Numbing Spray and Ointments For Tattoos: Do They Work?

Tyler Martina

Numbing Spray and Ointments For Tattoos

Numbing Spray and Ointments For Tattoos: Do They Work?

Everyone wants tattoos.  But, whether the tattoo is big or small, if you are a tattoo veteran or a rookie, there is one thing that is almost universally a concern …. 

How bad is the tattoo going to hurt?

Thankfully, tattooing has evolved. This evolution has led to some amazing innovations in tattoo art, tattoo culture, and of course the experience of getting a tattoo. One of these innovations that has made tattoos more accessible to more people is the invention of Tattoo numbing creams, sprays, and ointments.

These tattoo numbing agents almost seem like cheating.  “A tattoo with no pain … ?”  “That’s blasphemy ! “ 

They also seem almost too good to be true. I mean can they “really” make you not feel the tattoo?

In this article we will dive into everything about tattoo numbing sprays including:

  • How do tattoo numbing sprays work
  • Do tattoo numbing creams actually work
  • And, when to use tattoo numbing agents


Do these tattoo numbing sprays really do what they claim? Do they really numb you, so you don’t feel getting that new tattoo?  You will find out these answers and more below ….


How do tattoo numbing sprays work?

Tattoo numbing creams, ointments, and sprays, all work the same way. That is to say, you apply them to the tattoo location and they numb the area. The active ingredient that helps achieve the desired numbness is lidocaine. Lidocaine is part of the "caine" family of drugs that are derived from the Coca plant, you may be more familiar with lidocaine's crazy cousin Cocaine. Lidocaine does not have the intoxication properties of cocaines, but it does cause numbness by preventing your nerves from sending the pain impulse to your brain when applied to the skin.

If you elect to use a tattoo numbing agent the process is very quick and easy. First, your tattoo artist will apply the tattoo numbing agent to the tattoo area and gently rub it in. Next, you will let it sit for a few minutes before doing any tattooing. Letting the tattoo numbing spray sit for a few minutes ensures that the skin begins to absorb it, and it’s numbing effects start working before the tattooing starts.

There are many different forms of tattoo numbing agents, including: Tattoo numbing spray, Tattoo numbing cream, and tattoo numbing ointment. You might be asking yourself which one is best for you and your new tattoo. Thankfully, the differences between the 3 are fairly simple and straightforward.


Tattoo Numbing Spray:

Tattoo Numbing Spray is the easiest to apply of any tattoo numbing agent. That being said, it also needs to be applied the most often. Tattoo numbing spray is the ideal tattoo numbing agent for smaller tattoos, located in sensitive areas, for example the face.

Tattoo Numbing Cream:

Tattoo Numbing Cream is the most versatile of the tattoo numbing agents. It is moderately easy to apply, and doesn’t need to be reapplied as often as numbing spray. Tattoo Numbing Cream is going to work for almost any tattoo, but it really shines on the medium sized tattoos in common areas.

Tattoo Numbing Ointment:

Tattoo Numbing Ointment is the heavy hitter of the 3 tattoo numbing agents. It only needs to be applied once or maybe twice. It sticks to the skin very well, and is great for larger tattoos or tattoos in very painful spots.

Your tattoo artist will know the best tattoo numbing agent for your specific tattoo, so you shouldn't worry too much about which they are using, they have your best interest in mind.


Do tattoo numbing creams actually work?

This is the real question. Do these tattoo numbing creams, ointments, and sprays actually work? 

The short answer is: Yes, they do work.

However, they are not a magic cream that is going to make your tattoo completely painless. They will make the pain bearable though, and in some cases much more bearable.

Think of tattoo numbing spray as the beer at the end of a stressful day that “Takes the edge off”. They are definitely not needed for every tattoo, but sometimes they are just what the doctor ordered.

When should I use a tattoo numbing cream?

Tattoo numbing creams are recommended If you are going to be getting a tattoo in a very sensitive area, or if you are going to be getting a very large tattoo. They are also recommended if you are nervous. If the fear of some pain is the only thing holding you back from your dream tattoo, then, by all means use a tattoo numbing agent. Then, kick back, relax, and enjoy getting your new tattoo.

If you are getting a small tattoo, in a not sensitive area (like your upper arm), you are probably not going to need tattoo numbing spray.  I am sure you will be able to handle it. With that being said, if you are really nervous or adamant about using them on your tattoo that's fine, go ahead and use a tattoo numbing spray. No one will make fun of you, and it definitely won’t make your new tattoo worse.

At Mr. Inkwells tattoo shop we have all of the best tattoo numbing agents. And, your artists will choose the best tattoo numbing agent for your new tattoo.  Whether that means numbing spray, cream, ointment, or nothing at all.

See you soon!


Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing