Emla cream

The following information has been provided by Aspen Pharmacare UK Limited


Emla is a topical anaesthetic cream, available without a prescription, that numbs the skin. Emla can be applied before vaccinations, flu jabs or blood tests – as well as cosmetic needle procedures and tattoos.

Emla is also suitable for children. From blood tests to jabs for a foreign holiday, needles are an inevitable part of your child’s life. Emla can help reduce needle pain, which may in turn ease your child’s distress and fear.

Emla numbing cream is licenced for use before cosmetic procedures that involve needles and can be purchased on boots.com or from the pharmacy counter in-store.


• Helps numb the skin before a variety of procedures (tattoo, cosmetic, medical)

• Available in different pack sizes depending on the procedure

• Helps numb the skin in approximately one hour

• The anaesthetics effect lasts approximately two hours


Emla needs to be applied about an hour in advance of the procedure to allow its numbing effect to work. If using Emla on your face, numbing may occur more quickly (approx. 30-60 mins). After Emla cream is removed, numbing usually lasts for at least 2 hours (this time may be shorter if using Emla on your face).

Emla’s numbing effect usually lasts at least 2 hours, so bear this in mind if you are planning a large/intricate tattoo or have a longer tattoo appointment. Remember, Emla usually takes about 1 hour to get to work, so make sure you apply it in advance. Emla can be left on the skin for up to 5 hours.

The length of time varies according to the age of your child and the procedure they are undergoing. Please check the Patient Information Leaflet and follow the instructions provided for the age of your child.

The 30g tube is suitable for numbing larger areas of skin. You should not use more than 60g of Emla (or two 30g tubes) during one laser hair removal session.

Cover Emla cream with an air-tight, water-tight dressing or plastic wrap, so the active ingredients absorb into the skin and do not get wiped off. If the area to be numbed is too large for a dressing, some people cover the skin with cling film.

Emla has been used in the UK for over 20 years, but please consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have concerns about a specific medication.

Date of preparation: February 2024 UK-LIDP-12-23-00003

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