EMLA Cream is a topical anesthetic. In other words, it is a topical application that numbs the skin and decreases the sensation of pain. It is typically used prior to certain skin procedures including lump removal, laser surgery, skin grafts or circumcision.
How is EMLA cream used?
EMLA cream contains two ingredients that cause the numbing effect, lidocaine and prilocaine. These compounds prevent the nerves from sending pain impulses to the brain.
The amount of cream to be applied depends on the particular procedure you are undergoing, as well as other considerations such as your age and current medical condition. A more involved procedure will oftentimes call for a larger dosage of the EMLA cream.
The cream is typically applied two hours before the procedure to the area that the doctor plans to treat. Before applying the cream, you should wash the skin with warm soapy water and a wash cloth. Rub the skin gently for a few minutes with the wash cloth to remove all dirt and oil from the skin.
The cream should be applied very thick (about 1/4 inch thick) to the site of the procedure. You also need to apply the cream to the skin 1/2 inch past the area to be treated.
Once it is applied, you should cover the area with saran-wrap, being careful not to press on the cream in order for it to remain thick. Secure the edges of saran-wrap with medical tape to avoid leakage. The skin will remain numb for at least one hour after the removal of the saran-wrap.
Is it safe for everyone?
There are potential side effects with EMLA cream, including burning, swelling and redness. Tell your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms after applying the cream. There could also be interaction with other medications that you are currently taking, so just make your doctor aware of them.