Emla Cream

What is Emla Cream? Emla is a topical numbing cream, designed to make needle procedures pain-free. The fear of needles is very common in both children and adults because of an association with pain and discomfort. By suppressing the pain of needles, Emla cream can also help reduce the anxiety you feel prior to a needle procedure.

How should Emla Cream be used?

If you or your child has a fear of needles, the anaesthetic effects Emla can make procedures involving needles far less worrying. You can use Emla Cream before procedures such as blood tests, immunisations, vaccinations and minor skin surgeries. Emla Cream has been used for in its anaesthetic effects in the UK since 1986.

Emla Cream is a soft white cream that you apply directly to the skin in a thick layer. You should follow these directions for application:

1. Squeeze Emla Cream directly from the tube on to the skin area you wish to numb
2. Place a plaster or waterproof dressing (these will be packaged with the cream) over the affected area
3. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water to remove all traces of the cream
4. If your child is under 3 months, remove cream after 1 hour; otherwise, leave on for 1-5 hours
5. To remove, remove the plaster and wipe any residual cream away with a tissue - some or all of the cream may have been absorbed by the skin

The cream contains two active ingredients, lidocaine and prilocaine, which are local anaesthetics. After application, the surface of the skin will be numb for a short period of time. Adults can leave Emla Cream on the skin for 1-5 hours.