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What is benzocaine topical?
Benzocaine is a local anesthetic. It is the active ingredient in many over-the-counter (OTC) products used to relieve pain in the mouth and gums from a variety of conditions. OTC benzocaine products come in the form of gels, sprays, liquids, and lozenges.
Benzocaine topical is used to reduce pain or discomfort caused by minor skin irritations, sore throat, sunburn, teething pain, vaginal or rectal irritation, ingrown toenails, hemorrhoids, and many other sources of minor pain on a surface of the body. Benzocaine is also used to numb the skin or surfaces inside the mouth, nose, throat, vagina, or rectum to lessen the pain of inserting a medical instrument such as a tube or speculum.
Benzocaine belongs to a group of medicines known as topical local anesthetics. It deadens the nerve endings in the skin. This medicine does not cause unconsciousness like general anesthetics do when used for surgery.There are many brands and forms of benzocaine topical available and not all brands are listed on this leaflet.Benzocaine topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Mechanism Of Action:
Pain is caused by the stimulation of free nerve endings. When the nerve endings are stimulated, sodium enters the neuron, causing depolarization of the nerve and subsequent initiation of an action potential. The action potential is propagated down the nerve toward the central nervous system, which interprets this as pain. Benzocaine acts to inhibit the voltage-dependent sodium channels (VDSCs) on the neuron membrane, stopping the propagation of the action potential.
Benzocaine can be the only active ingredient in oral treatments that relieve sore throat or address mouth pain caused by cold sores, canker sores, teething, and other issues. It can also be combined with other active ingredients in oral treatments that not only relieve mouth and throat pain, but also protect irritated areas, provide a soothing coating, or relieve dryness.
While oral discomfort treatments containing benzocaine are intended to be used in and around the mouth, there are other topical benzocaine medicines that should only be used externally, or on the outer surface of the body, not near or in the mouth.
For example, benzocaine can be found in vaginal medicines that contain more than one external analgesic ingredient or in single active ingredient hemorrhoid treatments. Benzocaine is also available in topical pain relievers that not only relieve skin irritations, pain, and itching, but also contain other active ingredients that kill germs and help prevent infection.