Topical Anaesthetic

Topical Local Anesthetic


The term anesthetic means ‘lack of feeling’ and are used to support client comfort via pain management.  The use of TLA will provide more than adequate comfort for most needle depths.  TLA is needle free and is usually a cream or gel that is applied to numb the areas being treated.

TLA targets free nerve endings that are in the dermis and temporarily obstructs nerve conduction.  Many clients can tolerate a needle depth of up to 1mm without any need for TLA.

Any form of anesthetic is a drug and therefore comes with associated risks and potential issues, if incorrectly used.  Current UK guidelines stare a maximum potency y of 5% is suitable for use within the industry.  Common anaesthetizing agents include lidocaine, prilocaine, tetracaine, benzocaine, and bupivacaine.

TLA application should not exceed a surface greater than 400cm2 (approximately 9”x9”) during one session. This is the size of an A4 piece of paper.  The face and neck could be treated together at the same time, but not the chest.

Sensitivity to TLA is rare, to prevent an adverse reaction avoid the mucous membrane of the eyes and mouth, you could apply a small amount of petroleum jelly to these areas to ensure limited access if you require.

Clients who are suffering with hepatic disease – liver disease and Sulphmonamide allergies may experience a reaction to TLA.

Signs of an adverse reaction to TLA include:

  • Burning or stinging at the treatment site
  • Nausea
  • Swelling
  • Dizziness’
  • Slurred speech
  • Numbing of the tongue
  • Seizures
  • Double vision
  • Tinnitus

In the event of an adverse reaction, the TLA must be wipes away immediately and seek medical attention if symptoms persist.

The efficiency and longevity of TLA can be enhanced by exfoliating the areas prior to anaesthetizing

De greasing the area with an alcohol-soaked gauze swab

Applying a polyethene occlusive dressing over the TLA application.

Generally 2-3 grams of product should be applied evenly massaging it into the face until absorbed, then a further 2-3 grams can be applied, No more than 7grams should be applied during one session.  If a polythene occlude has been applied the client will feel a cold sensation followed by a tingling as the TLA activates.

Note – if at any time an adverse reaction occurs the TLA should be removed immediately.

Some TLA can remain active for up to 2- 6 hours post application.