“I just Emla!” Heart Evangelista tells us matter-of-factly when we asked her how she survived her last trip to Paris in skyrocketing five-inch Azzedine Alaia lace-up booties. We were dumbfounded and quite puzzled by her reply; we wondered, what in the world is Emla? And how could such an odd-sounding thing help you walk in heels all day?
It’s not a fashion girl term for a styling trick if that’s what you’re thinking. In fact, it's a brand of topical anesthesia. Available over-the-counter at your local drugstore, Emla cream (its generic name is lidocaine/prilocaine) is commonly used to relieve and numb pain for minor surgeries and injections (especially for kids!). Emla is also sometimes used prior to bikini or Brazilian waxing procedures to make the treatment bearable.
IMAGE Wikimedia Commons
We asked Dra. Anna Palabyab-Rufino for a comment on whether or not it’s actually safe and if it's advisable to use a topical anesthetic for something as trivial as foot pain due to wearing heels. “I have no personal experience when it comes to this matter, but as long as there is no open wound and there is enough blood flow to the feet, then it should be fine,” she explains. She also reiterates that the numbing effect is temporary and very superficial so there are no long-term side effects.
“The numbing sensation gives an extra hour’s worth of walking,” Heart adds. That extra time would be particularly useful to nail that OOTD or to shop a little more before the stores close. So next time you need to walk in your painful yet pretty pair of heels, keep this in mind: All you need is Emla!