Numbing cream work use a mild anesthetic to numb the area where you’ll be getting your tattoo. This way, it won’t hurt as much and can support the healing process afterward.
There are different brands of numbing creams, and each one uses a different formula. But they all have similar effects and do the same thing — reduce the discomfort you feel while being tattooed by blocking nerves from sending sensations to your brain.
Numbing creams don’t eliminate pain during the tattoo session, but they can help significantly. Most customers who got tattooed while using a numbing cream report that it made their experience much more bearable than if they hadn’t used any numbing agent.
What To Look For in a Numbing Cream work for Tattoos?
Before you go out and buy a specific tattoo numbing cream, it’s best to know what ingredients will make a numbing cream the most effective. There are different types of numbing creams on the market, and each one differs in its formula.
The most popular ingredient in numbing creams is lidocaine. Search the internet or your drug store for numbing cream, and it’s hard to find one that doesn’t list lidocaine as its main ingredient.
What Is Lidocaine?
Lidocaine is a local anesthetic that blocks nerves from sending pain signals to your brain. Lidocaine is one of modern medicine’s most regulated and widely used numbing agents.
You can buy topical lidocaine over the counter in drugstores. The heavier doses are saved for practitioners. You may have experienced your dentist or dermatologist administering an injectable dose of lidocaine through a needle to numb a treatment area.
It works by blocking the nerves in the area it’s applied to. The nerve endings are blocked from signaling your brain to act on the defensive. Pain receptors dull, and inflammation calms down.
Lidocaine starts working in about four minutes; how long it lasts depends on the dosage received. It can last anywhere from 30 minutes up to five hours.
Lidocaine is safe to use on almost everyone. Children and the elderly can safely use lidocaine on their skin.
What Other Ingredients To Look For?
Don’t stop at just a lidocaine-based numbing cream. Lidocaine is great, and it’s even better when the formula has some added ingredients to round out the effects of the lidocaine and keep your skin in good condition.
This kind of cholesterol is good for you. Cholesterol helps the skin retain moisture and helps the skin stay hydrated without feeling oily. It helps build the skin’s barrier and protect it from external harm.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can support healing and add moisture to damaged skin. It protects the skin by bulking up cell membranes and supporting the body’s defenses against the potential damage UV rays can do.
Hydrogenated lecithin or soy lecithin helps to stabilize and condition the top layer of the skin. It has a high concentration of fatty acids, which helps the other ingredients and lidocaine easily absorb into the skin.
How Do Numbing Creams Work?
Numbing cream work are applied directly to the skin area you want to numb. They work by first blocking the nerve endings in that area of your skin so they can’t send pain signals to the brain.
Once the cream absorbs into your skin, it works as an anesthetic to numb the area where you’re getting a tattoo. If you’re getting a tattoo, numbing creams are great for other reasons, such as itchy skin, cuts, burns, and aches.
Numbing creams with lidocaine typically take about four to five minutes to take effect and last anywhere from 30 minutes to four hours, depending on the dosage. The numbing effect isn’t permanent, and applying it yourself is perfectly safe. Just avoid eyes and mouth.
How Do I Apply a Numbing Cream?
Before you get into your tattoo session, it’s essential to prepare the skin and make sure it’s ready. So you should leave some time before the tattoo to apply a numbing cream.
The best time to do this is one hour before your appointment. This will leave enough time for the cream to be absorbed into your skin but not so far in advance that it loses its power.
You’ll need to look at the directions on the bottle and cover all areas of your skin where you’re getting a tattoo. You’ll want to apply a thick layer of cream for maximum effect and ensure no area goes un-numbed. Wrap clean plastic wrap around the area while it absorbs into the skin.
Don’t apply the cream too early, as it doesn’t take too long for it to be absorbed into your skin. And use gloves unless you want numb fingers!