Oh, numbing cream...
Lately I've had a few people come into the shop all ready for their appointments only for me to find that they've applied some sort of numbing cream to the area in which they want to get tattooed. Now, I want a painless tattoo as much as anyone else, but you're leaving me open to a world of potential legal problems if anything goes awry.
Please, please, PLEASE! Speak to your artist before you apply any substance to your skin before getting tattooed! I can't stress this enough.
If you've applied or plan to apply something to your skin before getting tattooed, we need to know! Anything you put on your skin that works in this way will affect your skin. It can affect the way ink goes in. It can affect the way it heals. It can affect the way in which we need to work or make it nearly impossible. And if you don't know exactly what you're doing (applying too much/too large an area or using too high a percentage), it can cause you some very serious problems. You can find several articles about this online. Lidocaine toxicity can be fatal. This is why only 4% concentration is available over the counter. So if we don't know what you're using or aren't prepared ahead of time, you might be turned away and told to come back with clean skin.
If you ask, your artist might be able to recommend something that can be used if absolutely necessary. This way the procedure won't be hindered by the treated skin.
My favorite? Nothing! :) It's applied over broken skin, so I can use it while I'm working.