Topical lidocaine/prilocaine cream offers significantly better pain relief than lidocaine/tetracaine cream for patients undergoing laser treatments, according to a new study published online in the British Journal of Dermatology (July 5, 2016). Karin Greveling, MD, et al, of the department of dermatology at Erasmus MC University Medical Centre Rotterdam in The Netherlands, conducted two randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trials using a split-lesion design. Study A included 15 patients with acne keloidalis nuchae (AKN). Study B included 15 patients undergoing laser tattoo removal. (All tattoos were black.)
The VAS scores were lower for lidocaine/prilocaine cream in both studies. Adequate pain relief in study A was achieved for only 13% (2/15) of patients on the lidocaine/tetracaine side versus 73% (11/15) on the lidocaine/prilocaine side. For the tattoo removal patients in study B, adequate pain relief was also more likely with lidocaine/prilocaine (53% vs. 80%). In Study A, 47% (7/15) of subjects said they would be willing to pay an additional 25 euros for better pain relief versus 73% (11/15) in Study B. No serious adverse events occurred with either topical.
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