Razor Free Electrolysis

Numbing Creams

Is Electrolysis painful? Years ago, yes. Today's machines are much less spicy. If you've had tattoos or laser, you will probably find that Electrolysis is less painful than tattoos or laser. Pain tolerance varies from person to person. The insertion of the probe should be painless, however, a small tingle may be felt with each hair treated. The intensity of the current will depend on the coarseness or resilience of the hair. Numbing agents may be used to increase tolerance and comfort during the treatment.

If you find it too uncomfortable, your doctor may be able to write you a prescription for an anesthetic cream. The mild discomfort is definitely worth it for the dramatic and long-lasting result.

For myself, I've had electrolysis in some very delicate areas (upper lip) that I didn't require numbing cream. It was a bit uncomfortable but manageable. I've also had electrolysis in another area, that required numbing cream.

I've used OTC numbing cream (Zenza, Elma), but realized that for the cost (and numbing power), it was better to get a prescription (bonus: extended medical benefits covered some of my prescription cost). It's important to know, that if you get a prescription cream, it can only be filled at a compounding pharmacy and usually takes a few days to a week to be made by a compounding pharmacist.

When I first started using BLT (Benzocaine/Lidocaine/Tetracaine Cream), I only got small tubes on it, not realizing that clearing this particular area was going to take longer than my lip did. I quickly realized it was more cost-efficient to get a 100 g container, rather than a 25 g tube.

The prescription my doctor gave me was Benzocaine 20%, Lidocaine 6% & Tetracaine 4%, but there are other formulations available, as can be seen on this pharmacy website. Talk to your compounding pharmacist and your doctor, to find out which is the one that would work for you.          

Tips for getting the most out of your numbing cream

It's important to create an airtight seal (as much as possible), to get the most effect of the numbing cream. If the air gets to the cream, it starts breaking down the components that work to numb you. You must tape the plastic wrap down for this to work well.

Things you'll need:

  • Numbing cream (OTC or prescription)
  • 1" IV/surgical tape (don't get it from the Dollar Store - it doesn't work well)
  • Glad Press'n Seal (regular plastic wrap is thinner & harder to work with) or Tegaderm
  • Scissors (to trim off any excess you may not need)
  1. Tear off a section of the Glad Press'n Seal - make sure you allow enough material to have a 1/2" extra around all of the area to be treated. Then apply the tape around all the edges. 
  2. Clean the area where you will be getting electrolysis. If you are having electrolysis in the pelvic/groin area, I recommend a nice hot bath before you apply cream, to open up the pores and allow the cream easier penetration.
  3. Apply cream.
  4. Cover the area with airtight dressing - do not remove. It will be removed as required during your electrolysis session.
  5. You'll want this on for at least 30 min before a procedure. I generally recommend longer - apply it 3 times before your session, starting 2.5 hours before. An hour after your first application, pull back the plastic wrap & apply another thick layer. 1/2 hour before your appointment, repeat. Do not remove the plastic wrap - let me take care of that as I work.

Example (see below):  I would hang Glad Press'n Seal on my bathroom door, sticky side down, and then apply the tape all around the edges.  



Apply cream thick - seal with tape - or you're just wasting your time and money.


The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency, for diagnosis, or for the substituting of any treatment. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions, and for all prescriptions.