The EMLA Patch is a combination of Lidocaine and Prilocaine that is ideal for providing an anesthetic effect when undergoing minor procedures on your skin, such as the administration of an injection, intravenous catheter insertion, or minor cosmetic procedures.
The EMLA Patch should be applied to intact skin at least 1 hour before you undergo your procedure and you can expect the numbing effects to last for several hours, even after it has been removed. You will need a prescription from your doctor for EMLA Patch and you must follow the instructions in order to fully benefit from this topical anesthetic.
When EMLA Patch is applied, Lidocaine and Prilocaine are absorbed through skin cells to block the pathway of pain signals along nerves by stopping sodium from entering the nerve endings. This prevents the pain center in your brain from receiving the message. Some procedures may require you to apply EMLA Patch 2-3 hours before depending on what you are having done and where to ensure you are receiving the full effect.
Vaccination time for infants and younger children can be a difficult time for them as well as their parents. There are moments of crying, struggling, and lots of tears-even for the parents! The older kids may fall for the reward system once, but twice is sometimes a problem. Just the anticipation of the “ouch” factor can be very stressful for everyone involved, including the healthcare person administering the injection. Simply apply the EMLA Patch one hour before the appointment and they will not have to become worked up over the pain. EMLA Patch should not be applied to pre-term or newborn babies.
Adults undergoing a tattoo or other body art may appreciate some pain relief. Some tattoo artists may even offer EMLA Cream that can be applied to smaller areas being worked on, but large areas will start to return sensations before your artwork is completed and reapplying to open skin is not advised.
Ask your doctor about the safety of using an EMLA Patch if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Inform your doctor of other health conditions you have and any OTC or Rx medications you are taking, including herbal remedies and dietary or vitamin supplements to avoid unwanted side effects when using the EMLA Patch. Very little of the Lidocaine/Prilocaine is absorbed into your bloodstream so there are limited adverse reactions from any meds you take or use.
Avoid applying EMLA Patch to open wounds, such as scrapes, rashes, or cuts as it can intensify the effects of the medications. Use caution regarding the area treated with the EMLA Patch until sensation has returned to normal. Scratching, rubbing, and exposure to extreme hot or cold temperatures can result in additional trauma to the affected area.