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Research Letter
April 2017

Enhanced Removal of Phenol With Lidocaine vs AlcoholAn In Vitro Study

Author Affiliations
  • 1Departamento de Farmacia y Tecnología Farmacéutica. Facultad de Farmacia. Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 2Facultad Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain
  • 3Escuela Universitaria de Enfermería, Fisioterapia y Podología, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
JAMA Dermatol. 2017;153(4):325-326. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.5244

Phenol cauterization is often the treatment of choice for some types of ingrown toenails; however, there are conflicting reports in the literature as to whether neutralization of the phenol is required or merely effective removal of excess phenol is needed. An intraoperative irrigation with isopropyl alcohol after the application of phenol to the skin does not neutralize the phenol, but rather dilutes it.1,2 Owing to the solubility of phenol in alcohol and water, we hypothesized that the intraoperative irrigation with an aqueous solution, such as 0.9% sterile saline, isopropyl alcohol, or 2% lidocaine3 would eliminate, rather than neutralize any residual phenol. We performed an in vitro study using the nail bed to test our hypothesis.

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