EMLA Cream 5% - 5 x 5g Cream with 12 Dressings - 3 Pack

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Olivia Appleton - Medical Content Writer
Olivia Appleton
Medical Content Writer
James O'Loan - CEO & Superintendent Pharmacist
James O'Loan
CEO & Superintendent Pharmacist

What is Emla Surgical Cream?

Emla Surgical Cream is a medicine that can be used to numb the skin before minor surgical procedures. It works by numbing the surface of the skin for a short period of time to prevent pain. It can be used before a variety of medical procedures including injections and cleansing or removal of damaged skin. As this product is a prescription medicine you will be required to complete an online consultation before you can purchase this product. This consultation ensures that this product is suitable for you and your needs and contains questions that pharmacies are legally required to ask before supplying this kind of product. 


What is a local anaesthetic?

Local anaesthesia is where an area of the body is numbed before a medical procedure and to prevent pain and discomfort. It is achieved by using a medication called a local anaesthetic and unlike general anaesthetic, it does not cause you to become unconscious, so is useful for minor surgical procedures. Using a local anaesthetic does not require any specific preparation before use and has a quicker recovery time compared with general anaesthetic. Local anaesthetic works by preventing the nerves in the area of the body where it has been applied from sending signals to the brain. This causes the area to feel numb which prevents feelings of pain, but you still may be able to feel pressure and movement. Local anaesthetics only take a short period of time to work (usually a few minutes) and full sensation of the area should return when the medication has worn off, which can take a couple of hours. 


How can Emla Numbing Cream be used?

Emla Cream has a variety of uses for both children and adults including:

Adults, Adolescents and children 

This product can be used on adults, adolescents and children before:

  • The use of medical needles, e.g injections or blood tests
  • Minor skin operation

Adults and adolescents

This product can be used on adults and adolescents to:

  • Numb the genitals before an injection or a medical procedures, such as the removal of warts

NOTE:  this product should only be applied to the genitals by a doctor or nurse. 

Adults only


This product can also be used to numb the skin before the cleansing or removal of damaged skin caused by leg ulcers. 

The cream contains two active ingredients called lidocaine and prilocaine which belong to a group of medicines known as local anaesthetics. They work by numbing the skin to prevent pain during procedures that may cut or pierce the skin. 


How to use this product 

Always use this product as described by a doctor, nurse or Chemist4U pharmacist. Always check if you are unsure before use. The intended use of this cream will determine the dosage and how long to leave the cream on the skin. Doctor or nurse supervision should be in place when using this product on leg ulcers. Your doctor or a Chemist4U pharmacist can explain how to apply this product. If you are applying the cream yourself, you must use the dressings included with this product to keep the cream in place and prevent it from being removed accidentally 

For use on the skin before minor procedures:

  • Apply the cream to the area specified by a doctor or nurse in a thick layer
  • The usual dose for this application is 2g for 1 - 5 hours under a dressing 

For use before hospital procedures 

  • For skin that requires deeper skin anaesthesia, the usual dose is 1.5g to 2g of cream for each area of skin that is 10 cm² in size for 1-5 hours under a dressing

For use on children before small procedures

  • Newborn infants and infants under the age of 3 months: Up to 1 g of cream on a skin area not larger than 10 square centimetres in size. Application time: 1 hour, not more - only one single dose should be given in any 24 hour period.
  • Children aged 3-12 months: upt to 2g of cream on a total skin area less than 20 square centimeters - maximum time of application = 5 hours
  • Children aged 1-6 years : up to 10g of cream on an area that is smaller than 200 square centimeters - maximum time of application = 5 hours


A maximum of 2 does at least 12 hours apart may be administered to children over the age of 3 months in any 24 hour period. 

ALWAYS read the label before use. 

Application method

It is very important to apply the cream exactly as instructed:

  • Squeeze the cream into a mound where it is required on your skin
  • One gram of Emla cream squeezed out of the tube is approximately 3.5cm 
  • Do NOT rub the cream into the skin
  • Use a dressing supplied by your doctor or a healthcare professional to keep the Emla cream in place


When NOT to use this product

Do NOT use Emla cream if you are allergic to any of the ingredients (see ingredients tab for full list). Do NOT apply this product to areas with skin rash, cuts, grazes or other open wounds, with the exception of a leg ulcer. If any of these problems are present, seek advice from your doctor or a Chemist4U pharmacist BEFORE using this product. 


Seek advice from your doctor or a Chemist4U pharmacist BEFORE using this product if you:

  • Have a rare inherited illness that affects the blood (known as glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency)
  • Have a problem with blood pigment levels
  • Have atopic dermatitis 
  • Take products for heart rhythm disorders


Can you use Emla with other medicines

Speak to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse, if you are using or taking, have recently used or taken or may use any other medicines, as Emla cream can affect the way some medicines work and can be affected by other medicines. It is important that you seek advice BEFORE using this product if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • Medicines used to treat infections
  • Medicines used to treat epilepsy
  • Other local anaesthetics
  • Medicines to treat an uneven heartbeat, such as amiodarone
  • Cimetidine or beta-blockers, which may cause an increase in the blood levels of lidocaine 


Does Emla Cream have any side effects?

Like all medicines, Emla Cream can cause side effects although not everybody will experience them. A mild reaction (paleness or redness of the skin, slight puffiness, initial burning or itching) may occur around the area where Emla has been applied. This is a normal reaction to the cream and will disappear in a short while without the need for any further measures. Common side effects of this medicine include:

  • Transient local skin reactions during treatment
  • An initially mild sensation of burning, itching or warmth around the treated area. 

If you experience side effects that are uncomfortable or troublesome, discontinue use and seek advice from your doctor or a Chemist4U pharmacist.


Important Information 

This product is a medicine; make sure to speak to your doctor or Chemist 4 U pharmacist before taking this product if you have an underlying medical problem or are taking any other medicine or complementary therapy. If your symptoms get worse or continue after taking this product, contact us or your doctor. For medical services in your area, please refer to https://www.nhs.uk

If you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, speak to your doctor or our pharmacist before taking this product. If you suffer from any allergies, ask your doctor or our pharmacist if this medicine is right for you.

Store all medicines out of sight and reach of children.

Please read the included leaflet carefully before using this product.

Please contact your GP if appropriate regarding this product.


Helpful Advice on Medication Restrictions & Addiction

For further information on our medication restrictions policy, please click here.

If you are concerned about addiction to 'over the counter' medication, we urge you to visit the below links for professional help and advice:

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