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Excision biopsy in a patient with suspected local anaesthetic allergy: use of 0.9% saline with benzyl alcohol as local anaesthesia


  • Conflict of interest: none declared.

Dr Victoria Jolliffe, Department of Dermatology, The Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1BB, UK


Dermatologists may see patients with actual or suspected local anaesthetic (LA) allergy who require an urgent dermatological procedure to be performed without time for formal allergy testing. We report a case of shave biopsy and subsequent excision biopsy of an atypical naevus performed using tumescent analgesia with 0.9% saline containing benzyl alcohol preservative. The tumescence itself and the benzyl alcohol present in the 0.9% saline solution provided sufficient analgesia for excision. This technique may be an option for managing urgent procedures in patients suspected or known to have allergy to LA.