Doctors should routinely use an anesthetic cream to ease the pain of circumcision in newborn boys, a new Canadian study finds. Typically, doctors give no pain relievers when they snip boys' foreskins shortly after birth. Many are concerned about the hazards of analgesics, and some also believe that infants do not feel or remember pain.
The new study, reported in the April 24 New England Journal of Medicine, tested Emla, a cream made of the anesthetics lidocaine and prilocaine. Even though the cream did not eliminate all pain, boys cried less, and it appeared to be safe.