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Dermatol Surg. 2002 Feb;28(2):143-8.

Application of local anesthetics in dermatologic surgery.

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Department of Dermatology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.



Local anesthesia is an integral aspect of cutaneous surgery. Its effects provide a reversible loss of sensation in a limited area of skin, allowing dermatologists to perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures safely, with minimal discomfort and risk to the patient.


This article discusses the application of local anesthetics in dermatologic surgery through a brief review of the mechanism of local anesthetic activity, classification of local anesthetics, and adverse effects. The discussion will focus on the different methods of administration and techniques that may make the administration less painful to patients.


An evaluation of the literature, as well as clinical experience in the administration of local anesthetics provide the basis for this review.


Local anesthesia provides a safe and effective means of decreasing patient's sensitivity to pain. Because of its critical importance to the field of dermatology, a working knowledge of local anesthetics is necessary for optimal use of these agents.

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