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Unlocking the Power of EMLA Cream: A Comprehensive Guide to Its Uses in Various Procedures

Since 1990 I have removed hair, moles, skin tags, solar keratosis, warts, verrucas and milia. These procedures can be painful as essentially the area is being cauterized using heat. I achieve excellent results and aim to try to make the experience as pain-free as possible. If you'd like to have this treatment and to feel as comfortable as possible I recommend using a numbing cream such as Emla. Here's some information about this type of product.

Mary Gillmore, Salon Owner

In the world of skincare and aesthetic procedures, managing pain is crucial for client comfort and satisfaction. One invaluable tool in this regard is EMLA cream, a topical anesthetic cream that works wonders in numbing the skin prior to various procedures. From electrolysis to skin tag removal, its applications are diverse and its effectiveness is widely recognized. Let's delve into how EMLA cream works and explore its utility across different dermatological procedures.

Understanding EMLA Cream

EMLA cream stands for Eutectic Mixture of Local Anesthetics. It's composed of two active ingredients: lidocaine and prilocaine. These local anesthetics work by blocking the transmission of pain signals along nerves. When applied to the skin, EMLA cream numbs the area, making it less sensitive to pain stimuli.

How EMLA Cream Works in Various Procedures

1. Electrolysis:

Electrolysis, a popular method for permanent hair removal, involves the insertion of a fine needle into the hair follicle followed by an electrical current to destroy the follicle. Prior to this procedure, applying EMLA cream can significantly reduce discomfort by numbing the treatment area.

2. IPL Hair Removal:

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy targets hair follicles with bursts of light energy to inhibit hair growth. Before undergoing IPL hair removal, applying EMLA cream can alleviate the stinging sensation associated with the procedure, enhancing the patient's comfort.

3. Injection Sites:

In dermatology and cosmetic procedures, injections are common for delivering medications, fillers, or other substances. EMLA cream can be applied beforehand to minimize the pain and discomfort associated with needle insertions, making the experience more tolerable for the patient.

4. Skin Tag Removal:

Skin tags, benign growths on the skin's surface, can be removed through various methods including cryotherapy, excision, or cauterization. Prior to these procedures, EMLA cream can be applied to numb the area, making the removal process more comfortable.

5. Milia Removal:

Milia are small, white cysts that commonly appear on the face. Their removal often involves minor incisions or extractions. By applying EMLA cream before the procedure, the discomfort associated with these removal techniques can be minimized.

6. Mole, Wart and Verucca Removal:

Moles, or nevi, may be removed for medical or cosmetic reasons. Whether excised surgically or removed through other methods like laser therapy, numbing the area with EMLA cream can enhance patient comfort during the procedure.

Limitations of EMLA Cream

While EMLA cream is highly effective for numbing the skin, it's important to note its limitations. One such limitation is its inability to be used for thread vein removal due to vasoconstriction. Since EMLA cream constricts blood vessels, it can interfere with procedures that rely on the dilation of blood vessels for efficacy, such as those targeting thread veins.

EMLA cream is a versatile tool in beauty treatments and aesthetic medicine, offering patients a more comfortable experience during various procedures. By numbing the skin, it reduces pain and discomfort, allowing for smoother and more tolerable treatments. From electrolysis to mole removal, its applications are broad, making it an indispensable asset in the dermatologist's toolkit. However, it's essential to recognize its limitations and use it judiciously to ensure safe and effective outcomes for clients.

Here's a guide on how to apply EMLA cream effectively

How to Apply EMLA Cream:

1. Clean the Area:

Before applying EMLA cream, ensure that the skin is clean and free of any oils, lotions, or debris. Use a mild soap and water to gently cleanse the area, then pat it dry with a clean towel.

2. Measure the Amount:

EMLA cream should be applied in a thick layer to the area where the procedure will take place. Use the provided measuring guide or follow your healthcare provider's instructions to determine the appropriate amount for the specific treatment area.

3. Apply the Cream:

Using a clean finger or a disposable applicator, spread a thick layer of EMLA cream over the skin in the designated area. Make sure to cover the entire treatment area evenly with the cream.

4. Cover with a Occlusive Dressing (if required):

In some cases, your healthcare provider may recommend covering the EMLA cream with an occlusive dressing, such as plastic wrap or a transparent film. This helps to keep the cream in place and enhance its effectiveness by promoting absorption into the skin.

5. Allow Time for Absorption:

EMLA cream typically takes about 30 minutes to one hour to fully numb the skin. After applying the cream, allow sufficient time for it to be absorbed into the skin and take effect. Be sure to follow the specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider regarding the duration of application.

6. Remove Excess Cream (if required):

Once the recommended application time has elapsed, gently remove any excess cream from the skin using a clean tissue or cloth. Do not rub or wipe the area vigorously, as this may cause irritation.

7. Proceed with the Procedure:

Once the skin is adequately numb, your healthcare provider can proceed with the planned procedure, whether it's electrolysis, IPL hair removal, injection, or another dermatological treatment. The numbing effect of EMLA cream should last for a sufficient duration to complete the procedure comfortably.

8. Follow Post-Procedure Care:

After the procedure is completed, your healthcare provider may provide specific instructions for post-procedure care. This may include applying soothing creams or ointments to the treated area and avoiding certain activities or skincare products that could irritate the skin.

9. Store Properly:

Store EMLA cream at room temperature away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Keep it out of reach of children and pets.

Applying EMLA cream correctly is essential for ensuring its effectiveness in numbing the skin prior to dermatological procedures. By following these steps carefully and adhering to any additional instructions provided by your healthcare provider, you can maximize the comfort and success of your treatment. Always consult with a healthcare professional before using EMLA cream or any other topical anesthetic.

Mary Gillmore, Owner


7 Well Court, EC4M9DN

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