alternative to Emla


hi all,
I’ve been doing a bit of research on Emla prior to my first treatment in a week. The clinic I’m going to advised I get some local skin anaesthesia for work on my genital area and offered to sell me a 30g tube of Elma for $75. That’s Australian dollars. They said it would cost me $100 in a drug store, luckily I have a discount store near me who sells it for $63. But the pharmacist showed me another skin anaesthetic called Xylocaine. It’s made by the same company as Emla but it only contains one of the two anaesthetic agents that Elma does. Emla has Lidocaine & Prilocaine but Xylocaine only has Lidocaine. Thing is it’s half the cost but I don’t think that equates to half the anaesthesia.
So, I’m wondering if anyone knows any more about Xylocaine or has tried it. The pharmacist did say that Prilocaine is more effective on thicker skin whereas Lidocaine is best for thin skin like mucous membranes. I did find a good website ( but it doesn’t really answer my questions. Anyone got any knowledge or experience they can share???


That’s actually really interesting (about the thick skin/thin skin)… Something I wasn’t aware of until just now.

I used Emla for my first three treatments, and I used Ela-Max 5 (5% lidocaine) for my most recent treatment. I used WAY more Ela-Max than I did Emla, and I had already had 3 treatments so my hair was pretty thinned out compared to the first treatment.

I wouldn’t be able to give you an objective opinion, but I know that the lidocaine based stuff is usually cheaper than Emla.

I tend to think that the Emla might work a little better than the lidocaine based stuff for most laser hair removal type applications, but I also think that if you use enough of either one and let it sit for long enough that you will be numbed up and ready to go.

My last treatment I used almost 25g of Ela-Max on my face, but I only waited about 40 minutes before the treatment. I was going to wait for 1.5+ hours, but it still did what it was supposed to, and I was pretty numb through most of the treatment. It did hurt around the upper lip and chin, but it always does, and I don’t think that the pain will get significantly less until the hair really starts getting knocked out over the next few treatments.

I also have been using more and more anesthetic every treatment. I think I reached my max last time at around 25g. Any more than that on my face would probably be a waste.

[ July 15, 2003, 10:54 PM: Message edited by: Zap ]