Getting a tattoo is a painful process, especially when you’re getting it in specific areas of the body, including the face, neck, hands, and others. Sometimes, even lengthy tattoo sessions can add more pain and discomfort to less sensitive areas. However, there are ways to reduce this pain, such as using a numbing cream before getting a tattoo.
But a question arises here: does tattoo numbing cream work?
Yes, this numbing cream minimizes the pain of the tattooing process. Once this cream is applied to the tattooed area, its active ingredient blocks the nerve-ending cells in the skin. As a result, they don’t send painful signals to our brains. So, you feel little to no pain during the tattoo session.
Additionally, this cream helps the artist work on larger designs in a single session without causing any additional discomfort or pain. In other words, numbing creams help to reduce pain during extended sessions.
However, you must understand a few things before applying it to the application area. For example, what are its effects, how to use numbing correctly, how long you should leave it, and what are some potential side effects of it. So, keep reading this article to grasp these aspects in more detail.
What is Tattoo Numbing Cream?
Numbing Cream is a special type of cream applied to the skin before getting a tattoo to reduce pain during the tattooing session. This cream contains some special active ingredients, either lidocaine, prilocaine, or a combination.
These components in the ointment work by blocking nerve signals in the skin for a short time. So you don’t feel pain during the tattooing procedure. Numbing cream is also used to numb the skin in various medical procedures, such as minor surgery.
How Does Tattoo Numbing Cream Work?
Tattoo numbing cream, also known as a topical anesthetic, helps temporarily reduce pain and discomfort during tattooing. As mentioned earlier, this cream contains two active ingredients: lidocaine or prilocaine, and some brands even offer a combination of both.
Once applied to the skin, it is absorbed through the skin and into the underlying tissues. These agents temporarily block pain signals from the nerves to the brain by reaching nerve endings. So, tattoo needles do not produce pain or discomfort when injected into the skin.
However, it doesn’t eliminate all pain sensations produced by needle piercing. Also, remember that the numbing cream’s effect only lasts a few hours.
How To Use Numbing Cream So it Works?
Note: It is best to follow the instructions given on the bottle. To maximize the effectiveness and longevity of this cream, it is crucial to apply it correctly. Incorrect usage may lead to potentially dangerous side effects.
To use this cream properly, follow these tips:
- Clean the application area with a good soap and water.
- Dry the skin using a towel.
- Add a small amount of cream to the area where you are getting the tattoo. Then, gently massage it so it can be adequately absorbed into the skin.
- Allow the cream to penetrate the skin by covering the application area with a plastic wrap.
- Leave it on for around 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- After the recommended time, remove the wrap and clean off any excess cream.
Note: Apply numbing cream for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
What Ingredients Should You Look for in Numbing Cream?
When it comes to numbing cream, many options are available in the market with different formulas. Before purchasing tattoo numbing cream, ensure it has the required active ingredients.
Lidocaine and prilocaine are the most effective agents that make the cream work effectively. So, when purchasing, ensure the numbing ointment contains these components in its formula.
Which brand of Numbing Cream is Best to Use?
As you know, many numbing creams of different brands are available in the market. However, as a tattoo artist, I use SNTE numbing cream. This ointment provides up to 6 hours of painless numbing effects, which last longer than any other numbing cream.
This feature makes it the best choice for larger tattoo design, which allows artists to complete multiple sessions without interruption due to pain. SNTE numbing cream is made using skin-friendly ingredients, making it suitable for all skin types.
Anyone can use it without worrying about allergic reactions or other side effects. Its natural ingredients also help to protect the skin from irritation and pain. Moreover, it doesn’t leave a heavy or oily residue on the skin, allowing easy cleaning after use.
Furthermore, this cream has multiple purposes and is equally suitable for tattoos, hair removal, and piercing. Just apply it before 50-60 minutes and wrap the application area with a plastic wrapper to give proper time to full absorption. Once it has fully absorbed, you can proceed with your intended task.
Pros and Cons of Using Numbing Cream
No doubt, using numbing cream before a tattooing session has many benefits. These are as follows:
- Pain Reduction: This cream numbs the skin, which helps to reduce pain and irritation.
- Quick Tattoo Process: It helps to speed up the tattooing process. Since you will not feel the pain during the session, artists can continue longer tattoo designs without any breaks.
- Reduced Anxiety: Knowing that you will not feel any pain by using numbing cream helps to reduce anxiety and nervousness about the procedure.
- Improved Tolerance: Some individuals have a very low pain tolerance. A numbing cream may help to manage the tattooing procedure.
- Allergic Reactions: Although most numbing creams have skin-friendly ingredients, some may be allergic to the agents. This allergic reaction can lead to skin irritation, redness, or itching.
- Side Effects: Although this is very rare, some people may experience side effects such as headache, dizziness, or nausea.
Is it bad to use numbing cream before a tattoo?
Using numbing cream before a tattooing session is not bad. Applying it beforehand is recommended, as it helps minimize the pain and discomfort caused by needles.
How long does it take for numbing cream to work on a tattoo?
Numbing takes 30 minutes to 1 hour to take effect, so it should be applied at least 30 minutes prior. Once applied, it lasts 1 to 6 hours, depending on the numbing cream you’re using.
Numbing cream is an effective solution for reducing the pain associated with tattooing caused by the penetration of the needle into the skin. This ointment contains ingredients like lidocaine or prilocaine, temporarily blocking nerve endings upon application. As a result, the body does not experience pain or discomfort.
However, the effectiveness of tattoo numbing cream depends on the formula. Most ointments numb the skin, providing relief for a duration ranging from 1 to 6 hours. However, its effectiveness depends on the brand of cream you’re using.
Flora Jones is a licensed professional tattoo artist with over 5 years of experience working at various studios in Arizona. In addition to her artistry, she enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise on various tattoo-related topics through her writing.