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Most recent session, I took a couple of Nurofen (Ibuprofen) prior to starting (on the advice of the artist, after I really struggled during the previous sitting).

Made it much more bearable. Not necessarily less painful, but my reaction seemed better... suss as that sounds. I know I'm going to continue doing that.

Ibuprofen is a blood thinner - not good. Not as much as Tylenol, but still thins your blood. I believe the pain you experience is part of the "experience"! It's never as bad as your mind makes it out to be..

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On my last piece the artist spayed lidocaine on my tattoo after finishing the outline. It completely numbed the area and I didn't feel anything for the rest of the session. It was such a strange experience. I totally felt like I was cheating! I don't think I would make a habit of using lidocaine, but I would consider I was going to have a really long session on a tough area.

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@Reyeslv It is still healing, but it does seem to be a "harder" heal than normal. My leg was really red and swollen the next day. I don't usually scab, but this tattoo has a few small scabs on it. I'm not sure if it has anything to do with the lidocaine, or if it was because of a lot of shading and color blending in certain spots. I'm not worried about the scabs though. I think the tattoo will look amazing when it is done healing.

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I had lidocaine sprayed on during the last part of my tattoo I had done a couple of weeks ago. It was very sore for a good 3/4 days afterwards but I think that had more to do with the area being tattooed (inner bicep). Healed as usual though although with a very small amount of light scabbing.

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I was getting my thigh done by Takami earlier this year, about 5 1/2 hrs in he used a generous amount of bactine. It still hurt, but much of the sting was gone and it made the remaining hour or so a much more pleasant experience.

I only use bactine on clients when i find them getting a little too jumpy/noisy for comfort towards the end of a session. Reactions are mixed though, some say it's a world of difference, others say theres no effect.

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I've tried a bunch of different painkiller methods:

Advil - helps you relax but not much help. Didn't affect tattoo pain, just the muscle pain from holding an awkward position.

Tylenol 3 - did not work, made things worse on a ditch session

Smoking pot - kinda helped me relax but could put you in the 'ugh don't touch me' mood, cue husband/wife jokes

Pot cookies - now this worked great, it kicked in halfway through a chest session and made it hilarious and enjoyable

Percocet - I tried this 30 minutes into a knee shading session where I was getting grossed out. Didn't feel a thing, didn't flinch at all and buddy finished the tattoo in record time!

Nyquil - i drank half a bottle of nyquil. it doesn't erase the pain but certainly helps your mind fade away from what is actually going on. the side affect is a stomach ache post-tattoo. gross.

Alcohol - i drank a mickey of rum, that worked great for a long sesh behind the knee. Except post-tattoo in the evening felt pretty sick. I also have Crohns so drinking hard alcohol was a pretty retarded idea in the first place and fucked me up for like 4 days.

Beer - having a beer did the trick. But that could also have been the general good vibes at the end of the day at the shop's new shop.

Bactine and magic bandaid soap do help but only to get you through that last push of a good sitting.

And after all this...the conclusion of my science experiment is good rest and a strong clear mind is the best painkiller. Don't take anything. You'll sit fine if you are mentally prepared. Add some hot water into the mix to keep you warm and you are golden for a session.

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My last tattoo in May, I ate 2 percosets on the way. It takes the edge off... I also take them for a legit injury. I had a 3rd maybe 1/2 way through it. I really don't think it made a difference with the tattoo pain, I do it just to make sitting in the chair easier.

Rob

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I've had Bactine used on me halfway through longer sessions with amazing results--I could not even feel I was being tattooed any more, just heard the buzzing. Love that stuff!

Lucky! I've never found Bactine to do anything for me. I've used Maxilene 5 on the longer sessions and it helped to take the edge off a bit!

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When I had my ribs done, Nick used some kind of numbing wipe before he put the col;or in. For awhile, all I could feel was that he was doing some damn thing there.

As a matter of course, I eat 7.5 of vicodin on my way in to sit, and if it goes longer than 3 hours or so, I'll eat another. When I got my ribs done, I added a 5mg. Valium to that, and yeah...it was like, all beautiful!

But hey-I came up in the 60's and 70's, you know, better living through chemistry.

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I've used numbing cream on my front calf and knee as well, but it lasted for one hour, and before that it didn't really feel like I was being tattooed. It felt more like someone was giving me a really soft massage, it took something away from the all experience. I like to fell like someone is injecting ink into my skin, and not just like they're doing a decal.

So now, when the pain gets rough I remind myself that "these moments of pain will provide for a lifetime of awesomeness, so suck it up and stop whining." I lie, i don't whine, just cry silently not to disturb the artist.

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I had muscle relaxants suggested to me by my tattoo artist for a big rib piece I'm starting next year. Because we have multiple sessions booked I was thinking of trying a session straight, the next with the muscle relaxants, and then judge from that what works best for me.

Earlier in the week, while my wife was getting another session on her back, her artist suggested taking arnica pills a day or two before the session to reduce bruising. Has anybody ever tried this?

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I had a friend who swore by smoking two bowls and then taking a couple shots of nyquil haha. He would just lay there and pretty much fall asleep for 6 hour sessions on his stomach. I have never tried this myself.

I typically take some ibuprofen before hand and make sure I've had something to eat and I'm fine. One time I used lidocaine spray and I wouldn't recommend it. The tattoo healed terribly. I know others that have had similar experiences with it. I've had one tattooer use some kind of cream on me that was wonderful at first. It was completely numb for about a half hour but then when the feeling came back it seemed twice as bad. The tattoo healed fine though. I can't remember the name of that stuff. Those were my only experiences with numbing agents. I don't think I'll use them again nor would I really recommend them. Perhaps only to plow through the last little bit.

I am really nervous about starting my chest though, so I think I will try xanax for the first session and see how that goes.

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Once I by mistake (I didn't expect to still be so high) went to one of my sessions stoned and I was fucking terrified at first but then it wasn't bad at all. I don't know if the weed minimized the pain at all but I was kinda zoned out...

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Tell you the truth it's not the pain that gets me in tattoos it's the unability to sit completely still for extended periods of time. A couple beers before I think is tenfold better than any painkillers, although Stewart used something on my leg that pretty much worked like magic in removing the pain completely on my leg.

I also have gotten tattooed on this stuff my doctor gave me for migraines called Barbitual (not for the tattoo, just had a migraine). Side-effect is you sit like a fuckin rock.

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What about Tylenol and such thinning blood out? I watched a dude getting tattooed by mike Wilson pop like 4 during a break. At first I thought it looked silly, but maybe it's a good idea

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Fuck pain. I don't need to be reminded that I'm being punctured-I've got probably over 30 hours of tattooing on me, I've been shot 3 times, stabbed, cut, beat, stomped, whomped, eye took out, and just generally abused. I can tell you about pain. And I can tell you that if you feel you need pain to make your tattoo a "real" experience, god bless you, you've probably never had any real-live pain, and I hope you never do.

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