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Anaesthetics is a broad term for medicines that include a numbing agent. In hospitals, anaesthetics are often injected into the skin in varying strengths, but it’s actually possible to buy topical local anaesthetics online for the treatment of various conditions.

Perhaps most famously, Emla cream is widely used to numb an area of skin before a procedure such as an injection or wart removal, and is popular with children who are scared of getting their jabs. However, other treatments are available for conditions such as haemorrhoids, burns, minor cuts, and even premature ejaculation.

All of the anaesthetics sold on Doctor4U come with a patient information leaflet, and it’s important to read them to know how to apply the medicine. For example, some of the treatments for haemorrhoids are able to be applied internally, but others may cause damage if they’re used in such a way.

Below are some common anaesthetic medicines. Please note, this is not an exhaustive list and other non-medical methods may be more suitable. If you would like to learn more about these options, then please click here. Before receiving medication you must answer a number of questions to asses your suitability. All questions are reviewed by a GMC registered doctor before a final decision is made. All medication is dispensed via a full regulated and registered UK pharmacy. All prices displayed on our site include the price of the medication and our doctors consultation fee.

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What are anaesthetics?

Anaesthetics is a name given to medications that include a numbing agent, usually lidocaine, prilocaine, benzocaine, or other similar drugs.

You might automatically think about injections at the mention of anaesthetics, though these are only ever given by healthcare professionals. However, there are a group of local anaesthetic medications that can be prescribed to the general public. These are applied topically and come in a range of forms such as creams, ointments, gels and sprays.

Anaesthetics can be prescribed for a range of conditions, but always have the aim of numbing a particular area.

What can anaesthetics be used for?

Anaesthetics can be used to reduce pain and itching in the case of insect bites and minor cuts, to numb skin in preparation for a procedure (such as an operation or wart removal), to numb painful areas for conditions such as haemorrhoids (piles) and even for conditions such as premature ejaculation to reduce feeling in the head of the penis.

Topical local anaesthetics are incredibly versatile and some versions (such as EMLA for example) can even be used by children, especially if they’re scared of having their jabs, or need a cannula fitted in hospital.

Let’s take a deeper look at what kind of anaesthetics can treat certain conditions:

  • Haemorrhoids: There are a few different options available to buy online to treat haemorrhoids, such as proctofoam, xyloproct, perinal, and scheriproct. All of these medications contain a local anaesthetic (either lidocaine, prilocaine, or cinchocaine), often alongside a hydrocortisone. The two medications work together to reduce pain and swelling, giving your haemorrhoids a much better and quicker chance of recovery compared to using no medicine at all. Depending on the medicine, you can either use it internally, or on external haemorrhoids. Always read the patient information leaflet, as some of the options above might not be suitable for internal use
  • Premature Ejaculation: at the moment, Fortacin and STUD 100 are both available for the treatment of chronic premature ejaculation. Both of these anaesthetics come in spray form, and should be sprayed directly on the head of the penis to reduce the amount it can feel. The theory behind using topical anaesthetics for this condition is the thought that making the penis more sensitive will result in a man lasting longer before ejaculating. If you use either of these treatments, it’s important to remember that residual medicine might numb any area of your partner that your penis comes into contact with, so it’s a good idea to take extreme care so neither of you are injured or hurt during sex
  • Numbing of the skin: Some people choose to numb their skin before a procedure such as an injection or wart/mole removal. Emla cream is available for this, and comes in a small tube that can be applied directly to the area of skin you want to numb. Usually, the cream is kept in place with cling film or a clear adhesive bandage to give the cream chance to work. Breastfeeding mums are also able to use the cream to treat sore nipples, but it must be washed off before the next feed or else it can numb the baby’s mouth and throat.

How do topical anaesthetics work?

For anyone to feel pain, a sensitive fiber in the body (either on the skin or internally) has to be stimulated, and the brain needs to receive the message that this has happened. This process is called the conduction of nervous impulse. Topical anaesthetics work by numbing a certain area and interfering with the pain signal reaching the brain. However, you might still be able to feel touch and pressure.

Topical anaesthetics are usually effective up to a depth of 2-3mm, which is why they’re such an effective treatment for numbing the skin before a procedure.

Are there any side effects of topical anaesthetics?

Most medicines carry possible side effects, but topical anaesthetics such as the ones mentioned here tend to only cause mild skin irritation at the site of application. However, if you experience an allergic reaction to any of the topical numbing agents, you should stop using them immediately and contact your GP for advice.

It’s also important to know that using any topical local anaesthetics on shaved areas might actually increase how much of the drug is absorbed, so you should take care if you’re applying it to a newly shaved part of your body do you don’t hurt yourself.

Because the effects of the anaesthetic are only localised to the area of application, it shouldn’t affect your ability to drive or operate machinery, but if it’s your first time using the medicine, it’s always a good idea to make sure you know how it affects you before driving.

Will they get rid of my pain?

It’s difficult to give an answer either way. Whilst you’re using the medication, it will most likely get rid of or at least reduce the amount of pain that you’re feeling, but once the effects wear off, you’ll probably feel sore or bruised depending on the procedure you’ve had done. If your doctor thinks it’s a good idea, you might be able to continue using a local numbing agent until the pain is bearable.