Tattoo numbing cream – everything you need to know

Written by Sinéad Kennard

Tattoo numbing cream 101…

Getting a tattoo can be a daunting experience, especially when it’s your first one or a substantially large piece. We hope that at The Old Stables Tattoo Studio we can provide information and reassurance to allow you to feel fully prepared and confident before your appointment. What is often the most worrying factor is the fear of pain. Hopefully this blog will outline everything you need answering when it comes to numbing cream, which is something you might be thinking about using. We also recommend checking out our blog ‘Your Tattoo Pain Guide’ here.

Our preferred numbing cream ‘Tattoo Numbx’ is licensed for sale in the UK, and we sell it on our website here and in store for £15. Its water based formula means it doesn’t leave the skin oily and doesn’t affect the artist, ink or healing of the tattoo. It is also fast absorbing and lasts between 3-5 hours. Therefore we would reapply as directed for tattoos every 3 hours prior to starting. It is crucial if you are using an alternative product to check it is licensed for sale in the UK.

You may also find it reassuring to use the numbing cream a few days before your tattoo appointment so you know it reacts well with your skin and can anticipate the numbing sensation. If you have ever had any skin problems, allergic reactions, or you’re in doubt at all, always consult a GP before use.

Numbing cream usually takes 1 hour to take effect, so if you plan to use it you must ensure that you’ve discussed this with your artist and either arrive an hour early for your artist to apply it or you’ve done so at home an hour before your appointment. When doing a patch test at home, do not use the product on inflamed or irritated skin. Some minor localised redness after application is normal. In order to ensure maximum numbing, don’t drink alcohol within 24 hours of tattooing. Here are our instructions for patch testing at home:

  1. Wash and exfoliate the area that you’ll apply Tattoo-Numbx to.
  2. Apply a thick amount of numbing cream (2mm thick) to the area, rub in, and cover with cling film.
  3. Leave the cream and cling film in place for 90 minutes before the procedure.
  4. After 90 minutes, remove the cling film and wipe the cream away with a paper towel. Enjoy, Pain free!

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