Topical anaesthetics, often used by anaesthetists, dentists and dermatologists, have increasingly been recognised for their utility in paediatrics. With topical anaesthetics, the ‘ouchless’ paediatric practice becomes an achievable goal. The primary drawback to their use is the length of time for anaesthetic effect, but planning ahead and making use of newer formulations and adjuncts can overcome this barrier. This update will review topical anaesthetic formulations available, adjuncts to reduce the time to anaesthesia, adverse effects, common indications and products on the horizon.
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