Topical anaesthesia of the skin: a review

Judith (Judy) Freeman, E. DOYLE, NG TEE IM, N. S. MORTON

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


The ability to provide painless venepuncture and venous cannulation is a major advance in paediatric practice. Topical local anaesthesia of the skin can allow such procedures to be carried out with little or no discomfort in children of all ages. This has obvious psychological benefits for children, particularly those subjected to repeated procedures. The techniques for anaesthetizing the skin to be effective and safe must be based upon an understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the skin, the pharmacology of local anaesthetic agents and their behaviour when applied to the skin. Although eutectic mixture of local anaesthetics (EMLA cream) (Astra Pharmaceuticals) is the market leader, promising new preparations are being evaluated with the aim of decreasing the onset time of effective analgesia. New clinical applications for topical anaesthesia of the skin are appearing and it is likely that these will be increasingly used in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-138
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Anesthesia
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • amethocaine, lignocaine, prilocaine
  • anaesthetic techniques: topical
  • anaesthetics, local
  • skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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    Freeman, J. J., DOYLE, E., TEE IM, NG., & MORTON, N. S. (1993). Topical anaesthesia of the skin: a review. Pediatric Anesthesia, 3(3), 129-138.