After my first tattoo session using EMLA cream I just had to write a post about its greatness.
What Is EMLA Cream?
Originally developed to ease the pain associated with needle injections for young children EMLA actually has many practical uses.
EMLA Cream is a topical anaesthesia consisting of an equal mix of both lidocaine and prilocaine. It will completely numb the skin for an hour or more and is commonly used for intravenous catheter insertion, blood sampling, minor surgical procedures and topical anaesthesia of the cleaning of leg ulcers. It also works great for relieving the pain associated with the tattooing process, piercings and even sub incisions.
How It Works
EMLA Cream is a local anesthetic. It works by blocking nerves from transmitting painful impulses to the brain.
After applying a thick (quarter inch) layer of the cream to the area to be treated (tattooed), cover the cream with saran wrap for at least 60 minutes. Once the air tight bandage has been removed the skin will remain completely numb for at least an hour.
My Experience With Tattoos And EMLA Cream
Just a week ago I tried EMLA cream for the first time on my latest tattoo across my ribs and abdomen. We applied the cream just as directed and an hour later removed the bandages and started the tattooing process. With the first line I expected the excruciating pain my previous tattoo session had produced. I was relieved and a bit surprised to find that there was absolutely no feeling at all. Some spots even tickled as the needle moved the tissue below.
My tattooist continued to apply the EMLA cream several times throughout the 3 hour tattoo session. Even though the directions tell you not to apply to broken skin, I have not noticed any difference in healing or color fading compared to all the tattoos I have received without EMLA.
I think I will continue to use EMLA cream with my future tattoos. Really what could be better then a painless tattoo?