To Numb Or Not to Numb? That’s the Big Tattoo Question

I was asked today if I thought it was a good idea to numb your skin with topically applied cream or other solution before getting a tattoo. Tktx numbing cream Uk

My immediate reaction was, if you think it’s going to hurt, hell yes! But boy was I surprised when I put the same question to my tattoo buddies.

There appear to be two lines of thought here.

The first group voiced the opinion that if you are a real tattoo nut and not some light weight impersonator you will take the pain like a real (wo)man. ‘No pain, no gain’ ‘suffer for your art’ etc, etc. One member stated that he got an adrenalin rush from sitting for two hours whilst he got a back tattoo and felt immensely proud of himself afterward.

The second group felt that they would be able to enjoy the experience far better if they hadn’t passed out or threw up with the pain. I asked a number of tattoo artists what they thought on the matter.

As there is no guarantee what time you will actually get into a chair for them to start your tattoo, as most creams take a while to work, either it’s anaesthetic qualities hadn’t kicked in or had come and gone by the time the artist was ready!

One suggested that a calming, knowledge and informative talk beforehand works wonders so much so that the customer doesn’t realise that you have started and once they do, they wonder why they were worried.

Which option would I choose? Having given birth twice, that should give you an idea but as I have a high pain threshold, it really is a no brainer for me.

However, you shouldn’t feel bad for wanting numbing cream. After all, it’s your body. Make the decision that is best for you.

And the best numbing cream to use once you have found your awesome tattoo design? You can use EMLA cream but it needs to be put on at least 3 hours before your appointment or ametop which can be used 30-40 minutes before you need to be number and can last 4-6 hours. As always, check with your doctor/physician/pharmacist first for any contraindications etc.

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