With the emergence of new laser and surgical techniques, the need for more effective topical anesthesia continues to grow. There are now several topical preparations of local anesthetics that are being used prior to various dermatologic procedures. Eutectic mixture of local anesthetics (EMLA) is the most frequently used agent prior to dermatologic procedures; however, there has been a recent release of newer topical anesthetics claiming increased efficacy and faster onset of action. We review and compare the efficacy of several commonly used topical anesthetics and provide a glimpse into the future developments in this field.
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