Does Numbing Cream for Tattoos Work?
Each culture has their own relationship with the art of tattooing, but it is safe to say tattoos have never been more widely accepted. This is not only good for social awareness, but there are practical benefits. With greater awareness of the art, the process of tattooing itself is become more accessible and safer. Specialized companies stake their reputation on making the instruments, inks and other products needed for tattooing safe for use. With better training and education, tattoo artists themselves know how best to ensure the resultant tattoo looks good and doesn't pose any health threat to the client.
Despite all of these provisions, it is still possible a tattoo can become infected. The best way for us to prevent this from happening is to have the correct tattoo aftercare. Some people think using an antibiotic cream on their tattoo is the best way to prevent infection. oneHOWTO asks does numbing cream for tattoos work?
Is it advisable to use numbing cream on tattoos?
Many people want the aesthetic of a tattoo, but are put off by the process. Tattooing requires thousands of tiny needle insertions into the skin, effectively creating a wound which will heal with the ink inside. The amount of pain involved depends on the location of the tattoo, the size of the design, the quality of the work and the sensitivity of the client.
Due to the potential pain involved, many people look at ways they can minimize it. Lotions and oils are necessary to moisturize and condition the tattoo as it heals. However, some people wonder whether topical anesthetic numbing creams can be used either instead of or together with these products. Numbing cream makes the nerves in our skin stop responding so we feel less pain.
The cream used by a tattoo artist will be at their discretion, but they are unlikely to use a numbing cream during a session. They will not usually have any available. This doesn't mean it is never useful.
Some people either have more sensitive skin or are hypersensitive to pain. This can be heightened if the area being tattooed is particularly sensitive. For these people, a numbing cream may be a helpful agent to ensure the tattoo session does not cause undue problems. If you think you are such a person and would like to use numbing cream when being tattooed, then speak to your tattoo artist. As long as it is a cream which doesn't interfere with the work, they should accept its use if it is beneficial.
There is a certain amount of discomfort and potential pain with some tattoos. It is a necessary aspect of the process and a sign the tattoo is being done correctly. If you were to feel nothing, it may be because the tattoo artist doesn't know what they are doing. Speaking to your tattoo artist will help you work out what is best for you, whether or not this requires using a numbing cream.
How to apply topical anesthetic cream for tattoos
If you decide to use topical anesthetic numbing cream before getting a tattoo, you should apply it a short time before the work id done. Speak to the tattoo artist and they may be able to apply it for you. Using numbing cream is as follows:
- Wash the area very well with mild soap and let it air dry.
- Put plastic gloves on your hands so that the cream does not get on your hands.
- Apply the amount recommended by the brand and spread it gently.
- Cover the area with the cream with transparent film and let it sit for an hour to take effect, but never longer as it could cause problems for your skin.
- When starting to tattoo, it is important to notify the tattoo artist so that they remove all the remains and the cream itself does not get into the tattoo.
How long does the numbing cream for tattoos last?
The effect of topical anesthesia on your skin will last around 45 minutes, although it will depend on the effectiveness of the cream. After this time, the sensation will begin to return. The duration will also be affected by the amount of numbing cream you use. Always follow the instructions provided with the product. It is best to try it on a small piece of skin as a tester to ensure you will not have an allergic reaction.
Possible side effects of numbing tattoo cream
Despite being an alternative that can be useful to deal with the dreaded pain of tattoos, many tattooists do not want to work with anesthetized. They do not recommend its use due to the possible adverse effects that can include:
- The skin can change its texture due to anesthesia and the ink may not enter with the same precision. In these cases, the new tattoo may not take correctly.
- Tattoo artists can take much longer to tattoo precisely if there are changes in skin texture.
- The cream may not have the desired effect and you may not experience pain relief or only feel it for a short period time. Even small tattoos can take longer than 45 minutes to complete.
- Unusually, there have been cases of alterations in red blood cells in contact with this type of cream. This results in less oxygen reaching the area during the topical effect. This can cause the skin to turn blue, anxiety and increased heart rate.
Can I use numbing cream after I get a tattoo?
After you get a tattoo, it will take some time for the skin to heal. This is a normal part of the process and it shouldn't cause serious pain if the tattoo has been done correctly. We will need to use different creams to keep the skin healthy and ensure the tattoo heals properly, but anesthetic numbing cream is not one of them. This is because of the following reasons:
- Numbing cream is not meant for prolonged use. Topical anesthetics may cause damage to the skin, although this is usually only seen when used on the eye.
- Topical anesthetics will not work for long periods, so you will have to reapply. This will make the numbing cream less effective and could cause you discomfort in the long run.
- Feeling pain is important to know if there is any problem with the tattoo. Pain is a common symptom if a tattoo becomes infected, something we may not feel with use of a topical anesthetic.
Once the tattoo has been performed, you should use the guidance provided by your tattoo artist. They will recommend a cream or you can ask your pharmacist for a different option if this is not available.
Now that you know all this and you know that it is better not to use topical anesthetic cream for tattoos unless necessary, we recommend you read these other articles related to tattoo care:
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