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Should I UseTattoo Numbing Creams?

Updated: Apr 10

Tattoo numbing creams have been used by tattoo artists for several decades, although their widespread use became more prevalent in recent years as the tattoo industry evolved and more options became available. The exact timeline of when tattoo artists started using numbing creams isn't precisely documented, but it's likely that they were introduced as an option to help alleviate pain during the tattooing process. It's important to know the benefits vs side effect, to make the best decision for you.

Tattoo numbing creams are topical anesthetics that help reduce the pain and discomfort associated with getting a tattoo. Here are some common side effects and benefits:

Side Effects:

  1. Skin Irritation: Some individuals may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions to the ingredients in the numbing cream. This can manifest as redness, itching, or swelling at the application site.

  2. Numbness of Surrounding Areas: Since the cream numbs the skin, it can also cause numbness in surrounding areas, which may interfere with the tattooing process.

  3. Interference with Tattoo Healing: There's a risk that the numbing cream could interfere with the healing process of the tattoo, although this is less common if the cream is applied properly and in moderation.


  1. Pain Reduction: The primary benefit of tattoo numbing cream is its ability to reduce or eliminate the pain associated with getting a tattoo, making the experience more comfortable for the individual receiving the tattoo.

  2. Extended Tattoo Sessions: By reducing pain and discomfort, numbing creams can potentially allow for longer tattoo sessions, enabling the artist to complete larger or more complex designs in one sitting.

  3. Enhanced Experience: For individuals who are particularly sensitive to pain, using numbing cream can make the tattooing experience more enjoyable and less daunting.

In making a decision on whether to use numbing agents or not. Given these potential risks, whether to use tattoo numbing creams or not ultimately depends on individual preferences and circumstances. Here are some considerations: If your contemplating using a numbing agent it is essential to follow manufacturer instructions on label, perform a patch test beforehand, and consult with your tattoo artist and healthcare provider if you have any concerns.

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