The physician orders lidocaine-prilocaine cream to apply to a patient's skin before a wart-removal procedure. How long before the procedure should the nurse apply the cream?


• Lidocaine-prilocaine (EMLA) cream reaches satisfactory dermal analgesia levels 1 hour after application. It reaches its maximum after 2 to 3 hours.

• EMLA cream should be applied at least 1 hour before the procedure for effectiveness.

• It is applied in a thick layer to the indicated site on unbroken skin and covered for 1 to 2 hours while it becomes effective.

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