Special creams are available that numb the skin. They can make it not hurt when you stick the needle through the skin. Some parents use these creams when giving factor to their children.
One brand of numbing cream is EMLA®. You can only get it with a prescription from your doctor. It must be put on the skin an hour before factor is given. Another brand is LMX®, also known as ELA-Max®. It does not require a prescription but you should talk to your doctor before using it on your child. You only have to wait 30 minutes with LMX®. They both work equally well at stopping the pain of a needle stick.
A good point for numbing creams is that they lower the pain of getting factor. If a child has to get factor on a regular schedule, this can be important.
Numbing creams do have some bad points. They must be put on the skin 30 to 60 minutes before the factor is given. If a child is having a bleed, this will delay the treatment. You should always put numbing cream on at least two spots. That way if you miss sticking one spot, you still have another to try.
Once a child is old enough to sit still by himself to get factor, his parents may want him to get used to getting factor without numbing cream. He can learn that the pain of the needle is quick and not too bad. Then he won’t be tempted to delay taking factor while waiting for the numbing cream to work. If a child is so afraid of the needle stick that he hides bleeds, parents may want to continue using the numbing cream.
Talk to the nurse at your HTC about numbing creams. The nurse can help you decide if they are right for your child. Some HTCs recommend a spray (Pain Ease®) that rapidly cools the skin and makes the needle stick hurt less. There is no waiting time with the spray. It does require a prescription and training in how to use it correctly.