Topical pain reduction comparison

Topical pain reduction comparison

I’ve limited this comparison to a short list recommended topicals. Here’s a longer list of available topical anesthetics.


A pain medication which works perfectly for one consumer may not work at all for another.

I make absolutely no guarantee that any product mentioned in this section will work for you or will work better or worse for you than another product.

For details, see my  Pain management intro page.

Keeping the disclaimer above in mind, I consider ELA-Max 5 and EMLA as your two best options overall.

See also:

Purchasing information for topicals
Clinical data
Topical anesthesia brands: pros and cons

Brand Active ingredient (%)
Ametop gel tetracaine (4%)
Betacaine cream lidocaine, prilocaine
ELA-Max cream lidocaine (4%)
ELA-Max 5 cream lidocaine (5%)
EMLA cream lidocaine (2.5%), prilocaine (2.5%)
Mento-kaine liquid benzocaine (20%), phenol, camphor, menthol
Stud spray lidocaine (9.6%)
Brand Rx Unit Price* Unit cost* Works in Lasts Cover in US Effectiveness
Ametop   1.5 g tube