Can I use a tattoo numbing cream?


Can I use a tattoo numbing cream?

Can you use a tattoo numbing cream during a tattoo experience? How does it feel and why tattoo artists don’t use it.

Getting a tattoo takes a lot of consideration. You might be planning on getting one for months, even for years. And it’s such a specialized process that you’re bound to have a lot of questions. Particularly if it’s your first one.

In this article, we focus on what you can or cannot take to ease the soreness of the process. A lot of our clients are tempted of using a numbing cream.

How much the discomfort will be? It’s a great question as there is no doubt that it will hurt, even though our artists will look to minimise any soreness.


In this article, you will learn if you can use a numbing cream, how does it feel, and why artists don’t use it.

Tattooing is not a medical procedure. Artists are not able to facilitate, deliver, advise or apply any numbing cream on clients.

So can I use a tattoo numbing cream? Yes, you can if you choose to apply it yourself before the experience. However, it’s always best to discuss and prepare the whole procedure before with the chosen professional for your design.

The truth about pain

The level of soreness is difficult to measure for the simple reason that pain is subjective, and we all have different thresholds. Some people would describe the feeling as a small pricking sensation and others like a bee sting. While acquiring an art piece closer to the bone, maybe more of a dull ache.


The amount of discomfort can also be decided by where you get your new ink, what size and style the design is, what kind of technique the artist uses and how physically fit or able you are.

All this means that it’s inevitable you feel something when getting your design done. But you need to accept this as part of the process and be careful about taking medication afterward for a few different reasons. Tattoo numbing cream can be considered but do note that they can differently affect each person and their skin type.

If you want to read more about where on the body it will hurt the most, we created an article about it: Where Tattoos Hurt the Most?

Can I take a painkiller?

Some of our clients asked us if paracetamol or painkiller can help them to reduce the feeling during the procedure.

The expert advice that we would give on taking any medication before a session is that it is not a good idea. Medication of various kinds can affect blood flow and blood pressure. And even mild painkillers like paracetamol and aspirin do not have a good effect on the blood.


They may ease the pain, but by doing so blood circulation is intensified and this means that your veins will grow bigger. This is not good for the whole process as it will affect the application of the needle on the skin and make you bleed too much.

If you want to take them after the session, you can. However, we would still advise against this until the ink has settled down a little.

The best approach to minimising soreness is to eat well, drink well, and live well in the days or weeks coming up to your appointment.

What’s the best tattoo numbing cream?

Again, it may seem like a good idea to apply something like a tattoo numbing cream – however, what we need to stress here is that a body art application is not a medical procedure, and we are not qualified doctors.


If you haven’t used such a cream before, there is a chance that you may be allergic or intolerant to it. And it’s not for us to be recommending or prescribing something like this. Sergy, one of our most experienced artists, has seen very few customers use such a cream down through the years.

Most people bear the discomfort of the procedure quite well, and medication should be used on very specific occasions. Most artists don’t take anything and enjoy the process for what it is. It is the main reason why they don’t support numbing creams. Having an art piece on your skin is an experience they want to remember, it’s almost a ritual they share with the tattooist – and they enjoy it!

Smoking weed and Tattoos

I’ve heard that smoking weed replaces a tattoo numbing cream. Can I take this to help?


Putting aside the fact that we don’t want to endorse something that’s illegal in Ireland, we also would not recommend doing this before your next ink session. Funnily enough, because you may have nervous energy beforehand, it can actually intensify any anxiety at the session. On top of this, the cannabis will dilate your blood and make your veins swell – and this could cause you to bleed a lot in the session which will lead to a lesser qualitative effect on the final output.

Do analgesic tablets help?

I read on a forum that I can take an analgesic tablet – What is it and how long before?

Like all medical painkillers, there are strict rules around whether someone should take certain pills. And as we are not doctors, we cannot advise on whether you are allowed to take an analgesic tablet or not. The best person to ask about this subject is a doctor who knows your medical history. And if they think it is fine, they can prescribe it for you. We also wouldn’t recommend that you take medical advice from a forum.

Which tablet works best? 

Unfortunately, we are not able to answer this as we are not qualified to, and we simply don’t know. However, we’re sure your doctor can answer this question. Our advice to you as industry experts is to come to us as soberly and as naturally as possible.  This should avoid any complications and make the process as pleasant as possible.

Is a tattoo numbing cream good for aftercare?

Since getting my tattoo, my skin is really red, and it hurts a lot. What should I take?

Don’t worry about this too much. It’s quite common that the solicited area will be red. It can be like this for around 2 hours after application and can stay that way for a maximum of two days. As we said at the start of this article – everyone is different, so you may be redder and sorer than others. But the pain and redness will fade, and you will be left with an amazing creation.

Read our advice on aftercare here.

My tattoo is very red, and it feels like it’s burning – what should I do about this pain?

This type of pain does not sound like a normal reaction. It should not happen if all the sanitary and sterility rules are respected. However, if you have this kind of redness or burning sensation, especially if it’s long after your session, we advise you to call in a medical professional to diagnose and treat it.

Do I need to see my doctor after?

There is no normal need for this to happen – especially if everything goes fine and is ok. We’ll give you aftercare advice, so you should listen to and follow this and keep an eye on the healing process. If you still have problems after this period, you may need to see a doctor.


Got more questions?

We hope this gives you all the information you needed taking medication before your appointment. If there’s something, in particular, we haven’t covered, we’ll be more than happy to discuss that with you. Ask our team.