The problem with most anestetics is that they are not designed to support out needs: we need the numbing agent a few mm beneath the surface of the skin. That seems to be demanding.
What is available here in Germany?
Well, there is EMLA and its generikum named Anesderm. And there is a product fom the Netherlands named Anestesis which is advertized to be effective faster than EMLA and without the need to cover it. Anestesis needs a prescription.
Which brings us immediately to the abovementioned problem: depth of penetration.
In practice Anestesis works if it is applied like EMLA, but then it is more cost effective.
No some exotic ideas / proposals: Lidocain spray. OTC only available for dental applications, especially in useful concentration. One of my clients swears on it, but i am sceptical because it did work very poorly on my upper lip.
Stud spray from the sex shop. I learned that from hairfacts. About 9% Lidocaine, the highest concentration which is freely available. In Germany as well. I never tried that.
Instilla gel comes also to my mind. That’s a medical gel like that used in ultrasonic imaging but containing some Lidocaine. OTC in Germany. I never tried that although i should have a small amount lying around at home. Might be very interesting if the gel contained enough alcohol to ease deeper penetration into the skin.
Anyway: EMLA/Anestesis/Anesderm do work very well if applied correctly. A tip of a collegue from Germany:
thoroughly massage a small amount of EMLA into the pores of the skin; several times every few minutes until You feel the onset of the numbing. Then apply a thick layer of EMLA and cover that with a thoroughly fitted transparent foil. Thoroughly fix it to the skin. it is important to get that air tight.
In contrast tho the method described in the manual that one works perfectly on my throat. And if the fixation is well made You can walk though the city without having people stare at You. I tried in the inner city of Frankfurt.