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How To Use Tattoo Numbing Cream

How To Use Tattoo Numbing Cream

Getting a tattoo is a highly personal — and often painful — experience. When you consider what is going on, it's no wonder the entire process would prompt the brain to send pain signals to that area. In a more technical sense, a tattoo is an injury to the deeper layers of skin. The brain cannot tell the difference, even if you’re purposefully injuring your body. 

The good news is that certain products, known as tattoo numbing creams, can actually change how your brain perceives the injury and quells the pain associated with it. 

The most important thing to know about tattoo numbing creams is how to apply them effectively. They aren't like any typical lotion where you can rub them into the skin and go about your business. There is a technical aspect to using them – if you don't use them correctly, you can feel more pain than if you were not to have used them in the first place. So how exactly do tattoo numbing creams work, and how can you ensure you apply them correctly? 

How Does Tattoo Numbing Cream Work? 

Using a tattoo numbing cream will essentially numb the area where you're getting tattooed. The mechanism of action behind the numbing cream is a bit more complex, and it has to do with how the body experiences pain. Nerve signals in the skin get sent through receptors known as pain receptors. When injury occurs, in a matter of milliseconds, that message is sent through this system of receptors to the brain, where it registers the feeling and decides it is painful. 

When you use a tattoo numbing cream, it doesn't just numb the skin but rather the ability of the pain receptors to send that signal to the brain. Think of it as a roadblock in your body. There's no way for the pain receptors to send the message; thus, you feel no pain because your brain is blissfully unaware that it's happening. 

Image by erick_mayorga on Pixabay: Do you have to wrap numbing cream? 

How Do I Apply Numbing Cream For A Tattoo? 

When applying the cream to your chosen area, you must do it properly because the tattoo goes deep into the layers underneath. The numbing cream has to be able to reach a sweet spot beneath the skin, which is typically around 1.5 to 2 mm. 

Before applying the cream, there are a few steps to take to ensure that the cream's anesthetic agent can penetrate the skin. For example, you should try to wash and exfoliate the area beforehand. By doing so, you will get rid of any top layer of dead skin or dirt that could hinder the process of the cream penetrating deep into the skin. You will then have to dry the area thoroughly before applying the cream. 

Once that is done, you will get a thick amount of the cream and rub it into the area as thoroughly as sunscreen or other skin lotions. To trap heat and activate the cream, you can then wrap the area with plastic wrap. 

How Long Should You Put Numbing Cream On Before A Tattoo? 

The amount of time you put between applying the numbing cream and getting the tattoo may vary depending on the size of your tattoo and the specific cream you're using. Certain creams may have their own guidelines for use. Genboost's Painless Tattoo Numbing Cream, for example, suggests that you begin the entire process around an hour before the tattoo. 

An hour will give you enough time to prepare the area, apply the cream and then wait 45 minutes before removing the cream. After you've wiped off the excess cream, you will have to wash and dry the area with antibacterial soap to reduce the risk of infection when getting tattooed. 

Image by ilovetattoos on Pixabay: How do you use numbing cream for tattoos? 

How Long Do You Leave Numbing Cream On For? 

The time between applying the numbing cream and how long you leave it on is similar in that it may vary depending on the type of cream. Another factor associated with the duration of time you leave the cream on for is how long you want the numbing sensation to last. For example, if you leave Genboost's cream on for 45 minutes, you will get roughly three to four hours of numbness. You can break it up into different sessions if a tattoo lasts longer. Some creams can stay on for as much as 90 minutes, depending on the brand. 

When deciding how long you want to leave the cream on and the brand you choose, you should consider the possible risks of numbing cream and leaving it on for too long. In some cases, the cream can penetrate the skin deep enough to get into the bloodstream. If that happens, you may end up with toxicity caused by the numbing cream and experience symptoms such as lightheadedness, numb lips or tongue, double vision and ringing in the ears. 

Choosing to use numbing cream for your tattoo experience is a personal choice. As long as you know the proper way to apply it, you will be able to reap the benefits without having to worry about the side effects. 

Featured image by ilovetattoos on Pixabay

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