Experiment: Large topical 4% lidocaine patch


#1

At Dangerous Things we offer the PMK, as well as a very effective topical anesthetic patch. Both have down sides. The PMK itself and/or the use of it is heavily regulated in many geographies. The patch is highly effective, but also very small… about the size of a US quarter, or a Euro coin.

We have been looking for a larger topical patch in order to allow larger procedures, without needing to use the PMK. In fact, the PMK is not well suited for anesthetizing large areas of skin, so finding an effective large topical patch would be advantageous. Unfortunately over the counter topical lidocaine patches and cremes tend to suck… put another way, they don’t work. At best, they tend to reduce sensitivity slightly, but they definitely do not work when it comes to removing any pain from a scalpel cut or even a needle poke.

I started by putting a patch on as directed. I tested the level of pain reduction every hour for 3 hours … at the 3rd hour the patch was completely dry and my arm was definitely not anesthetized. I removed the patch and waited another 3 hours for any effects to wear off.

Next, I decided to occlude the patch after applying. I put the patch on as directed, then I wrapped the arm in plastic cling wrap, then I wrapped medical stretch gauze overtop to secure everything in place. Again, I tested after one hour… no discernible difference from the first test. The same goes for the second test at hour two.

At this point I removed the wrap and patch, feeling the experiment was a complete failure. The hunt continues for an effective, large size topical anesthetic patch.