What are numbing creams?
We've noticed a growing trend in the usage of numbing creams, and we believe it's important to provide information on this topic. While you can purchase numbing creams without a prescription, it's important to recognise that they may not be safe for all situations. It is crucial to be aware of the active ingredients in the cream you intend to use during or after your tattoo procedure.
Skin-numbing creams are topical anesthetic creams that can be applied to help to numb an area of skin. The most common ingredient found in numbing agents is lidocaine. It works by stopping nerves from sending pain signals to your brain. Some of the skin creams contain lidocaine mixed with other local anaesthetics.
While we don't actively recommend their use,
If you choose to use them, we strongly advise the following:
𝟏. Purchase from reputable sources.
Avoid buying from platforms like Ali Express, eBay, Wish, barber shops and places not directly related to the tattoo industry. Creams obtained outside the official websites of their producers may be of questionable origin, and there's a significant market for counterfeit products.
Examples of fakes:
According to the official Instagram belonging to TKTX, these products are confirmed to be fake. We asked them directly to verify.
The artists in our studio have used TKTX products themselves when getting tattoos, so they've grown familiar with their packaging. The packaging of these fake products is noticeable, as it looks poorly made and homemade.
However, to someone who isn't familiar with authentic packaging, it might seem convincing.
TKTX has a clear list of all the products they sell on their website.
If you purchase directly from their website, you drastically reduce the risk of buying counterfeit items. However, it's important to remember that all medicated creams come with their own risks. If you're unsure if your TKTX is authentic, you can message or email them to ask.
2. Always look for printed ingredients on the packaging.
Ensure that the ingredients are clearly listed on the box or bottle. If they are not provided, it indicates that something is being concealed, and taking that risk is never worth it.
3. Consult with your tattooer.
Before purchasing and using a numbing cream, consult with your tattoo artist. They can provide guidance based on their experience and knowledge. Some of our artists don't like clients using it as it changes the way your skin reacts to being tattooed and this changes the outcome of your piece. By blocking your nerves and your skin's natural inflammation response to being tattooed, your skin could be getting overworked without the telltale signs.
4. Perform a patch test well in advance.
Conduct a patch test on a small area of your skin a week or two before your tattoo session. We have encountered situations where clients had adverse reactions to their numbing cream (skin welts, redness that spreads beyond the area applied & more) and it's better to identify any potential issues beforehand. This is especially important for clients with skin-related issues such as eczema and psoriasis. We urge you to do this with every usage and tube.
5. Be willing to take 100% of the risk involved.
There are risks associated with internet-bought or locally purchased-anesthetics. These risks include potential effects on your skin and the impact it may have on the tattoo during the process and healing stages. You understand that if you use numbing cream it is 100% at your own risk.
We've included some helpful links below, but would always urge you to do your own research about what creams & chemicals you're applying to your skin.