To truly, quickly, and effectively provide anesthesia to infected skin prior to procedures such as incision and drainage of simple soft tissue abscesses, consider the use of topical ethyl chloride.

This tricks the tissue into feeling “frozen” and allows for immediate and safe analgesia. Given the inflammatory nature of infected soft tissue and the limited utility of the usual injectable agents in this setting, I have found significant patient satisfaction using this modality. — Joe Yonke, MSBS, MPH, PA-C, Cleveland. (196-4)



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