What Are Tattoo Numbing Creams?
While the name is pretty self-explanatory, a tattoo numbing cream is something a tattoo artist uses before a tattoo session. It is a local anesthetic that numbs the area it’s applied to so you don’t feel as much pain during your tattoo session. A numbing cream is used to reduce pain so you can sit for a longer period of time if you’re getting a tattoo done.
You can either have your artist apply the cream before they start drafting your tattoo, or you can apply it yourself an hour and a half before your scheduled appointment. The numbing cream will last around three to four hours after it’s applied and can be reapplied as needed.
How Do Tattoo Numbing Creams Work?
Tattoo numbing creams act as nerve blockers that reduce the amount of pain you feel when the needle hits your skin. Those nerves then won’t send a signal to your brain. Don’t worry – it isn’t as scary as it sounds. Your nerves still function properly, you just won’t feel the pain.
Now, let’s talk about how to properly apply numbing cream.
5 Simple Steps to Apply Tattoo Numbing Cream
Before you apply your numbing cream yourself, you should always consult with your artist first. See if they are comfortable with you doing it yourself. Oftentimes you will apply the cream yourself. If you do decide to apply it yourself, here are 5 steps you need to take to apply it properly:
- Clean the area
Use soap and water to clean the area you are getting tattooed in. Before you apply numbing cream, you’ll want to ensure the area is completely dry and free of any dirt or oil.
- Use gloves
When applying numbing cream, you’ll want to make sure you wear waterproof gloves – you don’t want your hands to be numb too! Make sure the gloves are waterproof (not latex) so you don’t have to worry about getting the cream on your hands.
- Apply the right amount
If you’re applying it yourself, make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions on how much to apply. If it says a thin layer, do a thin layer. If it says to apply a generous amount to the area, then apply a generous amount.
- Wrap the area
Not all numbing creams are fast-acting, so you’ll want to wrap the area you applied it to with saran wrap. The heat from the wrapping will active the numbing cream quicker.
- Rinse well
If you applied the numbing cream yourself, make sure to tell the artist you’re working with. They will need to rinse the area thoroughly before starting your tattoo.