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What Are the Uses of Benzocaine Spray?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 23 June 2014
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Benzocaine spray is often used to numb the membranes of the mouth. It can be used prior to dental or medical procedures, or to relieve the pain of sore gums or throats. The pain and itching associated with hemorrhoids and sunburns can also be relieved with benzocaine spray. Some people also use this type of numbing spray prior to hair removal procedures, such as waxing.

Benzocaine is primarily used as a pain reliever. It is an anesthetic that works by blocking the nerve endings near the skin's surface. When these nerve endings are blocked, a person can't feel any sensations on the skin, including pain.

This type of anesthetic spray is often used in the mouth. Some dentists use benzocaine spray to numb an area of a patient's mouth before a minor dental procedure. It may also be used to help ease the discomfort of new dentures, but it should not be used as a long-term solution for ill-fitting dentures. Doctors might also use benzocaine spray to numb a patient's throat prior to inserting or removing a tracheal tube, or breathing tube.

Individuals can also purchase over-the-counter benzocaine spray. These types of anesthetic sprays can be used to relieve pain due to minor mouth sores, such as canker sores. Some sore throat sprays may also contain benzocaine. Spraying the back of the throat with these types of sprays can lubricate the area as well as numb it, which can make dealing with a sore throat much more comfortable.

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Hemorrhoids occur when small blood vessels in the anus or rectum become inflamed and bulge. This can be a very painful and uncomfortable condition. A variety of products help treat hemorrhoid symptoms, including hemorrhoid sprays. Some hemorrhoid sprays contain benzocaine, which can help relieve the pain and itching associated with this condition.

Benzocaine spray may also be sold as a product to help relieve the pain of burns. Sunburn sprays, for instance, can often be used to minimize the discomfort of burned skin due to prolonged sun exposure. Many of these sprays can also be used to help relieve discomfort caused by insect bites and poison ivy. These types of sprays also usually contain a soothing compound to promote healing, such as aloe vera.

Some hair removal procedures can be somewhat painful. Salons often use a numbing spray, such as benzocaine spray, prior to waxing. Some home waxing kits also contain small bottles of benzocaine spray.

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Discuss this Article

winslo2004
Post 10

I know some people use benzocaine for waxing, but where's the sport in that? It's just not the same without the agonizing pain. There are some really funny YouTube videos on this very subject. And who can forget the waxing scene in the 40-Year-Old Virgin?

Okay, I'll admit that I use it too. There are few things on Earth that are as unpleasant as having hair ripped out of your body. The spray helps, at least on the surface. I have sensitive skin and it definitely makes the process more tolerable.

emtbasic
Post 9

@simrin - We used the gel for my son for the exact reason, and it worked wonders with his teething pain. Poor little guy would just cry and cry unless we did something to help with the pain. Sometimes putting teething toys in the freezer worked, but if that didn't do it the benzocaine was the way to go.

The spray works too, but for dental things I like the gel. It is thicker and seems to stay where you put it longer.

Nepal2016
Post 8

@orangey03 - I also hate having my tongue go numb. That's the worst feeling, and I always manage to bite it. Even so, that's a small price to pay for not having a sore, throbbing throat though.

My mom used to chase me around with a bottle of numbing spray when I'd have a sore throat as as kid. I don't really get them very much as an adult. I still remember that horrible cherry/medicine taste, but it was worth it to have relief from the pain.

OeKc05
Post 7

I have to use benzocaine spray before waxing my legs. Some people get used to the pain, but I have sensitive skin, and I just can’t seem to build up a tolerance to it. The spray eliminates the torturous aspect of waxing.

I started waxing my legs because I got tired of having to shave them every other day to avoid stubble. The first time I did it, the pain was so intense that I vowed I’d never do it again.

Then, my friend told me about the benzocaine spray she uses when she waxes her bikini line. I figured if it was strong enough to prevent pain in that sensitive area, surely it could prevent it on my legs.

seag47
Post 6

@orangey03 - I know how you feel. It really is annoying to be unable to feel your tongue. However, when I get agonizing canker sores, I put up with the numbness just to get some relief.

The sores form in my cheeks and rub against my teeth, which makes them hurt worse. I can’t eat acidic foods like tomatoes or pineapples when I have a canker sore, and even drinking orange juice is painful.

I spray the benzocaine directly onto the sore and hold my cheek away from my gums until it is numb. This keeps the spray from coming into contact with my tongue as much, though it does get a little numb around the edges.

orangey03
Post 5

I remember my mother using benzocaine spray on my sore throat as a child. I believe I had strep throat, which is the most painful kind you can have.

I cried because it hurt so much to swallow. She sprayed the stuff into the back of my throat, and it instantly went numb. However, my tongue went numb as well, and I hated the way it felt. It was like having a dead weight in my mouth, and it tingled.

As bad as the sore throat made me feel, the benzocaine spray made me feel worse. I’m just strange that way, because I absolutely hate having a numb tongue. I never used the spray again, even though I had several painful episodes of a sore throat after that.

lighth0se33
Post 4

My husband had a terrible toothache on a Friday night, and he knew he wouldn’t be able to see a dentist until Monday morning. I went to a pharmacy and got some benzocaine spray to help him deal with the pain.

He was able to sleep after spraying it on his aching gums. He did wake up once when it wore off, but he had it on the bedside table, so he simply sprayed it again.

Without it, he would not have been able to cope with the pain. Regular over-the-counter pain relievers are not powerful enough for a bad toothache, so benzocaine spray is the best option.

serenesurface
Post 3

I'm going through a really bad cold right now. I'm coughing constantly and have the worst sore throat ever. My doctor prescribed a benzocaine throat spray to relive my sore throat.

When I was at the pharmacy to buy it though, the lady next to me in line said that benzocaine spray can be really dangerous. She said she heard about it in the news, that benzocaine decreases the amount of oxygen in our blood stream or something. She told me to be careful with it.

I've never heard about this before, but I admit that I'm a little scared now. Despite her warning, I used it once when I got home. It immediately made my throat feel better and it doesn't hurt much anymore. I won't use it often though, until I ask my doctor about the risks associated with it.

SteamLouis
Post 2

I've used benzocaine gel when I broke my tooth on a trip and had to wait until we returned to see my dentist. It worked really well, I don't know how I could have managed that pain if I didn't have it.

I also used a benzocaine gel that's safe for babies on my daughter when she had teething pains. She literally cried all the time when she was teething and this seemed to be the only thing that made it better.

I've never used benzocaine spray, but I'd imagine that it's just as good as the gel. Can anyone compare the two in terms of application and effectiveness?

ddljohn
Post 1

I've used a benzocaine spray to numb my skin before removing skin tags.

I have multiple skin tags on my skin and sometimes clothes will rub against them and irritate them. It can become really painful. When this happens, I've found the best solution to be removing them at home.

It's actually really easy to do and doesn't hurt when I use a benzocaine spray. I just spray it on the skin tag and give it a few minutes for it to become numb. Then I cut the skin tag with a fine small scissors and cleanse with solution and apply antibacterial ointment.

I've done this several times and it's worked just fine.

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