How Does Tattoo Numbing Cream Work?

How Does Tattoo Numbing Cream Work?

A tattoo is a form of art that creates a mixed reaction among people’s minds. While some countries view it as an ingenious form of art, many countries see it in a bad light. In some countries mainly in the western parts of the world, people irrespective of gender like to have different types of tattoos on their bodies. It symbolizes the important aspects of a person’s life, helps to create a permanent bond with a certain event till the end. In some cases, tattoos also create an identity of an individual while some like to have tattoos just for the love of the art. 

Going through the first inking session is an experience and everyone has a different story to share. If a person had gone through excruciating pain like burning in the past or if it is someone’s first time or if a person is unsure about what the whole experience feels like, then there are a few different methods by which he would not feel uncomfortable or can lower pain while undergoing the inking session. To desensitize the pains and discomforts of inking, numbing creams have become quite popular as people like to rely on them. Numbing creams are anesthetics that reduce and lower the level of pain. 

There is no conclusive evidence on how effective these numbing creams are, as it depends on the individual who is using them. However, these tattoo numbing creams do work pretty well for many tattoo lovers. But does tattoo numbing cream work?

For people who are extra cautious and like to take precautionary measures during the inking process, tattoo numbing creams seem to be the best choice for them. The more the level of Lidocaine is in the cream, the merrier it is for the user. It has been found that people who like to have tattoos on their bodies like to use those creams which contain the above-mentioned anesthetic. These sorts of creams are more effective and get very good feedback from their users. 

Before applying the cream to the skin, it needs to be ensured that the instructions given with the cream need to be followed properly. The cream then has to be applied just a few moments before the commencement of the tattoo appointment. It will help to make the inking process more memorable and enjoyable for a person. The amount of cream that is supplied with the tube is also sufficient enough to use just in case one decides to have a large and aesthetic form of the art curved on his skin. 

A few common questions and doubts need to be answered before coming to the question of when and how does tattoo numbing cream work, why are they necessary and what are the negative aspects of it. 

The Necessity of Numbing Cream-

The use of numbing cream during the process of inking is not a necessity, it is more of a personal choice. Although most of tattoo enthusiasts like to bear with the pain to get the desired art, there is nothing wrong in taking extra cautions and safety if anyone feels like during the inking session. Many individuals are afraid of needles and it is completely normal if they feel like using these creams before getting the first tattoo on their body. Also, many people can have other complications like injuries, medical problems, and low bearing capability of pain. Thus, they have no choice other than to depend on tattoo numbing creams. 

How Do They Work-

As mentioned earlier, tattoo numbing creams are used on the skin before getting the tattoo. The agents present in the cream are designed in such a way that they reduce the pain during and after the time of getting inked. Based on the positive and negative sides, these agents are classified into three categories- 

  1. The Nerve Deadeners- This agent is used widely in most of the renowned numbing cream companies. The most common example is Lidocaine. It prevents the nerves from picking up the impulses which causes temporary numbness. Lidocaine is also used in many dental cases and other medical aspects. One must be aware of the fact that the effect of Lidocaine does not last long. It works for 2 to 3 hours approximately. So, if the inking session is a lengthy one, one needs to apply it multiple times to keep the effect. But overusing it may lead to severe side effects. 


The cream should also be applied and used in such a way, that it penetrates the skin layers. Lidocaine only helps to desensitize the surface of the skin and the needle can penetrate straight into the upper epidermis by going through the epidermal layers. 

  1. The Nerve Blockers- The working principle of the Nerve Blockers are different from Nerve Deadeners. These agents lower the intensity of sensation but do not numb it completely. The Nerve Blockers allow an individual while going through the tattoo session to feel some sensations but prevent them from reaching the brain. Among the nerve blockers that are used mostly in these creams, Tetracaine and Benzocaine are most known. To get better results, these nerve blockers are often mixed with nerve deadeners. It should be kept in mind, that excess use of the nerve blockers may lead to harmful effects. 
  2. Vasoconstrictors- Vasoconstrictors constricts the blood vessels and lower the bleeding and swelling at the tattoo area. The effect of the vasoconstrictors also lasts longer than the nerve blockers and nerve deadeners. Epinephrine is the most powerful and dangerous vasoconstrictor. 

Just like the previous agents, vasoconstrictors also cause side effects on severe usage. Some of them can be fatal as well, like a massive heart attack. 


It is the duty of an individual to consult a doctor any professional health expert before using these creams. Even though the tattoo numbing creams are generally considered safe to use and use an extra drop of it is always fine until the number of drops increases from one to many. 

Sonal Shukla

I am an author at for the past 1 years. I like to share information and knowledge. I love expressing my thoughts through my articles. Writing is my passion. I love to write about travel, tech, health, fashion, food, education, etc. In my free time, I like to read and research. My readings and research help me to share the information through my thoughts.

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