Some Pain, All Gain: Is Tattoo Numbing Cream Worth It and Does it Work?
Some Pain, All Gain: Is Tattoo Numbing Cream Worth It and Does it Work
When you’re getting a tattoo it’s natural to be scared of the pain, but chances are it’ll be okay. Learn about tattoo numbing cream and why you don’t need it.
Getting a tattoo hurts. There’s no sugarcoating it.
If you want a tattoo, you’ll have to accept that the process will be uncomfortable.
Depending on who you talk to, you’ll get different opinions on the pain. Some people will say the pain isn’t bad, while others may describe it as the worse pain they ever experienced. This is because everyone handles pain differently.
However, there are plenty of people looking for pain-free ways to get a tattoo. One of these methods growing in popularity is tattoo numbing cream.
Some people swear it works. Others will tell you it’s a waste of time and money.
If you’re considering tattoo numbing cream for your next tattoo, you might want to think again. Find out numbing creams are worth your time and money.
What is Tattoo Numbing Cream?
In a nutshell, tattoo numbing cream is a topical cream that numbs the area of skin where it’s applied. There are different types of numbing creams with different levels of potency to make getting a tattoo less painful.
The mildest and safest of the numbing creams are “nerve deadeners.” Don’t worry, they won’t cause any damage. A common ingredient is lidocaine, which dulls discomfort on the surface of the skin.
Since this type of numbing cream doesn’t sink below the surface of the skin, it isn’t very effective for a tattoo. Most people will often mix it with other creams.
The more potent numbing creams are “nerve blockers.” Common active ingredients include tetracaine and benzocaine. They work by preventing pain signals from reaching your brain.
However, your nerves will still register pain. Even though the medication blocks the pain signals from your brain, you can still feel some discomfort. People will often mix a nerve deadener like lidocaine with a nerve blocker.
The most effective creams are “vasoconstrictors,” such as epinephrine. They constrict your blood vessels causing less bleeding and less swelling.
To make this type of numbing cream last longer, people will mix vasoconstrictors with nerve blockers or nerve deadeners. The only problem with this cream is it may affect the healing process of your tattoo.
Despite these options, there is much disagreement on whether tattoo numbing creams work.
Why People Don’t Like Tattoo Numbing Creams
Your tattoo artist probably does not like tattoo numbing creams and may refuse using them.
The main reason is tattoo numbing creams can mess up your tattoo. The cream makes your skin slippery causing the tattoo process to become more difficult. Numbing creams used after can also affect how the tattoo heals.
Many tattoo artists and tattoo enthusiasts believe the pain of a tattoo is a right of passage. The pain and irritation will make the tattoo more meaningful.
Others have experience with tattoo numbing and will tell you they just don’t work. Even if the numbing cream works in the beginning, they rarely last for the whole tattoo process.
Is it possible they used weaker numbing creams? Sure, it’s possible. But in most cases, the numbing creams won’t work as well as you hoped.
The FDA disapproves of tattoo numbing creams. The primary reason is doctors and other medical specialists should use and apply numbing creams. They know how to choose the right type of numbing cream and how to apply it.
The next issue the FDA has with numbing creams are the side-effects. There’s a risk you may experience an allergic reaction.
Leaving a numbing cream on for too long, using too much, or using the cream on damaged skin can cause the cream to enter your bloodstream. In severe cases, this can cause seizures, difficulty breathing, and comas.
If you must use a numbing cream, use only those approved by the FDA or recommended by a medical professional. Otherwise, skip them for your next tattoo.
Minimize Tattoo Pain Without Numbing Creams
Don’t worry, you can still lower the pain without resorting to tattoo numbing creams. Follow these tips and you’ll be able to tolerate the pain better than you thought.
Tip 1: Drink Plenty of Water
Before your next tattoo session, drink plenty of water. Good hydration helps with ink absorption and the healing process. Staying hydrated will also lower your chances of getting dizzy or passing out.
Tip 2: Avoid Caffeine
Unfortunately, drinking caffeine, whether it be a coffee, tea, or soda can leave you dehydrated. If possible, don’t drink any caffeine on the day of your tattoo appointment.
Tip 3: Avoid Alcohol
If you think drinking a few shots before you get your tattoo will help, think again. Alcohol causes your blood to thin which makes you bleed more during the process and affect how your skin absorbs the ink.
You also don’t want to wake up to a surprise tattoo after a long night of partying.
Tip 4: Eat a Good Meal
You don’t have to eat right before your appointment, but you’ll want a healthy meal sometime before. A healthy meal will keep your blood sugar up and help prevent you from passing out.
Tip 5: Avoid Pain Relievers
Taking pain relievers before you get your tattoo can cause blood thinning and more bleeding. If you must, wait until after you get your tattoo. Talk with your tattoo artist to find out how long to wait and what pain relievers they recommend.
Tip 6: Pick a Less Painful Area
Tattoos hurt less in some areas of your body and hurt more in other parts. When getting your first tattoo, pick a place that’s less painful such as:
- Thighs (but not the inside)
- Other fleshy or muscular areas
The more painful areas include:
- Other bony or areas with sensitive skin
Tip 7: Find Distractions
Often easier said than done but staying distracted will help keep your mind off the pain. Many tattoo artists are happy to talk with you to keep you distracted. In some cases, bring a book or your phone to keep your mind busy.
Ready for a Tattoo?
The pain you feel during a tattoo is only temporary. After a while, it becomes more of an annoying ache than sharp pain. If you want a quality tattoo with minimal side-effects, skip the tattoo numbing cream on your next tattoo.
Have a design in mind for your next tattoo? Let’s chat. We’ll help you find a great design and get you scheduled for your next or first tattoo.
15 of the Worst Cliche Tattoos That You Should Avoid Getting
15 of the Worst Cliche Tattoos That You Should Avoid Getting
Tattoos are a way of showing your creative self-expression, except when you decide to get a lame cliche tattoo. Here are 15 of the worst cliche tattoos to avoid.
Tattoos can be a beautiful and creative way to express yourself or commemorate something special. Tattoos can also be a permanent bad decision.
Don’t fall victim to an embarrassing tattoo. Here are 15 cliche tattoos you should avoid when you’re planning to get a tattoo.
How to Know if You’re Getting One of the Many Cliche Tattoos
Below are the most cliche tattoos right now. Like fashion trends, every day more tattoos become a cliche. The best way to predict if that tattoo you’re planning to get will become a cliche one day is, to be honest with yourself.
Ask yourself if the design you’re getting means something significant to you that you will like for years to come, or if you’re just following a trend. Tattoo trends are harder to get rid of than fashion trends.
Here are some of the most common cliche tattoos.
1. The Infinity Sign
The infinity sign tattoo symbolizes rebirth, reincarnation and forever. Similarly, your infinity tattoo will also last forever. This tattoo is everywhere, so go for a sign that’s more unique.
2. The Chest Wings
Chest wings is a very detailed design that covers your entire chest. Sometimes people even get this on their back.
You might be tempted to get this piece because of it’s symbolic and inspiring symbolism. Or how you hope that like in nature, you tattooed wings will help you fly. In myths, wings are earned, but you only have to pay for your tattooed chest wings.
If you’re in great shape, you might feel you need this design. Sure, your chest wings look nice now. But will you still like this design when your pecks sag to man boobs or when your back is hunched over?
If you must get wings, perhaps go for a more subtle design in an area that less likely to hunch or sag with age.
3. The Lower Back Butterfly
Lower back tattoos or “tramp stamps” are never a good idea. Luckily you can hide them with clothes, but they will make an appearance during swimsuit season.
If a lower back tattoo still sounds appealing to you, at least go for a design that isn’t as cliche as a basic butterfly.
4. A Heart on the Wrist
This tattoo is usually gotten after a break-up. Quick, relatively painless, and seemingly subtle, an outline of a heart seems like the perfect ink.
Turns out this tattoo is incredibly cliche. We’re pretty positive it’s a prerequisite to being a contestant on The Bachelor.
5. Tribal Tat
Tribal tattoos are also incredibly common, and we’re guessing most people who have these tattoos have never been in a tribe. Often this design will take up the entire arm, making it difficult to ever look classy in a short-sleeved shirt.
6. The Dandelion Birds
This tattoo of a dandelion blowing in the wind and transforming into flying birds seems to be everywhere these days. It’s meant to symbolize your fate and the fulfillment of your wishes.
The dandelion stalk symbolizes to let go of the past, so this design can also represent rebirth and resilience. Or also “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” a motto as cliche as this design.
7. “Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost”
Speaking of cliche lines, having the phrase “not all those who wander are lost” tattooed on your arm is incredibly cliche. So don’t get lost with this tattoo after wandering into your local tattoo parlor.
Try to think of a phrase that actually means something to you, and perhaps get that tattooed somewhere.
8. “Carpe Diem”
“Carpe Diem” or “seize the day,” is another cliche tattoo text to get. Instead, try seizing the day with a more original phrase.
9. Om Sign
We get it, you do yoga. You talk about it all the time, you don’t need to get the om sign on the back of your neck too. Also, don’t you want to be able to admire your tattoo without using a hand mirror?
Either you have a boat, have been on a boat, or need a reminder to stay grounded. Maybe look into another way to stay grounded or show of your love for boats because an anchor tattoo is incredibly cliche.
11. “This Too Shall Pass”
Getting the phrase “this too shall pass” tattooed on your body is a great way to remind yourself that things get better. Unfortunately, your tattoo will not pass and it’s also cliche.
You might be tempted to get a dreamcatcher piece on your back or neck to symbolize that nice dreams will travel through and bad dreams will be caught, and the feather at the bottom is the breath of air which is key for life.
You also can just get a dreamcatcher and hang it up in your room. Dreamcatcher tattoos tend to be big pieces, that unlike an actual dream catcher are cliche and will last forever.
13. Barred Wire
Barred wire tattoos symbolize that you are not an open book, you’re unapproachable and difficult to understand. They also likely show you got this tattoo sometime around the 90s.
These tattoos are also really cliche, so perhaps find another way to symbolize that people should leave you alone. Like not a tattoo that will for sure spark conversation.
14. Geometric animals
We’ve been seeing a lot of geometric animals lately, mainly foxes. While these designs look cool and unique now, they’re becoming a cliche and soon they will feel incredibly dated.
15. Area Code
If you might want to get your area code tattooed on you in either large block numbers on your forearm, or in subtle small numbers somewhere else on your body. You might think that this tattoo is key, to remind you where you came from.
You know you grew up, it’s in your cell number. Unless you keep forgetting your area code when you call your parents, avoid this cliche tattoo.
Get a Unique Tattoo
Don’t blend in when you were born to stand out. Your tattoo should express yourself in a unique way. Don’t be one of the many people with cliche tattoos.
Talk to a tattoo artist at the Skin Factory Tattoo shop before making your final decision. We have tattoo shops in Las Vegas, Henderson and Maui Good luck!
For more resources and insight on tattoos, check out our blog.
How to Prepare for Your First Tattoo
How to Prepare for Your First Tattoo
Getting your first tattoo is both exciting and potentially nerve racking. Here’s what you need to know before getting a tattoo and how to care for it after.
Are you ready to join the 45 million Americans who have at least one tattoo?
Getting a tattoo can be a fun, memorable experience, but it can also go wrong very quickly if you’re not prepared.
If you want your first tattoo experience to be a good one, read on for some tips to help you prepare for the big day.
Choosing Your First Tattoo
The first step to having a great tattoo experience is choosing a tattoo design that you absolutely love. Don’t rush yourself. Take your time researching designs and figure out exactly what you want.
Remember, this design is going to be on your body for life, so you need to make sure you won’t get sick of it.
Talk to a Tattoo Artist
If you have an idea for a tattoo but aren’t sure how to articulate it, you might want to consider sitting down with a tattoo artist for some help putting it together.
Even if you do know exactly what you want, it’s still helpful to sit down with a professional. They can provide guidance and give you their professional opinion on the design.
Find the Right Shop
Not all tattoo shops are created equal. Take your time looking for one that employs qualified artists with a good reputation.
Be sure to read online testimonials to see what people are saying about a particular shop and its artists before you go there for your first tattoo.
Think about Placement
Tattoos are big commitments, especially when you choose somewhere highly visible for your first one. Face/hand/neck tattoos definitely aren’t for everyone.
Depending on your lifestyle and the field in which you work, it might be in your best interest to get your first tattoo in a more discrete location.
Remember You Get What You Pay For
When you meet with an artist and have your tattoo drawn up, they should give you an estimate of what it will cost.
Tattoos are expensive, and, when you hear a high number, it can be tempting to try and find someone who will do the same tattoo for less.
As with most things in life, you get what you pay for with tattoos. A good tattoo from a talented artist will cost more than a subpar finished product. But, it will be worth it when you have a tattoo that you want to show off.
A Few Days Before Your Appointment
There are some things you can do in the days leading up to your appointment that will help you have a better experience, including the following:
- Avoid the sun: Sunburned skin isn’t just painful, it also can affect the outcome of your tattoo
- Moisturize: Dry or uneven skin is difficult for artists to work with and can cause your tattoo to come out less clear
- Get a doctor’s note: If you have any conditions that could affect you during the tattoo process, you’ll legally need your doctor to give you the go-ahead
Remember, there’s no need to rush to get a tattoo. The wait for your sunburn to go away or for your skin to clear up will be worth it if you get a better end result.
The Day Before Your Appointment
Keep these tips in mind to set yourself up for a successful appointment:
- Avoid alcohol: High blood alcohol levels will thin the blood and lead to excessive bleeding during your appointment
- Stay hydrated: This will keep your skin moisturized and help you stay alert
- Get plenty of sleep: Being unrested might make you more fidgety, which can affect the outcome of your tattoo
Don’t forget to make sure you have enough money on hand, too. In addition to the cost of the tattoo, you may also need to pay for food, aftercare products, parking, and a tip for the artist.
The Day of Your Appointment
On the day of your appointment, make sure you’re prepared with these items:
- ID: If you look like you might be younger than 18, the shop will need to confirm your age when you arrive for your appointment
- Bag of essentials: Bring a small bag with a snack, a charged cell phone, water, and maybe a pair of headphones if you want to listen to music or a podcast during the appointment
You’ll also want to do the following to make sure you’re in a good physical state:
- Eat before your appointment: Getting a tattoo is stressful on your body, and you’ll need to keep your blood sugar up to avoid getting dizzy or nauseous, especially if you’re getting a large tattoo
- Take a shower: Clean skin is better for tattoos, and your artist will appreciate you cleaning up before the appointment
- Wear old clothing: It’s likely that some ink will get on your clothes, so you don’t want to ruin anything that’s new or expensive
- Don’t shave: You don’t want to show up with razor burn or cuts — if your skin needs to be shaved, the artist will do it
- Avoid caffeine: This will probably make you shaky or jittery, which will make things harder for the artist
Finally, take some time to check your attitude before you go to your appointment. Accept that there will be some pain. It’s unavoidable when you’re getting a tattoo.
But, if you go in with a positive attitude and believe in your ability to handle the pain, you’ll be more likely to make it through the session.
Taking Care of Your First Tattoo
In addition to preparing for your appointment, you should also be prepared to care for your first tattoo once it’s finished.
Proper aftercare is essential if you want your tattoo to last. Some things you’ll need to do after getting your tattoo include:
- Remove the bandage in a clean bathroom after two or three hours
- Once the bandage is removed, wash the tattoo immediately with warm soap and water
- Only wash your tattoo with clean hands
- Apply a healing ointment like Aquaphor to keep your tattoo moist
- Don’t panic when your tattoo starts to “weep” in the days after your appointment
If you have any healing-related issues, be sure to call the artist who gave you your tattoo. They’ll give you proper instructions for caring for the issue.
Are You Ready for Your First Tattoo?
Now that you know how to prepare for your first tattoo, it’s time to pick your design and start planning!
If you live in or around Las Vegas, Henderson, or Maui and are looking for a qualified artist contact us at Skin Factory Tattoo and Body Piercing to schedule an appointment or meet with one of our artists.
Stop by our Maui Tattoo Shop, Las Vegas Tattoo Shop or Henderson Tattoo Shop
Tips to Make Your First Tattoo Experience a Pleasant One (Part Two)
First Tattoo Experience (Part Two) Getting your first tattoo is a complete experience and one that you should enjoy. Yes, it’s ok to be a little nervous, but this is a story you’ll tell and remember for a long time. You should enjoy it despite your nerves and the pain. A great way to do that is to make sure you’re ready, that you’re prepared. Below you’ll find a list of tips to make your first tattoo experience a pleasant one.
You might want to choose a smaller design or a more discreet area for your first tattoo. Dip your toes in the water instead of cannonballing in. Of course, the choice is yours. But, it’s a big decision and something you’ll have to live with every day so you might want to avoid areas like your hands or neck for your first time. Plus, you’ll want to consider which areas are the most and least painful. It’s always nice to tattoo an area that causes less pain to ease yourself into the tattooing experience.
Don’t be Cheap
Tattoos are expensive for a reason. It takes a lot of time and ink to create these works of art. Plus, it’s a lifetime masterpiece on your skin. Good tattoos won’t come cheap, but they’re worth the money. This isn’t the time to “bargain hunt.” If you do, you’ll likely end up with a “tattoo fail” that will cost you more to remove it than a great tattoo would have cost you in the beginning. So, focus more on what’s really important like the artist’s skill and experience, and the shop’s health standards. Those are far more important than price.
Wear Comfortable Clothes
First Tattoo Experience (Part Two)
The tattoo artist will need access to the area you wish to have tattooed, so make sure you’re not wearing something that makes reaching the area difficult. Plus, depending on the intricacy and size of the tattoo, you might spend several hours sitting in one place, so make sure you wear comfortable clothes. Wearing loose clothes is always beneficial because you won’t wind up putting pressure on your newly tattooed, and sensitive, skin.
If you follow these tips your first tattoo experience will go a lot smoother and you can actually enjoy it. So, take a moment to look over the list and make sure you’re ready. If you are, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would love to be part of your experience.
Make Your First Tattoo Experience a Pleasant One (Part One)
First Tattoo Experience (Part One) – Tattoos are truly works of art. They’re a way to express yourself. They give the world a glimpse into who you are, what you think is beautiful, and the things you’re passionate about. Whether you’re getting a meaningful tattoo or an intricate design you think is truly stunning, you’re adding art and beauty to your body. Still, no matter how great your first tattoo is, you still might feel a little nervous. Don’t worry, that’s to be expected. Below you’ll find a few tips to make your first tattoo experience a pleasant one.
Don’t be in a Rush
You want your tattoo to turn out exactly the way you imagined it. In order for the tattoo artist to accomplish this, they’ve got to design it perfectly, and then position the sketch onto your body with precise detail. This process alone can take some time. Don’t rush it. You want your tattoo artist to take their time and get every detail right. This is permanent after all. Don’t be afraid to communicate your thoughts and desires during this process. It’s your tattoo, you should have a voice in how it turns out.
If you know exactly what you want, you’ll need to bring a clear, detailed picture of the tattoo you desire. It shouldn’t be too small or grainy. If you want to mix two tattoo designs, you should be able to clearly mark what details you want from each, in a clear concise way.
Don’t be Shy
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Now’s not the time to clam up and keep your thoughts to yourself. Tattoo artists are used to first-timers, so you certainly won’t be the first one flooding them with questions. They want your experience to go smoothly and satisfactorily, so they’d prefer you ask your questions and feel comfortable rather than stay silent and regret it later. A good artist will always take the time to explain the answers to your questions and make sure you’re completely comfortable before continuing on.
First Tattoo Experience (Part One)
If you prepare for your first tattoo experience, it’ll go a lot smoother and be a lot less stressful on you. Tattoos are more than just our job, they’re our passion. We thrive on creating high-quality masterpieces that our clients love. So, if you’re ready for your first tattoo, contact us.