Tattoos and Numbing Creams

Getting a tattoo can cause a lot of pain. You are potentially sitting for a few hours at a time while a needle is injecting ink into your skin over and over. There is always the question of what can be done to help alleviate that pain. For some the answer is numbing cream. 

There is a lot of different numbing creams that can be available over the counter but that doesn’t mean that they will be effective and useful in blocking the pain of a tattoo. The most important thing to remember is that most over the counter numbing creams will help to decrease the pain but not eliminate. And it is a topical treatment so it will most likely end up being wiped off and become ineffective for the entire tattoo. During large tattoos the numbing effects can wear off and the nerves can become more sensitive causing you to feel more pain. 

Some of the concerns with using a numbing cream is that depending on the ingredients of the cream they can potentially cause infection, scaring during the healing process and actually push the ink out of your skin. The most active ingredient in numbing creams is Lidocaine which causes changes to your blood vessels which will then alter the blood flow. It pulls the blood supply away from the surface of your skin and that can cause your skin to go white, flabby and jelly like. This can make it harder for the tattoo artist in manipulating and that can lead to a lower quality tattoo.

Depending on the shop you go to for your tattoo they may even turn you away if you use a numbing cream beforehand. The best options would be to talk to your artist and see what they recommend in order to prepare for your tattoo. 

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