Emla Uses

Emla® skin numbing cream for laser
hair removal

laser hair removal

Laser hair removal is one of the most popular methods used to reduce or remove hair, but the pain commonly associated with the procedure may be off-putting for some. Using a numbing cream like Emla before undergoing laser hair removal can help reduce the pain.

With skin numbing creams like Emla, laser hair removal doesn’t have to hurt. The topical treatment numbs the surface of the skin helping you get through painful laser hair removal treatments more comfortably.

How does laser hair removal work?

Laser hair removal can be an effective method for long-term hair reduction or removal on certain areas of your body.

During the treatment a laser emits light at a specific wavelength that targets the pigment (melanin) in your hair. The energy from the light is absorbed and converted into heat that then damages the hair and parts of the hair follicle from which it grows.

Lasers are most effective when hairs are in the active stage of their growth cycle and because not all hairs are actively growing at the same time laser treatments may need to be repeated.

The number of hair removal treatments needed also depends on factors such as your hair thickness, skin type and hair colour, with most people needing between 2 to 6 sessions.

Laser hair removal, for example, may not be as effective on blonde or grey hairs as it is on dark hairs which contain more melanin and some types of lasers may be more effective on darker skins than others.

The number of hair removal treatments needed also depends on factors such as your hair thickness, skin type and hair colour, with most people needing between 2 to 6 sessions. Laser hair removal, for example, may not be as effective on blonde or grey hairs as it is on dark hairs which contain more melanin and some types of lasers may be more effective on darker skins than others.

A gap of 4 to 6 weeks is generally needed between treatments to allow time for any regrowth. Your therapist will be able to give you advice on a treatment plan based on things such as your skin and hair colour, the location of the hair and the type of laser being used.

The number of hair removal treatments needed also depends on factors such as your hair thickness, skin type and hair colour.

Is laser hair removal painful?

There can be a large variation in the level of pain and discomfort experienced during laser hair removal. How much pain you feel may depend on which part of your body is being treated – the more sensitive the skin the more discomfort you are likely to feel. The underarms, bikini line and the skin around your lips, for example, tend to be more sensitive and so potentially more painful than other areas such as the legs. Laser removal of hairs on your back can also be painful because of the large number of hairs being removed.

Numbing the skin with a local anaesthetic such as Emla before starting your laser treatment can help minimise any pain or discomfort you may feel.
Emla is available as a cream in a convenient 5g or 30g tube and is suitable for treating areas of skin as small as your upper lip or bigger areas like your bikini line, back and arms.

emla cream 30g

How to use Emla skin numbing cream

Emla is a topical anaesthetic cream that contains lidocaine (lignocaine) and prilocaine.
It is applied directly to the skin to help lessen the pain experienced during common skin laser treatments such as the removal of unwanted hair.

how to use emla cream

1. Emla cream applied and covered with dressing

2. Penetrates skin

3. Disrupts nerve signaling

4. Numbs the skin

Apply Emla cream directly to the area that will undergo laser hair removal with a pressing motion, making sure not to spread out the cream. For more information on how to apply Emla click here. Emla cream needs to be applied at least 1 hour before your hair removal session.

Laser hair removal preparation

You should be provided with a detailed set of instructions on how to prepare for your laser treatment – it’s important to follow these instructions as they can help make hair removal more effective and help reduce the risk of side effects.

Recommendations can include:

2-6 weeks
Prior to laser hair removal

  • Avoid waxing, plucking and depilatory creams
  • Remember to use sunscreen and avoid sun exposure, solariums and fake tanning as these make the skin darker – lasers are more effective if the hair is darker than the surrounding skin

12 hours
Prior to laser hair removal

  • Shave the area that is going to be treated – ideally 12 hours before the laser treatment
  • Avoid using deodorant or applying other skin products to the area on the treatment day

1 hour
Prior to laser hair removal

  • Apply a topical numbing cream to help reduce pain from laser hair removal treatment
  • It is recommended that Emla is applied to clean, dry skin one hour prior to your laser treatment
  • Refer to the instructions included in the box to work out how much cream to use – the amount will vary depending on the size of the area being treated. Do not exceed the recommended amount.

You can find out more about using Emla in the Consumer Medicine Information leaflet or by talking to your doctor or pharmacist.

For laser hair removal with less pain, try Emla

If you have an upcoming laser treatment and are worried about it being painful, Emla numbing cream may be able to help. Emla skin numbing cream is readily available, without a prescription, at all major pharmacies. Always consult your doctor or pharmacist for advice on whether numbing creams, such as Emla, are suitable for you.