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Author Topic: Question about EMLA cream  (Read 1492 times)
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OTR Trucker, Off-Grid in New Mexico

« on: April 19, 2018, 10:17:08 PM »

Many of you have used the EMLA cream to ease the pain of needles. I was given a prescription before I started dialysis and I have used it going on eight months now. All the technicians at my center are of the opinion that using EMLA for a long time causes the skin around the fistula to become "tough." Mine definitely is tougher than in the beginning but I assumed that was a normal reaction to the constant puncturing.

I've only found a couple of anecdotal mentions about this on here, so I'm asking what is your opinion of this. Does EMLA cream make your skin harden? Experiences, links, references appreciated.
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2018, 08:11:01 PM »

I don't know about makig the skin tougher, but I do know it lessens the pain of theneedles a whole lot. As you say, I would put the toughening up down to constant sticking and developing scar tissue.
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Going through life tied to a chair!

« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2018, 09:38:25 PM »

I got tired of dealing with the "slime"   I would use EMLA Cream AND the lidocaine shots.  Now I just use the lidocaine shots.  I don't care what they say.  I'm NOT taking a 15ga needle straight. 

I will go with a shot of whisky and a bullet first! 

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When all else fails run in circles, shout loudly

« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2018, 10:58:52 AM »

My experience : ladder technique : hardening fistula without Emla (2 yrs)
                                                   hardening fistula with Emla (8 yrs)

                         BH : hardening fistula with Emla (6 yrs)

A fistula will develop the longer you use it. Skin constantly punctured will scar > harden. I still believe more in blunt needles (not BH ones, just badly produced sharp needles) and calcification of fistulas.

I'll see if I can find some research by the Learned ones.

I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left

1983 high proteinloss in urine, chemo, stroke,coma, dialysis
1984 double nephrectomy
1985 transplant from dad
1998 lost dads kidney, start PD
2003 peritineum burst, back to hemo
2012 start Nxstage home hemo
       still on waitinglist, still ok I think
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2018, 10:15:22 AM »

I've been using EMLA since I started using my fistula back in 2010.  I don't know if the skin has gotten tough, but the tissue certainly has.  I don't believe that the EMLA has anything to do with it, but having 2 large needles shoved into the area 3 times a week for 8 years might. 

If anyone from my clinic ever told me that I shouldn't be using EMLA, I'd tell them to get in the chair and I'd needle them, so they can see how much those needles burn without the numbing

Dialysis - Feb 1991-Oct 1992
transplant - Oct 1, 1992- Apr 2001
dialysis - April 2001-May 2001
transplant - May 22, 2001- May 2004
dialysis - May 2004-present
PD - May 2004-Dec 2008
HD - Dec 2008-present
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« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2018, 12:05:40 PM »

Hubby was using that....developed an allergy and his skin was tough, scaly and itchy.  We do buttonholes, but he still wanted the numbing....until the vascular surgeon told him he was allergic....so now we stick the buttonholes without anything....and he's fine.  I know it's different when you're doing the "ladder" technique....they do have a freezing spray you could try!  Ask your clinic or doctor about it!   Whole lot faster, too...no waiting for numbness to occur!  Spray it, stick...you're done!
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10 years on and off dialysis

« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2018, 11:14:43 AM »

I use EMLA cream (on 1 hour plus) and freezer spray. It still hurts.
They stopped us using lidocaine injections at home, but they were better.
Surrounding tissue definitely suffers.

10 years of half a life
3 years HD 1st transplant Feb 08 failed after 3 months
Back to HD 2nd transplant Dec 10 failed after 11 months
Difficult times with a femoral line and catching MSSA (Thank you Plymouth Hospital)
Back on HD (not easy to do that third time around)
Fighting hard (two years on) to do home HD ... watch this space!
Oh and I am am getting married 1/08/15 to my wonderful partner Drew!!!
The power of optimism over common sense :)
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« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2018, 01:59:50 PM »

I've never used any of the numbing stuff. If someone else sticks me the pain is similar to a bee sting and only lasts milliseconds, when I stick myself there is no pain whether using sharps in a new spot or blunts in a buttonhole. Everyone's pain threshold is different, personally I think its mind over matter (pain in this case).
I also have fistula grams and angioplasties without any sedation. I just go somewhere else in my mind. While performing the angioplasties my Dr sometimes asks me where I went/am mentally.

Hemo in Center since 11/2008
Self Cannulate since 2011
In Center Self Care since 2012
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« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2018, 10:18:33 AM »

I have been doing in center Hemo for 8 years, and have always used the EMLA cream, unless I am in the hospital or something.  There has been an occasion or 2 where I forgot to put it on...WOW...not again. 

Sorry, I'm not a needle person and if it helps ME; to hell what anyone elese thinks!

Brother Passed away - 1990 - Liver Disease
Diagnosed w/ Polycystic Kidney Disease - 1998
Mother passed away - Feb. 1999 - PKD
Sister passed away - Feb. 2006 - PKD
AV Fistula / Upper Left Arm - September 2009
Father passed away - September 2009
In-Center Hemo Dialysis - April 2010
Broken Knee Cap - January 2015
Diagnosed w/ A-Fib October 2017
Surgery to repair Hiatal Hernia 2018
Multiple Fistula Grams / Angioplasty's since then!

Hating Dialysis since Day 1 and everyday since then!!!!  :)
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