Very bad reaction to lidocaine numbing cream

I had a very bad reaction to my lidocaine numbing cream today. I applied (as directed) one hour before my treatment to lower legs, bikini and underarms, and wrapped them in cellophane. I hopped in the car and headed off for my appt. I suddenly became dizzy, my heart was pounding/racing, and I thought I was going to faint. I made it to the clinic, but by the time I got there my mouth was so dry and numb, I couldn’t speak clearly enough to tell them what was going on. A nurse took my BP and pulse, both of which were very high. I was numb head-to-toe, nauseous, and my mouth tasted like metal. They laid me down and monitored me and things gradually got better. I decided to go ahead with my laser treatment (I was super numb!). They checked my BP and pulse before I went home, and things had settled down a lot. (This is a medical cosmetic clinic, and a plastic surgeon was in the office).

It’s been 6 hours now, and I’m still a little numb and dizzy.

The clinic said next time they will apply the cream at the clinic and will only do legs one visit, and underarms/bikini the next. No cellophane. I’m a little nervous about having another bad reaction. It was pretty frightening, especially in the car!

Any advice?

You applied the numbing cream on too large of an area at one time. Or maybe you applied to much. Maybe you should try just using numbing cream on the most sensitive areas, like the back part of the upper legs.

Maybe you are sensitive to the possible side effects of numbing cream. Do you normally have high blood pressure?

Have you tried getting treatment without numbing cream? What laser is being used on you? In most cases, if the laser has a good cooling system, most people do not need a numbing cream, except for maybe the upper lip.


I don’t know if you can apply too much, but you can definitely put it on too large an area. It even warns about that in the fine print.

I would recommend you do what your clinic suggested and only do one area at a time or do some areas without the cream. You can try having them apply it, but I’ve always found that it is most effective if you give it an hour to work ahead of time. It never did anything for me when they put it on.

I recommend always trying treatments without any anesthetic, at least at first, so you can assess the pain etc. I’ve never used it and don’t find that I need it.

Thanks for your advice. I’ve decided not to use any lidocaine cream at all in the future. It took several days to get out of my system and I don’t want to risk any type of reaction again.

I actually only applied a very thin layer, and skipped the less sensitive spots.