Anaesthetics are products which work by desensitising an area of the body. They are often used to numb parts of the skin prior to a minor procedure.

  1. Help to prevent pain
  2. Reduce anxiety related to needles
  3. Simple to use

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Anaesthetics are used to prevent the nerve endings from emitting pain signals in a particular area during a surgical procedure. In minor cases involving the skin, such as during the administration of an injection or vaccination, wart removal or cryotherapy, a local anaesthetic may be distributed over the area of skin affected in order to help the process pass with the minimum amount of discomfort.

Insulin injections are a common fixture for many people living with type-1 diabetes, as are blood sugar tests, which are also undertaken with a needle. Vaccinations tend to be more often issued to those travelling abroad to a tropical location for a prolonged period; and to those who are susceptible to opportune infections such as flu.

People undergoing various cosmetic procedures, such as a tattoo, ear piercing or wart removal, may be required to stay seated and remain still for a period of time. When needles or incisions are being placed in the skin, this can understandably prove troublesome for many, and might also cause feelings of anxiety.

Treatments such as EMLA Cream, Xylocaine Spray and Pliaglis are examples of local anaesthetics which can help to desensitise an area of skin. Lidocaine is an agent contained in all three; EMLA also contains prilocaine and Pliaglis also carries an ingredient called tetracaine.

These work by preventing chemicals from reacting with nerve endings under the skin, a process which plays an integral role in the transmission of pain signals to the brain. By interfering with this reaction, the treatments stop pain signals from being sent to the brain and reduce the amount of pain felt, creating numbness in the area of application.

EMLA, Xylocaine Spray and Pliaglis, while all available to buy from our UK pharmacy, do require a prescription. This can be obtained through our safe and secure consultation facility, which is staffed by registered doctors. Just take our short medical questionnaire, and once your order has been approved, we’ll ship it to you by next-day parcel.


Creams and sprays are the typical form of issue for dermal anesthesia.

These are available to buy from our UK pharmacy in the form of EMLA Cream, Pliaglis or Xylocaine Spray.

How do they work?

All of these products contain agents which act as local anaesthetics.

Lidocaine, tetracaine and prilocaine function by preventing sodium from reacting with nerve endings under the skin to produce pain signals. When these pain signals are blocked from transmitting to the brain, the area of application becomes numb and a significant reduction in pain (if any whatsoever) is felt during the skin procedure which follows.

What are the side effects?

The side effects may vary depending on the method of application or concentration of the agent in the product.

However, those more commonly associated with these products include tingling, a slight and temporary change in skin colour where the treatment is applied, or swelling.

Can I take them with other medications?

It depends mostly on which other treatments you are using. Tell your prescriber about any other medicines you are currently taking during consultation.

What’s the difference between the medications?

These three items all contain topical anaesthetics, and perform the same function. The concentration of the active ingredient in each is different, however, and this may mean that each is more suited to a particular skin procedure.

Should I take EMLA Cream, Xylocaine Spray or Pliaglis?

It depends on the procedure you are having done and where on the body it is taking place. EMLA Cream and Pliaglis should only be used on the surface of the skin; whereas Xylocaine Spray has been used by doctors to numb the skin as well as soft tissue in the mouth or nasal cavity.

Ask your doctor or consult the relevant product page for more information.

Are there different side effects?

The side effects for each item are similar but may vary slightly, according to the different concentration or application method. More commonly, local anaesthetics when applied to the skin may cause tingling or slight and temporary paleness.

Is it right for me?

Take our short medical assessment to find out. It only takes a couple of minutes, and your answers will be reviewed by a qualified physician. Once approved, your treatment will be dispensed at our UK-based pharmacy and shipped to your home via secure parcel. Items are dispatched by express delivery, so that you don’t have to wait more than one working day before receiving your item.

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Delivery on all items is included in the price. After your order has been dispatched, you’ll be supplied with a tracking number, allowing you to follow the progress of your items every step of the way. We deliver to anywhere in the UK, so whether you’re in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow or Cardiff, your order will be at your door within just 24 hours of approval from our doctor.

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