Lidocaine or Benzocaine are two topical anesthetics that are commonly used in a wide variety of over the counter products like shaving cream (Lab Series Maximum Comfort Shave Cream, original formula), tooth pain preparations (Orabase, Anabasol) and sunburn preparations like (Solarcaine) to decrease pain in the skin or mouth areas.
Benzocaine and Lidocaine come in a variety of strengths both prescription and over the counter (OTC). In OTC products the concentration of benzocaine is generally 20% or less, the concentration of Lidocaine in OTC products is usually less than 5%. The amount of Benzocaine or Lidocaine varies from product to product and you should read the label to see what concentration is in the product.
Both Lidocaine and Benzocaine cause a numbing/cooling effect on the skin. This effect is achieve as the Lidocaine or Benzocaine is absorbed into the skin it blocks the sodium channels in the nerves, preventing sodium from entering the nerve. By preventing sodium from entering the nerve the action potential of the nerve is stopped and the nerve doesn’t send the message of pain to the brain.
The duration of activity for Lidocaine can be up to 120 minutes and is dose and route of administration dependent. The duration of activity for topically applied benzocaine is approximately 15 minutes.
Lidocaine has a pregnancy category rating of B, while Benzocaine is has a category C pregnancy rating.
Shaving Cream for Sensitive Skin
Experience a better shave today with the Ultimate Comfort Shave Cream by Face Skin Care. Rather than benzocaine, our formula features lidocaine.