Why Don’t Tattoo Artists Use Numbing Cream
A lot of tattoo artists refuse to use numbing creams or sprays during their sessions. There’s a few reasons, but most of them boil down to two:
1. They consider the pain of a tattoo part of the tradition and a rite of passage.
2. They’ve used numbing cream before and it didn’t work.
There’s a huge part of the tattooed community that considers the pain part of the process of getting their ink. People this group tend to look at any irritation or pain they feel as just another part of their tattoo that makes it more meaningful. If you’re in this category it’s worth understanding that you will eventually get a client that has an ultra-low pain tolerance. It will happen. For these clients, the pain isn’t tolerable – but that doesn’t make their tattoo any less important to them.
If you’re in the second group, it’s entirely possible that the numbing cream you used wasn’t great – but that doesn’t mean that all numbing creams and sprays are ineffective. Keep reading to get an overview of how numbing cream works and how you can make it work for you.
Is It Bad To Put Numbing Cream On Before Getting A Tattoo
Its not necessarily bad to put on numbing cream before getting tattooed, but if youre going to do it, you need to know how to do it right. Make sure you buy a formula thats specifically designed to work on unbroken skin.
If you buy the wrong kind of formula, it wont be effective until the tattoo gun actually starts penetrating the upper layer of your skin. Also, make sure that you dont leave your numbing cream on for over an hour. Otherwise, it can damage your tissues and lead to inferior tattoo results. However, if you follow these steps, your tattoo should turn out great, with much less pain!
Natural Methods Of Numbing
The term natural is one that may be somewhat overused. When we refer to a natural numbing method we will simply mean one that is not manufactured synthetically for a specific intent but may rather be grown and harvested. There may be additional processing steps involved, like extracting an oil from a plant, but the product is not itself synthesized in a lab. These plant based products are numerous as people have been finding ways to numb the skin in their environment for thousands of years.
Natural remedies are not necessarily better or worse than those that are produced in a lab. Because they were not developed specifically for numbing purposes their effects often tend to be weaker than products that were manufactured specifically for numbing.
Chamomile: Chamomile has been used to treat a variety of ailments including inflammation, wounds, rashes, and more. The medical uses of this herb have been well documented. Topically it is mostly used as an anti-inflammatory and to promote wound healing.
Aloe Vera: Aloe vera gel is a well known treatment for sunburn that may reduce redness and help the burn heal quicker. However the main benefit is often in the cooling and hydrating effect of the gel which relieves some of the pain as the sunburn heals.
Clove Oil: Clove oil is frequently used for managing oral pain from toothache. Some studies have shown that clove oil is comparable to benzocaine for topical numbing.
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What About Numbing Spray Is That An Option
This is an option that isnt often talked about. There are numbing sprays available on the market which contain the same ingredient Lidocaine in a liquid form.
Numbing sprays work in a similar way to numbing creams by blocking nerve signals and preventing pain messages from reaching the brain. However, they can be more effective because theyre sprayed directly onto the area being tattooed rather than rubbed in like creams are.
However, the problem for you is that they only work when sprayed onto the tattoo as its being done. The skin has to have been opened by the act of tattooing it for the Lidocaine to get in and do its magic work.
For this reason it has to be done by your tattooist and not yourself. So you need to have a discussion with them and ask if they use numbing spray and if they would use it with you.
Like all topical anaesthetics, it isnt perfect but it can take the edge off if you are going over particularly painful spots.
Guide To Numb Your Skin Before Laser Tattoo Removal
Here are the tips to use a numbing cream to dull your skin so that you cant feel a pain sensation during laser tattoo removal.
So you want to remove your tattoo as soon as possible because it is no more attractive or due to workplace restrictions.
Whatever you reason to get rid of a tattoo, you will choose a laser treatment to see faster results.
Well, this is a right decision if you want to erase your tattoo quickly than to opt for self tattoo removal methods like excision, dermabrasion, or salabrasion.
In laser treatment, a strong laser beam targets your tattooed area to break up the ink particles. In 4 to 5 sittings, a tattoo starts fading.
However, laser treatment can be painful due to the same laser beams. You will feel like as if someone snaps the rubber bands against your skin.
This is why you should use a topical anesthetic cream before the treatment to minimize pain and discomfort occurring during the process.
A numbing cream reduces the pain by blocking the pain receptors underneath the skin. The numbing effect can be lasted for an hour or more.
Therefore, applying a numbing cream is a right way to face your laser sessions comfortably.
Here are the ways to use a numbing cream before a laser tattoo removal.
Clean Your Tattooed Skin with Soap and Water:
First of all, use soap and water to clean your skin to wash away the oil and debris accumulated over there. Afterwards, pat it dry with a towel.
Apply Numbing Cream:
Use a Plastic Cling to Cover the Skin:
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What To Know Before Applying A Numbing Cream
Shainhouse suggests increasing the absorption of the anesthetic ingredients deeper into the skin by exfoliating first, then wrapping the application area with plastic wrap . She also suggests using a more lipophilic product during the incubation period like liposomal encapsulated lidocaine. Be sure that you do not exceed the recommended amount and allowable body surface area per session, to prevent potential neurologic and cardiac side effects over absorption of the product, she warns. Just because it is a topical does not mean that none of it gets absorbed into your bloodstream. She also cautions to wash the area of the anesthetic before starting the tattoo process. Otherwise, you could possibly push some of the product deeper into the skin, which might enhance absorption and potentiate side effects, she explains.
Will My Skin Stay Numb For Longer If I Leave The Cream On For A Longer Time
Leaving the cream on for longer periods of time has no effect and will not increase the feeling of numbness. In fact, it can actually have the opposite effect and cause your nerves to get all “jacked up” , making you even more uncomfortable as the tattoo proceeds. Letting the cream stay on too long can also negatively impact your healing since the numbed area will be more sensitive and it could possibly affect blood flow to the area.
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Does Tattoo Removal Hurt
Some suggest that tattoo removal is more painful than getting tattooed. Again, although this may be true, it is based on personal experience rather than scientific evidence.
Dermatologists usually use lasers to remove tattoos because of the permanent nature of a tattoo. Laser treatment is the most common tattoo removal technique.
Lasers work by targeting the ink particles suspended in the skin with light waves that heat the particles and cause them to break down. Once the particles are in small enough pieces, the bodys immune system will clear them away.
People typically need more than one laser treatment to remove a tattoo. Some colors are more difficult to remove, so one treatment may not remove them entirely.
Some people describe laser treatment as like having a heavy rubber band snapped against the skin repeatedly. Before laser treatment, however, people can apply topical skin-numbing agents to reduce the pain.
Surgical techniques are also effective in removing tattoos, but these may also involve pain. Surgical techniques include:
Zensa Topical Anesthetic Numbing Cream Best Overall
- Ingredients Zensa contains active ingredients like 5% Lidocaine, as well as purified water and vitamin E, to provide the best, inti-inflammatory effects. Because of the ingredients, Zensa is known to promote faster healing, especially of tattoos.
- Lasting period Zensa, unlike some similar products, is designed to last over 3 hours. It will take between 30 and 45 minutes for the cream to completely absorb, but once it takes effect, you can be sure it will have a long-lasting period.
- Zensa cream comes with a federal government certification for safety and quality!
Zensa numbing cream is even recommended by professional tattoo artists around the globe. The reason lies in the fact that the cream doesnt interfere with their work, nor does it mess up the design or the ink. It just helps the clients have a pain-free experience.
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How To Use Tattoo Numbing Cream
First, give the area of skin youre going to apply the cream to a thorough wash. It must be clean and free of dead skin and oil, or you risk getting an infection.
As weve seen, Tattoo Goo offers a kit that includes a cleanser. You could also opt for green soap: an oil-based soap youll often find in tattoo parlors since it helps to soften the skin and prepare it for a tattoo procedure.
To maximize the effectiveness of the numbing cream, you could also try a numbing wash, like Super Juice 3. This has the added advantage of keeping your skin pH neutral, unlike some acidic soaps that contain alcohol. Overloading your skin with substances that work in different ways is damaging, and it may also slow the effect of numbing cream.
After cleaning your skin and drying it, wait a little while before applying the numbing cream. This ensures you wont overload and overwhelm your skin. If youre applying it over a thin layer of skin, 5-10 minutes will be sufficient. For thicker skin, you may need to wait for half an hour.
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Numbing Spray And Ointments For Tattoos: Do They Work
Everyone wants tattoos. But, whether the tattoo is big or small, if you are a tattoo veteran or a rookie, there is one thing that is almost universally a concern .
How bad is the tattoo going to hurt?
Thankfully, tattooing has evolved. This evolution has led to some amazing innovations in tattoo art, tattoo culture, and of course the experience of getting a tattoo. One of these innovations that has made tattoos more accessible to more people is the invention of Tattoo numbing creams, sprays, and ointments.
These tattoo numbing agents almost seem like cheating. A tattoo with no pain ? Thats blasphemy !
They also seem almost too good to be true. I mean can they really make you not feel the tattoo?
In this article we will dive into everything about tattoo numbing sprays including:
- How do tattoo numbing sprays work
- Do tattoo numbing creams actually work
- And, when to use tattoo numbing agents
Do these tattoo numbing sprays really do what they claim? Do they really numb you, so you dont feel getting that new tattoo? You will find out these answers and more below .
How do tattoo numbing sprays work?
There are many different forms of tattoo numbing agents, including: Tattoo numbing spray, Tattoo numbing cream, and tattoo numbing ointment. You might be asking yourself which one is best for you and your new tattoo. Thankfully, the differences between the 3 are fairly simple and straightforward.
Tattoo Numbing Spray:
Tattoo Numbing Cream:
Tattoo Numbing Ointment:
How Long Do Most Numbing Creams Last
On average, most over-the-counter numbing creams last about one hour after initial application. Generally speaking, youll begin to feel the first effects of a numbing cream only a couple of minutes after you first slather it on.
You might experience a faint tingling sensation or a gradual loss of sharp sensation in the affected area. About 20 to 25 minutes after initial application, most numbing creams will reach their full effect. Your skin will feel almost completely numb. After one hour, the numbing effects of the cream will gradually begin to fade until you regain total sensation in the affected area.
Some more potent formulas claim to last much longer than the one hour benchmark, with the most powerful products lasting up to four hours after the initial application before beginning to fade away. Those powerful numbing creams are better for larger tattoos, such as a full arm sleeve or back tattoo. If youre only getting a small tattoo, you definitely dont need such a powerful cream.
Originally published at www.nailartgear.com on January 2, 2019.
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What You Should Ask A Tattoo Artist Before They Start Working On You
Before they begin working, you should ask the artist if they have numbing cream or spray to use on your skin. If they do, then that’s great! Make sure that the numbing agent comes in contact with your skin before they start working- either 90 minutes before or when you’re in the room with them.
If it is your first time getting a tattoo, make sure that you’re aware of what to expect from the process. Ask about the type of tattooing process and how long it will take- this includes knowing what areas of your body are being worked on and how much it will cost. Now is also the time to think about what design you want- be specific about what you want written or drawn on your skin. You should also ask if your artist is willing and able to do the kind of tattoo you want and if they specialize in that area.
Numbing Creams Can Actually Increase The Pain If Used Wrongly
Most people dont know that numbing cream can actually increase pain if you use it the wrong way.
Numbing cream can wear off in as little as 40 minutes. This means if youre having a large tattoo, you are still being tattooed at this time as you may be in the chair for 5, 6 or 7 hours or more.
If the numbing cream just meant nerve endings going back to normal that wouldnt be too bad.
However, have you ever sat funny on your leg until it went totally numb? Then, when the blood flowed back it suddenly became super sensitive and unbearable to touch?
Well, that can be what happens when the numbing cream wears off if you have used too much for too long.
The feeling in the nerves comes back but DIALLED RIGHT UP!
Also, because you have not been feeling the pain your natural painkillers have not kicked in.So you have even less pain tolerance than you would have had without using the cream.
You may find yourself an hour into a six hour session with skin that exquisitely sensitive to each line being pulled.
This is NOT a good place to be.
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Does Numbing Cream Work For Large Tattoos
Numbing cream is not recommended for large tattoos. This is because it can be difficult to numb a large area, and the process may take hours depending on how big your tattoo will be! The numbing cream will have worn off before then, leaving the skin more sensitive
If youre getting a large piece done then talk with your tattooist about what they think of numbing creams before using any kind of pain relief during their process. They may be happy to use numbing sprays which dont have such a dramatic effect on the skin. These can be much better for larger tattoos and may help you get through any tricky bits.
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What Do Tattooists Think About Numbing Cream
Many tattooists are not fans of numbing cream. This is because it can actually make the process more difficult for them. It can also have an impact on the quality of tattoo they can do.
Numbing cream pulls the blood supply away from the surface of the skin. This makes the skin go white, flabby and jelly like if its over used.
We have all had a client who has turned up after basting their arm in buckets of numbing cream for 4 hours .
Where I used to work we called it zombie arm.
The skin is pasty white and floppy and loses all its life and vitality. This soggy floppy quality makes it really hard to tattoo well. Its like trying to tattoo a dead piece of tripe.
This is going to result in a lower quality tattoo. In this circumstance the artist would have to say no to doing the tattoo as it wouldnt go well and their reputation would be on the line.
However, no tattooist likes to work with a client who is wriggling and writhing in pain so for small tattoos in the right places, a bit of numbing cream or spray can help.
Numbing cream left on 1.5 hours. You can see how the skin has gone really white in the spot where it was applied. This skin wouldnt be good to tattoo.
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