Anaesthetics are special pharmaceutical compounds that are widely used because of their unique property to prevent the nerve endings from emitting pain signals. As such, they are most commonly employed during surgical procedures, either as total or topical anaesthetics. Total anaesthetics will render the patient completely unconscious and will allow the doctor to operate anywhere on the body. On the other hand, topical or local anaesthetics will simply desensitise a specific are of the body.

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As such, they are commonly used for minor surgical procedures and cases involving primarily the skin, such as injection, vaccination, wart removal, cryotherapy, or even for tattooing people who have low pain tolerance. Topical anaesthetics are commonly available in the form of a cream or gel that is applied to the relevant area of the body, thus significantly decreasing the comfort experienced during the procedure.

Anaesthetics and medication administration

While most people will have no need to use anaesthetics when getting certain medicines in the form of a vaccine or an injection, those who have especially low pain threshold might request the use of topical anaesthetic. Another case are diabetics that have to take regular insulin injections. Those people struggling with type-1 diabetes who also have strong aversion for needles might decide to buy a local anaesthetic they can use prior to injecting insulin, so they can make the process less uncomfortable.

On the other hand, vaccines are far less commonly applied, usually for people wishing to get their protection during the flu season, or for those which are travelling to far away locations, so need to get protection from the infections they might encounter at their target destination. In these cases, the doctor might also apply a topical anaesthetic to prevent unnecessary pain.

Anaesthetics for medical procedures

There are various cosmetic procedures that will require the person undergoing it to stay still for prolonged period of time. And some of these procedures can also involve certain level of discomfort or pain. These include:

  • Tattooing
  • Piercing
  • Wart removal

Professionals conducting the procedure might decide to apply a local anaesthetic in order to reduce the discomfort and minimise the anxiety.

EMLA: UK’s most popular topical anaesthetic

When it comes to anaesthetics that can be obtained by an ordinary person who is not a licenced medical professional, one has to mention EMLA cream, the most popular local anaesthetic in the United Kingdom. Based on prilocaine and lidocaine as active ingredients, EMLA gel works by inhibiting the activity of chemicals interacting with the nerve endings under the skin. When this integral process of the chain of reactions resulting in pain sensation is interrupted, the end result will be significantly decreased sensitivity in the given area of the body.

Because of this, EMLA is very versatile medicine. It is commonly found in the studios of tattoo artists, in pretty much every hospital, but also in private first aid kits of numerous UK citizens. Not only is EMLA preferred anaesthetic by diabetics and others who need to take regular injections, but it is also used in lower concentration by men as a treatment for premature ejaculation, due to its ability to numb the area of the body to which EMLA is applied.

Can I buy EMLA online in the UK?

Yes, it is possible to buy EMLA online in the UK from better supplied online clinics. While it is not a too common medication, it can still be found through various online pharmacies. However, you should keep in mind that EMLA can be obtained only with a valid prescription issued by a certified medical professional. So, if you are looking to get this anaesthetic online, you will first have to obtain a prescription. Luckily, today it’s rather easy to do so without leaving the comfort of your home.

After requesting to purchase EMLA online, you will be presented with a customised medical questionnaire that you will be required to complete. The doctor will use the information obtained this way to determine whether you are suitable for this treatment, by carefully researching your medical history and profile. If everything checks out, the prescription will be issued and used that very same moment to have the medication delivered to the address you provided.

How does EMLA work?

Based on prilocaine and lidocaine, EMLA cream anaesthetises the area it is applied to by preventing sodium from reacting with nerve endings under the skin. In this way, the chain of biochemical reactions leading to experiencing pain sensation will be interrupted, leading to numbness and lack of sensations in the given part of the body. ‘Behind the scenes’, EMLA will successfully prevent a majority of pain signals from reaching the brain.

Are there any side effects?

When it comes to anaesthetics that are injected in the muscles or directly into the blood stream, the list of potential side effects is quite sizeable. However, EMLA is a very non-invasive treatment and as such it produces little to no side effects. Those commonly documented include a tingling sensation and temporary change in skin colour in the area where the medication was applied. A smaller percentage of those using EMLA cream might even notice some slight swelling, but this is considered to be less common.

Are local anaesthetics safe for me?

This question can be properly answered only by your doctor, after he thoroughly reviewed your medical profile and history. Of course, this will also largely depend on the exact purpose of the anaesthetic, possibility that you might be allergic to some of the active ingredients, or the risk of experiencing other side effects or adverse interactions due to other medications that you might be using.

So, during your consultations with the doctor, either online or in person, you will certainly have to disclose all the relevant information so the doctor can make an informed decision and answer this question with the greatest level of accuracy.