If you have decided to get a tattoo but you are not certain you can handle the pain that comes with having your skin punctured, perhaps you should consider using a tattoo numbing cream. This is especially recommended for those who have a low threshold to pain or if you have decided to have your tattoo made in an area that is quite sensitive. It is for the best that you talk to the tattoo artist about the possibility of using a tattoo numbing cream – you might find out that there are tattoo artists who do not want to use such products, as they believe that one should endure the small amount of pain that comes with having a tattoo made. If you are suffering from various conditions of the skin, you should also talk to your doctor about the potential risks of using the tattoo numbing cream.
What is the tattoo numbing cream?
The tattoo numbing cream is a product designed to reduce the sensitivity of the skin to pain. Containing active ingredients such as lidocaine, benzocaine, prilocaine and tetracaine, the tattoo numbing cream actually has similar effects with the ones of local anesthetics. The cream is applied to the skin before the making of the tattoo, numbing the nerve terminations in that specific area.
Does the tattoo numbing cream work?
The answer is yes. As it was already mentioned, the tattoo numbing cream contains a number of active ingredients that increase the threshold to pain. One of the most important roles of the tattoo numbing cream is to deaden the nerve endings. The active ingredient in the cream that serves to this purpose is lidocaine. It is important to understand that the cream will only penetrate the superficial layers of the skin and, thus, the nerve endings are not going to be 100% deadened. This means that you probably still feel some pain but it will be a duller sensation. The effect of lidocaine is generally increased by adding other ingredients into the mixtures, such as the ones presented below.
The tattoo numbing cream also works by blocking the nerves, with the active ingredient responsible for such purposes being tetracaine. This means that the nerves will be able to feel the pain (not as intense thanks to the lidocaine) but the pain signal will not be further transmitted to the brain. Apart from the tetracaine, tattoo numbing creams might also contain benzocaine, which is also a proficient nerve blocker. The combination of nerve deadeners and nerve blockers seems to be responsible for the efficiency of the tattoo numbing cream.
Some of the tattoo numbing creams on the market also contain vasoconstrictors as active ingredients. Epinephrine is often included because of its properties – as it causes the constriction of the blood vessels, it also prevents the excess bleeding that may occur during a tattoo. The addition of epinephrine to the tattoo numbing creams also means less inflammation resulting from the tattoo.
These are the most common side-effects that can occur with using the tattoo numbing cream:
- Irritation of the skin
- Itchiness (aggravated by scratching)
- Burning or tingling sensation
These side-effects usually appear in people who have extremely sensitive skin or different disorders of the skin. If you know yourself to have a sensitive skin or you have been diagnosed with a skin disorder, it is for the best that you talk to the doctor about the possibility of using the tattoo numbing cream. The symptoms presented above are suggestive of an allergic reaction, developed after the application of the tattoo numbing cream on the skin. The itchiness can occur immediately after the application or at a later time, while the redness is commonly described as the wheal and flare. You can expect the rash that results from the application of the tattoo numbing cream to subside in approximately one day. Antihistamines might help to reduce the negative consequences of the recently developed allergic reaction.
In rare cases, one can suffer a severe allergic reaction to the tattoo numbing cream. If that happens, immediate medical intervention is necessary, before the symptoms exhibited become life-threatening. Among the symptoms that are suggestive of a highly severe allergic reaction, there are:
- Difficult breathing or swallowing
- Rash present on the entire surface of the skin, with severe inflammation
- Heart palpitations
- Fainting or vascular collapse (shock).
Where to buy?
If you are interested in buying tattoo numbing cream, you should know that there are plenty of reliable online stores that sell such products. At the same time, you may discover that there are numerous tattoo shops that sell such products. No matter from where you decide to buy the tattoo numbing cream, it is important that you choose a shop or an online virtual store that is reliable and professional. Beware of counterfeit products, as these might cause irritations of the skin and other similar problems.
If you have found a certain tattoo numbing cream but you are not sure whether to buy it or not, you can always go online and read the opinion of others who have tried it. In this way, you can see how efficient the cream actually is and decide if it is the right product for you to purchase or not. Product reviews are also found on the websites that sell such products, do not hesitate to read those as well.
How long does tattoo numbing cream last?
In general, the tattoo numbing cream is applied with one or two hours before making the tattoo. The numbing effect of the cream varies from one product to the other but, on average, you can expect it to last between one hour and one hour and a half.
In conclusion, the tattoo numbing cream can be an efficient product to use when having a tattoo made, especially if you have an extremely sensitive skin or you want a tattoo in an area that is highly sensitive. Use it with caution if you know that you are allergic to skin care products in general.