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Does Numbing Cream Affect the Skin?

Posted by Ann V. On 2016 Oct 31st

Does Numbing Cream Affect the Skin?

Numbing creams are found dime a dozen. These creams and gels are topical anesthetics and are easily purchased over the counter. Numbing cream such as Dr.Numb® are used widely by tattoo artists in the shops and by surgeons in cosmetic procedures. Main purpose of the numbing cream is to numb the area that has to undergo treatment.

Numbing creams have many advocates, and also there are many that discourage the use of numbing cream. There are many tattoo artists who ask their customers to refrain from using numbing creams and gels, believing that numbing creams have side effects which hamper the quality of the tattoo.

There have been concerns about numbing creams affecting the skin. There are no documented evidences to prove the apprehension. We are going to discuss some affects that numbing creams can have in this article.

Understanding the side effects of numbing creams

It’s important for everyone to consider and understand the side effects and safety concerns regarding the use of numbing creams. You must consult the artist or doctor before applying a numbing cream – you have to make sure that what you are going to use will work for you and help you relieve pain through the process.

Using a water based numbing cream or numbing gel can save you the concern of tattoo quality being affected. Water based numbing cream can rather help in the tattoo healing time, and it does not affect the tattoo quality.

Some of us love the pain that comes with inking the body, while most of us don’t have the tolerance for pain. For the ones who don’t want to experience the excruciating pain during tattooing, numbing creams can help. Numbing creams can numb the nerve ending in the area where the procedure is to be done, and the effect is diminishing pain.


Numbing creams or topical anesthetics are over the counter drugs that comprise of lidocaine, benzocaine and prilocaine.

Applying numbing cream under supervision can be helpful, but applying a large amount of numbing cream on the skin can lead to life threatening side effects.

It is therefore important to use numbing cream before a tattoo or a cosmetic procedure under the supervision of a trained health professional. This saves the side effects which may loom on the person applying too much of numbing cream on the skin without supervision.

Side effects of overuse of numbing cream included irregular heartbeat, breading issues, seizures and even coma.

How to apply numbing cream

A simple and correct way of applying the topical anesthetic cream is as follows:

  • Wash the area to be treated properly and dry it completely
  • Now apply a thick layer of numbing cream over the area and rub thoroughly
  • Cover the area with a cling film (plastic wrap) to keep the area warm
  • Leave the cream there for about 45 minutes
  • Remove the covering and wipe the cream off