Lidocaine cream offers essential comfort to people who can’t stand the pain. Lots of modern beauty and surgical procedures involve pain, so Lidocaine helps assuage the fears of many. Although the saying goes, ‘No pain, no gain,’ there’s no reason to go through extra pain when you don’t have to. Like all chemical compounds, Lidocaine cream causes several side-effects and reacts differently depending on the situation. As the internet gradually expands to meet the needs of everyone, Lidocaine cream proves more available by the day. Naturally, lots of people need it! Today, I talk all about how to correctly use Lidocaine cream for all sorts of situations.
|Product Name||Type||Where to get it|
|HUSH anesthetic Tattoo Numbing||Gel|
|Numb Master 5% Topical Anesthetic||Cream|
|UberNumb Numbing Spray||Spray|
|Vasocaine Numbing Spray||Spray|
|Penetrex Pain Relief||Cream|
|Biofreeze Pain Relief 360 Spray||Spray|
The Best Lidocaine Cream
To get us started in the world of Lidocaine cream products, let’s look at the most popular and trusted products out there. Many of these products are not meant exclusively for tattoo procedures–which actually serves as a benefit! You can use the extra cream as the need arises. Nonetheless, these topical lidocaine creams are just as effective at easing tattoo pain as they are at easing joint pain. Take a look and see if any of them stick out at you! For a more detailed look at tattoo numbing creams, check this page out.
HUSH anesthetic – Tattoo Numbing Gel
Hush Anesthetic Cream uses Lidocaine as its active ingredient. I recommend it because it works great even during and after procedures. It also uses an FDA compliant formula, ensuring the best standards for your skin. Since you can apply it during the tattoo process, it also provides a few extra benefits. You relax more and your artist stretches your skin out more easily. The numbness lasts for two hours and then gradually wears away. It usually takes six hours for your feeling to completely return—and by then, you already sport a wonderful tattoo or body piercing! As with all numbing creams, this works best if covered up until the moment you use it. I talk about more tattoo numbing creams here.
UberNumb (2 oz) 5% Lidocaine Pain Relief Cream
This tattoo pain relief cream helps numb your nerves before, during, and after a tattoo session. It takes only 20 minutes to reach the maximum effect, then goes on to work just as well for the next two hours. It also contains several vitamins essential to healing skin and moisturizers to relieve itching—perfect for use on fresh tattoos!
The Best Lidocaine Sprays
To finish off our Lidocaine product reviews, let’s focus on the OTC Lidocaine sprays available to you. While many spray products prove less effective than their cream and ointment counterparts, Lidocaine spray actually helps you apply an even layer of appropriate depth, and thus makes it that much more effective! I highly recommend grabbing one if you are an artist that has to work with indecisive or hypersensitive clients since they take effect quickly and save the two of you from scheduling another session or even canceling the tattoo entirely! For a wider range of pain relief sprays, check out all the reviews here.
UberNumb Numbing Spray
Unlike many of the numbing creams and sprays on this list, UberNumb Numbing Spray is completely made in the USA. It sets in just 20 minutes after application and lasts for two hours. It is water-based, so it leaves no oily texture behind and helps avoid issues with sensitive skin. It contains the largest amount of pain relief permitted by the FDA in over-the-counter anesthetics—5%. Once you apply it, rub it in with a paper towel until it takes effect (without wiping it off, of course). You do not need to break the skin for it to work.
Lidocaine Spray: HUSH anesthetic – Tattoo Numbing Spray
Similar to their Tattoo Numbing Gel, Hush Anesthetic Tattoo Numbing Spray works during the tattoo process. Unlike the gel, it applies quickly and easily. In exchange for a little less efficacy, you gain a lot of conveniences. Since you can apply as needed, you easily avoid the one downside. The moment you feel a tingle, just ask your artist to spray a little more on! For artists who dislike the texture of a liquid surface and spend a lot of time wiping up blood, the thin layer of spray prevents distraction. If you are interested in learning more about numbing sprays, check this article out.
Choosing the Best Lidocaine Cream, Ointment or Spray
To start with, it works for any skin-based pain. Permanent makeup and tattoos both penetrate the skin, making Lidocaine effective and relieving. Laser hair removal and waxing sting the nerves long after the procedure, but Lidocaine lessens the effects. Furthermore, tattoo removal and aftercare both benefit from the use of numbing cream. Even without a penchant for skin care or body art, Lidocaine cream takes away the bite of burns, scratches, scrapes, and cuts you receive from everyday life. Well, if you’re as clumsy as me, anyway.
What is Lidocaine?
Topical Lidocaine cream contains a concentrated amount of Lidocaine along with ‘carrier’ ingredients. The carrier ingredients usually consist of petroleum jelly, natural oils, and any vitamins unique to the formula. The Lidocaine cream targets your nerves and dulls sensations on your skin. At most, you feel a slight pressure in the area. Among all the over-the-counter pain relievers, Lidocaine offers the best option for non-regular use. It also contains no epinephrine or addictive compounds that encourage repeated use—which is the main reason you can just order it off the net!
Certain methods exist to prolong the duration of its effects, which I talk about at length later on. The stuff is completely safe when you follow the directions provided, although you should use caution when using it for the first time, just like all beauty products. To ensure its efficacy and avoid allergic reactions, test it on a small patch of skin ahead of time. Some anesthetic creams only work once your skin is broken, so consider using a dermaroller or needle to emulate this, or it feels the same as any other time. If you prefer sprays over creams, pain relief options still exist for you!
How Does Lidocaine Work?
On its own, Lidocaine blocks the nerves of your skin from the rest of your body. In other words, the nerves go radio silent—and your brain has no idea whether the area experiences pain or not! This effect occurs because it alters the signal carried by neurons. The voltage-gated Na+ channels normally send out all the necessary signals, but with enough Lidocaine, it will not translate the Na+ into a recognizable depolarized neuron. As such, the message never gets sent, nor does your skin save it for later. Since nerves send the brain a constant status update, any sensations they translate happen in real-time, creating an effective way to temporarily blot out pain without any permanent effects.
Combined with other chemicals and pain relievers, Lidocaine only becomes more potent. Adding a bit of adrenaline helps circulate Lidocaine through the body, and doctors can even inject certain types of lidocaine intravenously to treat some heart conditions. However, I only talk about the safer versions of Lidocaine that deserve a place in your medicine cabinet alongside your cold medicine. On top of that, I only recommend topical Lidocaine in any situation, simply because it keeps the effect contained exactly where you want it. Sprays use more permeable ingredients since they need to take effect immediately. You can read more about that here.
Lidocaine and Tattoos
So, is Lidocaine cream good for tattoo ink? Does it influence the tattoo at all? Of course! I would never recommend using it if it affected the tattoo in any way. Of course, certain precautions should be used to make sure that your tattoo is in pristine condition for your artist. When you use a Lidocaine cream, wait until your skin absorbs the cream. After that, rinse it off, and all of its effects stay in place. Since Lidocaine cream targets the nerves—and nothing else—any potential effects on your tattoo washes away along with the cream! The same applies to Lidocaine spray. We go into much more detail in our numbing cream page, plus we compare and contrast creams and sprays!
Of course, some Lidocaine creams work great during the actual tattoo process. They keep your tattoo ink untouched by only using ink-safe ingredients. Certain things like petroleum jelly or alcohol negatively affect tattoo healing and tattoo ink. On the other hand, lots of natural and organic ingredients contain essential vitamins that actually help the skin heal. On top of that, they provide a smooth glide for tattoo artists. Continuing to use Lidocaine creams like this throughout your healing process certainly eases the discomfort and itching of a healing tattoo. I advise using it no more than necessary, though.
Lidocaine Cream and You
Let’s talk about how to use Lidocaine cream for your tattoos! To ensure your safety, go ahead and spot test the Lidocaine cream. Like all other topical products—and especially like beauty products—it may contain an ingredient that disagrees with your skin. While it’s incredibly unlikely that your skin reacts negatively to Lidocaine itself, ingredients like aloe vera or pine oil extract could trigger more common allergies. Not all Lidocaine creams contain those ingredients, but they make for good examples. Once you establish that the Lidocaine cream works well on your skin, move on to the next step.
Before you go in for your tattoo appointment, apply a thin layer of Lidocaine cream to the area you plan on numbing. Since each cream works on a different timeframe, use the directions on the package to determine the best time to apply. Usually, thirty minutes before the appointment works well. Some people choose to keep the cream on for even longer, but remember that the cream loses its effect over time if not replenished. Along with unique times for each cream, some creams only work on open skin. This means that your skin already needs small puncture wounds that help your body absorb the cream. A dermaroller easily solves this problem.
Once you apply the cream, use plastic wrap to seal the area. If your artist allows anesthetic cream during the session, let your artist remove the plastic wrap as they go along. The wrap helps seal in the cream and makes it more effective. In turn, this prolongs the effect of the cream. For tattoo artists who dislike anesthetic cream, rinse it off using warm water and a washcloth. Dry it off as thoroughly as possible, and voila! You enjoy a pain-free tattoo session or skin procedure!
Lidocaine Cream and Your Artist
It’s important to think about the perspective of your artist, doctor, surgeon, or beautician before you use Lidocaine cream. Most of these professions require perfect precision in order to perform their job, so anesthetic cream naturally hinders them when it touches their fingers. However, the cream holds other benefits that make the risk well worth it, and many methods exist to mitigate the risk of numbness in the first place! If your artist or beautician still insists on abstaining from numbing cream, wash it off before the procedure. If your surgeon or doctor recommends otherwise, then listen to them. We also talk about the full benefits of numbing cream for clients and artists on this page.
To start with, your artist needs to use surgical gloves. They probably do already—touching someone’s blood creates a huge health hazard, and everyone avoids it as best as they can. Surgical gloves prevent both blood and numbing product from permeating through, leaving their fingers nice and safe. In effect, artists easily negate the one disadvantage of numbing cream by following proper procedures. As mentioned before, plenty of other beneficial effects make numbing cream attractive to artists. It works as a glide for tattoo artists and beauticians, ensuring their work looks smooth. Furthermore, it prevents you from flinching during your procedure and gives them more confidence in their movement.
Pain Relief Revolution
Lidocaine cream only entered the tattoo scene recently. Before the internet, obtaining some proved difficult without a doctor’s prescription. Although over-the-counter products have existed for over a decade, few stores stocked them. Large companies might stock them in one or two stores, while they were virtually absent in rural areas. Now, anything you want sits at your fingertips. While finding Lidocaine cream once proved impossible, buying it now takes just a few clicks and a few days of waiting.
Of course, its newfound popularity means that the tattoo scene still needs to adjust to the concept of pain relief and anesthetic creams. When they invented the tattoo gun, the tattoo scene exploded with artists and clients quickly followed suit. Inversely, Lidocaine cream increases the number of clients for artists. It opens up a whole new world to people with low pain tolerance that always dreamed about modifying their bodies. Like all new things—and just like the tattoo gun—the waves of the pain relief revolution still rock the scene. With time, artists, beauticians, surgeons, doctors, and clients alike learn the huge benefits of Lidocaine cream.
Other Ways to Use Lidocaine Ointment
I already mentioned a few other ways to use Lidocaine in passing, but this list helps reiterate why you need some in your medicine cabinet. I find that it works best for cuts and scrapes in sensitive areas. In example, I dab just a little bit on top of a papercut when I need to draw or type. That lets me use my fingers without that stinging sensation every time I touch a key or adjust my tablet pen! Burns, scrapes, blisters, and cuts also benefit from Lidocaine cream.
For some people, daily uses of Lidocaine cream includes treating eczema, insect bites, itching, hemorrhoids, anal fissures, and certain types of swelling. As for major applications—things that make you stock it in the first place—look no further than the body modification industry. When people think ‘body modification,’ they imagine forked tongues, chiseled teeth, and crazy piercings. While all of that counts, the realm of body modification also includes tattoos, permanent makeup, mole removal, cyst removal, waxing, hair removal, normal piercings, and all sorts of skin care.
At the same time, all of these procedures represent at least thirty minutes of pain. Lidocaine cream serves to relieve that pain in all of these situations and serves as an alternative to more expensive anesthetics. Simply keeping it around saves you a ton of trouble in the future!
Lidocaine-free Pain Relief
As I already mentioned, Lidocaine does inflict a few side effects. Your skin itches while your numbing gel wears off. It almost feels like your limbs are waking back up from falling asleep. The risk for people with heart conditions, skin conditions, and nerve conditions are nothing to scoff at, either. On top of that, some people react poorly to the ingredients often paired with Lidocaine. These products help you take your mind off the pain without worrying about those side effects. I cover a few more of these on our general Tattoo Numbing page.
Penetrex Pain Relief Cream
This formula avoids Lidocaine by using Vitamin B6, Boswellia Serrata, Arnica, Glucosamine, and several other clinically proven ingredients that assist with skin pain. It contains no parabens (which risk inflicting irritation in people with sensitive skin), the medical scent fades away quickly, and to top things off, they avoided animal testing during the creation of this product. That makes it slightly more vegan-friendly, although a few animal-derived ingredients went into the making, so it’s not quite perfect for vegans.
On top of its use with skin treatments, it also works well for temporary pain, like sprained ankles, torn muscles, wart removal, and nerve disorders. As always, ask a doctor before you use something like this. It boasts fewer side-effects than Lidocaine (basically, just the rare allergic reaction), but it never hurts to play it safe!
Biofreeze Pain Relief 360 Spray
Like Penetrex, this spray contains lots of natural and proven pain-relieving ingredients. Camphor, Aloe, Green Tea, Burdock Root, Vitamin E, and lots more ingredients both minimize your pain and speed up the healing process with its nutritional support. Two versions exist—one that uses color to indicate how well you applied it, and another one with no dye included. If your tattoo is in color, you will obviously want the latter. Otherwise, stick to the green stuff—it helps you know exactly when you have the right amount on your skin. It treats common chronic pain conditions, such as sore muscles and arthritis. As with all medications—even OTC pain relievers—you want to ask your doctor about using it ahead of time and do a spot test.
Take the Leap—Try Lidocaine Cream for Pain Relief
In the end, I’m not a doctor. But I am certain that these over-the-counter, FDA-compliant pain relief creams and sprays work. But don’t take my word for it—ask your artist and doctor about it! They will recognize InkDoneRight’s recommended Lidocaine cream and spray and likely recommend it themselves. Rather than sit on the fence, wondering whether or not this tattoo or that piercing is worth the pain, simply give Lidocaine a try. In all honesty, it opens up a world of body modification and will help you conquer your fear of pain. Use this opportunity to truly own your body and everything in it. Shape it how you like and show the world the inner beauty you contained this whole time!