Anonymous asked: Do you let clients use numbing cream ever?
in general, i don’t work with numbing creams. i’ve heard a lot of conflicting things about them but one thing that keeps cropping up is that tattoos can heal poorly if the artist uses a lot of numbing agent. i’m a relatively inexperienced tattooer (i’m still in my first year of being licensed!) and i wouldn’t feel comfortable experimenting with stuff i don’t know a lot about with my clients.
that said, recently i had a lot of work done on my lower leg and we used some topical lidocaine spray. it worked great and the shading portion of the tattoo was nearly painless, but as soon as i removed the bandage and washed my leg and the lidocaine wore off, it was excruciating. the tattoo took nearly a month to heal completely and it didn’t heal as well as any of my other tattoos have. i know that lower leg tattoos are difficult to heal to begin with, but this one was gnarly. i think the combination of the lidocaine and maybe doing too much work in one sitting contributed to the problems. so in general, i am not super keen to start working with them.
i do use bactine which has 2% lidocaine (a relatively low amount) during the color portion of my tattoo, and it seems to help my clients a lot.
sorry for the long answer but i feel like it deserves a thoughtful response!