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Does Numbing Cream Work For Tattoos?

General Skincare

Does Numbing Cream Work For Tattoos?

Tattooing can sometimes cause discomfort, but there are methods to help reduce the pain. There are several options available to reduce this sensation, including the use of numbing creams. These creams have become widely popular and are readily available without a prescription. Tattoo numbing creams have been found to be effective for many people and are generally considered safe.

The effectiveness and safety of numbing tattoo creams are widely recognized in various cases. Many people choose to use them because they provide added comfort during the tattooing process. Furthermore, these creams can help reduce some of the anxiety that comes with getting a tattoo.

If you are interested in a numbing cream, it is important to find a brand that has a high concentration of lidocaine. This particular element will effectively numb the skin and provide comfort during the tattoo procedure.


How Do Numbing Creams Work?

Prior to getting a tattoo, it is necessary to apply certain pain-relieving creams. These agents work to reduce the feeling of pain by using specific active components.

Nerve Deadeners

Numbing creams, commonly used and well-known, utilize nerve deadeners as their main numbing agents. After reviewing the content list, lidocaine is commonly listed on the packaging. These elements are designed to intercept pain signals, effectively blocking nerves from receiving them. As a result, a temporary insensitivity occurs.

While these creams may offer temporary relief by numbing the skin’s surface, they are not effective in addressing the underlying layers. Tattoo needles penetrate through multiple layers of skin, reaching the upper dermis. If you don’t choose a cream that is made to penetrate the outer layers, you may feel uncomfortable when the needle goes deeper.

The effects of lidocaine on your skin are not long-lasting. The cream will lose its potency after approximately one to two hours. During an extended tattooing session, it may be necessary to apply the cream multiple times throughout the inking process.

Nerve Blockers

Certain creams contain substances called nerve blockers, such as benzocaine and tetracaine, which are frequently found in the formula. Although these sensations are still detected by your nerves, they are unable to transmit the signals to your brain. These creams do not provide direct pain relief, but instead reduce the intensity of pain sensations. The combination of nerve blockers and nerve deadeners is frequently used to relieve discomfort.


Vasoconstrictors are known for their strong pain-relieving properties, but they also come with a significant level of risk. These anesthetic agents work to reduce inflammation and bleeding at the tattooed area by constricting blood vessels. The use of vasoconstrictors with other anesthetics slows down the absorption of the latter, thereby extending their numbing effects.

There are many tattoo artists who choose to use a combination of substances that block nerve sensations and narrow blood vessels. As a result, they may experience the effects of an anesthetic that has long-lasting benefits. It is important to recognize the potential health risks associated with obstructing the natural flow of blood. The risks include a lack of oxygen supply and an increased heart rate. Additionally, there are situations in which the person may have difficulty absorbing the substances quickly, leading to dangerously high toxicity in their body.

If you’re in search of a numbing cream to ease your tattoo session, numerous options are available in the market. It would be wise to consult your physician before settling on one. By thoroughly assessing your medical background, they can assist you in determining the most suitable anesthetic for your body. In Philadelphia, there are many tattoo shops that can help you find the best options for your skin.


Should You Use a Numbing Cream?

The decision to use a numbing cream when getting a tattoo is a personal choice, as individuals have different perspectives on pain. Some people view pain as an important part of getting a tattoo, while others prioritize their comfort during the process.

To make a decision that suits you, it is important to take into account both your body’s needs and your ability to handle discomfort. Individuals who have a lower pain threshold may require the use of a numbing cream to get a tattoo.

The decision to use a numbing cream is not set in stone as there is no definitive right or wrong answer. Multiple factors related to the physiology and biology of your body can influence your decision-making process.

  • Medical conditions
  • Genetics
  • Chronic pain
  • Lack of sleep
  • Prior injuries
  • Anxiety, stress, or depression

Certain individuals have a lower tolerance for pain, which is a natural characteristic. There are a limited number of methods available to increase one’s pain threshold. However, one possible solution is to apply a numbing cream to your skin.  Topical anesthetics can help reduce discomfort during tattooing for those concerned about pain.

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