A new dissolvable oral strip has been developed by researchers for immediate pain relief from burns caused by intake of hot foods and liquids.
Researchers led by Jason McConville from University of Texas at Austin, designed the strip for controlled delivery of a local anaesthetic, benzocaine, and a therapeutic polymer.
Benzocaine, commonly used as a topical pain reliever in dental products and throat lozenges, was chosen as for its non-irritating properties.
The strip is applied directly to the burned part of the tongue, cheek or roof of the mouth.
It sticks to the affected area and doesn't interfere with normal day-to-day activities, as it quickly dissolves for instant pain relief and promotes healing.
"We found these strips to be non-toxic, which has huge potential for anyone who burns their mouth while eating and drinking hot foods - and that's just about everyone," said McConville in a statement.
"The strips look and behave similar to breath freshening strips that you might find at your local drugstore," he said.
McConville and his team intend to create a stronger oral strip to treat more severe burns lasting longer than 2-3 days.
The next step in furthering their research will be to test the strips in humans and experiment with taste-masking.
The study is being presented at the 2012 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Annual Meeting and Exposition, the world's largest pharmaceutical sciences meeting, in Chicago, from October 14 to 18.