The Truth About Tattoo Numbing Cream

One of the things people are most concerned with is ‘will it hurt?”. Maybe it’s because we live in a society which considers pain to be a bad thing. Maybe it’s because people equate pain to intolerable suffering.

In the end, though, pain can actually be a good thing. When you work out at the gym and you’re in pain the next day it’s because you’ve created micro tears in your muscle which will later repair themselves to make your body even stronger. The same goes for tattoos. You might think it hurts at the time, but the end result is (hopefully) worth it because you’ll be left with a piece of art on your body for the rest of your life.

One trend which is making itself increasingly known is the use of numbing creams on tattoos. You might have heard of them go under the name of “topical aesthetics”. Whatever you’ve called these creams, you probably don’t know everything about them.

If a numbing cream is not used properly then the side effects are very dangerous and are even irreversibly fatal. Here is a list of possible side effects:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Fluctuating blood pressure
  • Coma
  • Death
  • Seizures 
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Redness
  • Swelling 
  • Allergic reactions; including: hives, swelling of the mouth, etc. 


In 2007, the U.S. Drug and Food Administration released a statement to the public which warned against the use of tattoo numbing creams because they should be used under the supervision of a medical professional.

How to know if you’re not using it properly?

You can know if you’re using numbing cream improperly if you do the following:

  • Leave it on for an extended period of time
  • Put on too much
  • Put on too little
  • Use it on irritated skin


It is through the improper use of numbing creams that the products seep through skin and flow into the bloodstream; thereby becoming fatal.


If you are scared of the potential pain of a tattoo then you should consult your artist to discuss switching the placement of your tattoo. Numbing creams often are not as effective as people or companies claim and it is in your best interest to avoid these creams unless absolutely necessary.


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