How to Numb Skin Before Tattoo or Laser Removal

It’s no big secret that getting tattoos or laser removal can be a painful process. In this article, we’ll explore how you can use numbing cream to reduce the pain.

Numbing Skin Before Getting Tattooed

With tattoos, the pain is part of the ritual, and most people are able to tolerate the tingly sensation of getting tattooed for up to a few hours. However, there can be certain scenarios where the pain is intolerable, and you may choose to explore your options with numbing your skin prior to your tattoo appointment. For example, some parts of the body are much more painful to be tattooed on than others, such as the ribs, the tops of the feet, and the backs of the knees. While numbing cream does not entirely eliminate the pain, it can help reduce it and make your tattoo experience much more pleasant, especially during the beginning portion of a long tattoo session. One important thing to note is that for more lengthy tattoo sessions (longer than 1 hour under the needle), it is likely that the numbing cream will wear off, especially as the artist wipes away at the tattoo with surgical soap. Aside from the fact that the numbing cream naturally wears off over time, this soap takes some of the numbing cream with it in the process.

Numbing Skin Before Laser Removal

When it comes to laser removal, the pain can be excruciating, and many laser removal specialists refuse to perform the procedure without the client first applying numbing cream to his or her skin. Talk to your laser removal specialist during your consultation and ask what his or her policy is for the day of the appointment. Some specialists will have the numbing cream there and will apply it to you (although this may come at an additional fee) prior to your procedure. If your specialist does not offer this option, or asks you to come with your skin already numb, you should look into purchasing numbing cream on your own.

How to Apply Numbing Cream

Applying numbing cream is simple: clean the skin where you are going to be tattooed or lasered. Apply liberally to the top of the skin with your fingers or a tongue depressor. When you’ve covered the entire area, wrap it in seran wrap with masking tape around the edges to keep it tight.

When to Apply Numbing Cream

Timing is crucial. It takes about one hour for the numbing cream to work its magic. Therefore, you must consider when it will truly be one hour prior to the time you will be under the needle. Keep in mind your artist may need extra time to set up and draw before tattooing you, so if you anticipate having a long session, it may be best to apply the numbing cream as you are waiting at the actual tattoo shop, instead of at home.

What Numbing Product to Use

The numbing cream we use is the HUSH Anesthetic Numbing Cream. If you are planning to get multiple tattoos or laser removal sessions, it’s a great investment to have your own personal bottle to keep at home.

Skin reactions

There are some instances when numbing cream can cause a slight skin reaction, for instance, on freshly shaven skin. For this reason, it’s best to test with a small dollop of the numbing cream on your skin to see how it reacts.

Check With Your Artist or Laser Removal Professional First

Not every tattoo artist encourages or supports the use of numbing cream for various reasons (for example, it can affect the consistency of your skin when you receive your tattoo). It is always best to ask him or her during your consultation if they are okay with you using numbing cream.