Does numbing cream affect tattoos? Are you thinking about using a numbing cream for your next tattoo? There's no shame in using these creams and depending on where you're getting your tattoo you'll be very thankful you chose to use the cream.
Getting a tattoo on your rib cage for example can be very painful. If you're a skinny person who's ribs show quite easily you'll likely experience more pain than someone with more meat on their bones. Using a numbing cream in this example should be a no brainer!
But will the numbing cream change the outcome of your tattoo?
What To Use to Numb Your Skin
Most tattoo creams are for maintaining your tattoo after you've received it. Some of these creams claim to be a "before tattoo cream" but that doesn't mean they will numb the skin. They're more for keeping your skin moisturized and healthy throughout the process and mostly after you've gotten the tattoo.
If you want a real numbing cream you should use Numb+ 100 on Amazon. This is a topical numbing cream that's a non greasy local anesthetic. The cream only takes 5 minutes to begin working and will reach peak numbness at roughly 30 minutes.
Warning: Weaker Numbing Creams
I want to make sure you're aware that not all numbing creams are made equal. Basically you get what you pay for and when it comes to your tattoo you don't want to mess it up. I typically would give some alternative options to a product recommendation but not here.
I like to offer alternatives that are good but at different price points and different features etc. When it comes to tattoo numbing creams you shouldn't really "shop around". Stick with what is known to get the job done and do a great job.
The Numb+ 100 cream we recommended is the most trusted numbing cream on the market. I would absolutely hate for someone to get a different product and it cause them some sort of issue with their tattoo.
Does Numbing Cream Affect Tattoos?
Generally a tattoo numbing cream doesn't effect your tattoo. This really depends on the quality of the numbing cream you're using. Stay away from low quality materials when getting a tattoo.
Additionally always talk with your tattoo artist before using any skin product before getting a tattoo. Some tattoo shops offer skin numbing creams in shop and they have a brand they use often and trust. If a numbing cream is important to you call around your local tattoo shops and see what options they have.
What Are Artists Saying?
Tattoo artists (source) will tell you that it depends on the person that's using the numbing cream. Most artists will recommend it if you're getting your ribs done because it'll prevent you from moving around as much.
The most common result that comes up is how it changes the healing process. They've noticed it makes the healing process actually take longer than without using a numbing cream. This shouldn't be a huge concern but take it into consideration.
If your tattoo is going to have a lot color you may want to forgo the numbing cream. Artists have experienced the numbing cream making the skin "rubbery" and more difficult to tattoo on. This makes it more difficult to get color into the skin and they're requires to make more passes to get it done which causes more trauma to the skin.
How to Numb Skin Before A Tattoo
If you're going to numb your skin before a tattoo do it the right way with numbing cream. I recommend avoiding other methods like icing the skin. These home remedies to numbing the skin aren't going to be as effective for a tattoo.
Once you have your numbing cream (Numb+ 100) you want to apply it roughly 15 minutes before actually getting your tattoo. To get the best result shave your skin before applying the cream. Your artist is going to have to shave the area anyway so do it before hand.
Make sure to inform the artist that you're using a numbing cream. If you're getting a larger tattoo you may need to re-apply the numbing cream during the tattoo session. If your artist is aware of what you're doing before hand it will make the whole process a smooth one.
Remember that your numbing cream reaches peak performance at around the 30 minute mark. After that it will depend on your skin for how long it will last.
Note that not informing your artist that you're using a numbing cream is a horrible idea. They might have to tattoo you with more passes depending on how your skin reacted to the cream. If they know this before hand the artist can make sure you get the proper amount of ink in your tattoo so it heals nicely.