I’d like to make a certain part of my body less sensitive to light touch. Would Solarcane (or some other over the counter topical anesthetic) applied regularly over time eventually render a part of my body less sensitive to light touch? Is there a way to reduce the sensitivity of a patch of skin more or less permanently? (I realize this question may seem bizarre.)
No it won’t. You will get a skin condition. Feeling is there so you don’t injure yourself and not notice. I suppose exposing yourself to every thing will make you less sensitive
I realize that touch is a sense that has adaptive virtues. I’d like to circumvent that in a localized spot. Could that “skin condition” be a decreased sensitivity to touch? Seems that desensitizing a set of nerves in an area over and over could result in a permanent condition. Maybe this is question better asked of a dermatologist.
Tell us: which patch of skin and what kind of touch?
I’d expect that suitably targeted botox would work, at least temporarily.
Would burning off that patch with a blow torch work? I mean after they do a skin graft, does the graft regain feeling?
Don’t try to purposely kill nerve endings in your skin. It creates a whole new set of weird feelings and sensitivities, as anyone with surgery scars can tell you.
If it’s the part I think it is, they do make condoms with local anesthetic as the lubricant.
No. It’s not that part. Actually, as if it would make a difference, it’s the area around my upper lip and nostrils. The slightest touch from a random hair or a drip from my nose simply cannot be ignored. I wish I could. So my next hope is to apply some salve or something to the area to desensitize it. More or less permanently. I’ve never tried to see if Solarcane would help for even a few moments, but I’d like to solve this silly problem for good. Clearly not something on the magnitude of world peace or anything like that, but in my little universe, I’d love to find something to remove this from my list of troubles.
You will not find any even-close-even-though-you-really-want-him-to-be competent surgeon who will even consider messing with healthy nerves - esp. the facial*.
For temporary relief, find a topical agent with lidocaine - it is the best OTC topical anesthetic I’ve found.
Johnson & Johnson First Aid Wash has/had it - I bought in quantity, just because lidocaine is getting hard to find.
- which, as you have found, is full of very complex sensory nerves, and way too close to the brain to mess with.
Sooooo…NO blowtorch then?:smack:
Whoa - I’m not looking for a permanent or surgical solution. It’s just a minor skin sensitivity issue that I’d like to figure out or solve. Ok, I’ve tried the SDMB. Thanks.
Well you asked about your solution for symptoms … whether it would be permanently effective, in a chemical sense (rather than the brain just adjusting to it.)
Then you told us what the problem was
You could tell us more about the problem (avoiding you conclusion that its “overly sensitive nerves”.) so the we can understand what can be done.
For example, tumours of the nerves there are common enough, also basal cell carcinoma and other skin cancer, the cartilage can grow spurs and get infections like tinea, rhinitis (staph infection…), acne, viral infections …
I find that sometimes a moustache hair follicle is swollen or something, and it is too close to a nerve ending… I tweeze that hair out, I feel an enormous pain that makes the eyes water… and then its gone.
The little rascal will still burn in strong sun though…
Try swiping a jar of 10% lidocaine topical ointment from your dentist, like I did a few years ago. Has come in handy on numerous occasions.
You might try Butane Fuel used for filling lighters (or an easier to apply but more expensive commercial freezing product). As long as you don’t overdue it (e.g. frostbite) it may desensitize the area; multiple applications may be necessary over time.
Topical capsaicin (yes, the stuff responsible for the burn in hot peppers) could be effective in permanently reducing sensitivity in the area, but it would need to be used in its highest strength 4 times a day for at least 10-14 days, and even then the effect might be only temporary.
It’ll also burn like hell for 30 or so minutes after each application, and if you inadvertently stick it up your nostril and get it on sensitive mucus membranes there, you are NOT going to have a good time.
From UpToDate.com, a legit medical website (and a pricey one to subscribe to, also):
Thanks, Doc. That might be just the ticket.
De nada. Just wash your hands thoroughly after applying, and DO NOT touch your eyes or your junk until you’ve really, really REALLY washed up.
I’m surprised that no one has asked about the underlying condition which caused the symptom in the first place, focusing instead on merely treating the symptom. I’m not a doctor, but when I play one on TV I at least try to act like a competent doctor.
Is your overly sensitive upper lip something that you’ve dealt with for all of your life, or did it start recently? What else happened to you that coincided with the onset of this symptom?
FWIW, I was in a car accident at age 19, which banged up my side, my hand, and my face. As a result, I had pretty much the same symptom you’re describing: an overly sensitive upper lip (especially on the left side). Over time, it gradually got better. In five years, it had improved by about half. Thirty years later, it’s barely noticeable at all. I go for months or years at a time without even thinking about it.