ask what the criteria are for using topical anesthetics vs. injected. – Carey Gregory Mar 17 at 23:37

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