For those with low pain threshold, a topical anesthetic is the best investment if they’re looking forward to getting a tattoo, piercing and minor surgeries without any pain. There are various topical anesthetics available on the market in the form of creams or sprays. But which one is better – a numbing cream or a numbing spray?

Well, all forms of topical anesthetic are effective but you must know which one will be convenient and economical for you. Let’s find out about both of these forms and which one is ideal for you.

Numbing Cream

It is the most common type of topical anesthetic and is easily available on the market without a prescription. A numbing cream needs to be applied on the skin to make the area numb before you’re getting a tattoo, piercing, waxing or minor surgery on it. It is absorbed by the skin on very first application and you have to apply it 40-45 minutes before the tattooing or piercing. Usually, their effect lasts for 1 to 4 hours, depending on the active ingredients present in each cream.

Numbing creams on the market:

Dr Numb – It contains lidocaine 5% as the active ingredient, which works by blocking nerve impulses from sending pain signals to the brain, hence, you feel no pain during skin treatment procedures. It needs to be applied 30 to 45 minutes before the treatment and lasts for up to 3 hours.

NumbSkin – It is a non-oily topical anesthetic cream that contains 10.56% pure lidocaine. It is a perfect solution for skin pain relief while getting a tattoo, laser removal or any other minor surgical procedure.

Numbing Spray

Anesthetics sprays are totally different from the numbing creams and gels in terms of application. This numbing formulation are tightly compressed and are released in the form of drops or mists on your skin. As compared to numbing creams, numbing sprays work effectively once it is applied on the skin surface. It is easy and convenient as you don’t need to wash your hand after and before using it. Just spray on your skin and it’s done. Most of them are OTC and are easily available without doctor’s prescription.

Numbing sprays on the market:

Vasocaine numbing spray – It is a FDA-approved 5% lidocaine-based product developed by a US-based company called Dermal Source. Unlike other numbing products, Vasocaine spray is applied to broken skin, meaning that it should be sprayed on after a small amount of your tattoo has already been completed. Please note that it will not be at all effective if applied to unbroken skin.

GiGi Honee numbing spray – It contains 4% lidocaine which also makes it perfect for when you get a tattoo. It only takes a few minutes to work and last for about 40 minutes to an hour. If you have a long session then you will probably need a few top ups.

Which is better – a numbing cream or a numbing spray?

Well, both numbing cream and numbing spray provide the same anesthetic effect as both contains almost similar active ingredients. But the difference lies in the time of effect – numbing creams need to be applied 30 to 45 minutes before beginning the real skin procedure, however, numbing sprays provide instant numbness and you don’t have to wait till the effect is achieved. Moreover, sprays like cocaine can be applied on the broken skin as well, but a numbing cream cannot be applied on the broken skin. So, depending on these factors you may choose which one is more suitable for you – a numbing cream or a numbing spray.


Tattoo numbing cream