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Numbing cream for involuntary twitching


iamtia
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I have never used numbing cream for any of my tattoos. I'm always able to take the pain (most recent painful spots to date being the elbow and elbow ditch), but because I have super sensitive areas where I'm ticklish or get involuntary twitching even at the slightest touch, I wonder if numbing creams help this at all...? About 8 years ago, I started a pretty large piece right in the center of my back and I could NOT stop twitching no matter how much I tried to relax my muscles. That piece is still just an outline and I've always been afraid of finishing it because of the twitching. :( I would love to get work done on both my ribs in the future and I'm pretty ticklish on those areas as well.

Has anyone used numbing creams specifically because they're ticklish?

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I don't have any first hand experience with this but I did have an artist recommend using a muscle relaxant like Robaxacet for the ribs. I think the logic is that it will stop you from tensing up, so maybe something like that would help? I didn't end up getting that tattoo so I didn't try it and can't offer my experiences here, but maybe talk with your artist about possibly taking muscle relaxants to help with this?

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Muscle relaxers sound like a fantastic idea, and I can't believe it's never occurred to me before.

However - be sure and do a test run around a friend beforehand. I've been given a muscle relaxer before - for recreation purposes - that I thought had no effect on me - I remember the whole experience - but from the perspective of the rest of the world I was on another level of wacky insanity. Slapping my face and saying I couldn't feel it and all.

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I usually take some Oxazepam with me as well as the standard antihistamines and ibroprofen. I've never actually used the 'pam (for tattooing) but knowing I could if I needed to was a certainly helpful when we got to the irritating bit of my elbow.

Never tried numbing cream, I thought I'd read somewhere it could cause a temporary and non-advantageous-for-tattooing thickening of the skin?

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I've read that numbing cream (when it wears off, or is not applied evenly enough) can make the pain itself seem much, much worse than using nothing at all. I don't know that you'd need a muscle relaxer for the twitching per se, maybe something as simple as taking some magnesium orotate or carbonate/citric acid (ie Natural Calm) would do the trick - keep the muscles nice and calm/relaxed vs a Rx relaxer which is normally used for acute spasms (or recreationally, lol.) Beyond that, you're looking at herb territory if you don't want to do the Rx route.

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Magnesium is a good call. I have read about it's therapeutic muscle qualities and most of us are already deficient. The best way to get magnesium is through transdermal absorption. Using it regularly on the area to be tattooed a few weeks before could help with those twitches.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I took a numbing gel for my back but wore off after an hour or so but the session was 2 1/2 so it was kinda silly BUT it WAS my first tattoo so I guess it helped. I think it's more of a psychological thing

When I was getting my arm tattoo, the artist did comment on some twitching I had going on. I didn't even know, but when she told me, it stopped. I was able to make myself aware of it and keep calm

I suppose some parts are twitchier than others?

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I've had bactine spray whilst getting tattooed , cant say I noticed any difference. My wife said she noticed a difference with bactine.

I had a lidocaine spray and that is the best. Only works after there has been some lining as it need to get into the skin. But after that it's very tolerable. Used it with long sessions where lining and shading/color were involved.

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I've had bactine spray whilst getting tattooed , cant say I noticed any difference. My wife said she noticed a difference with bactine.

Yes, bactine. I know Jill's used that stuff on me and I believe Horitomo too. I can't say it worked either cuz it still hurts but maybe it makes it hurt just a little bit less. That said, I was still twitching when Horitomo was tattooing me. At some point your body just kicks in defensively even though your mind is perfectly fine with going on and on and on.

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Yes, bactine. I know Jill's used that stuff on me and I believe Horitomo too. I can't say it worked either cuz it still hurts but maybe it makes it hurt just a little bit less. That said, I was still twitching when Horitomo was tattooing me. At some point your body just kicks in defensively even though your mind is perfectly fine with going on and on and on.

I had the exact same experience as you Lance. Both Horitomo and Jill have used it on me, but not sure if it worked or not.

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  • 4 weeks later...

First off I have to say I can take it, but when the stomach piece started creeping to my ribs, it hurt. And it hurt baaaaaaaad!

I guess I always expect pain, but I'm a tad ticklish myself. I'm loath to take away from the whole thing, even the pain, but I'm not one to scoff at people who can't after a while, or at all.

We're all different.

That numbing cream is expensive though. A tattooer I know came up with the novel idea of using Preparation H. He must have read it online and according to him, when I worked on his hand, it numbed it right up.

I can get color in, but the Mom's royal blue would not take, and after grinding it a bit (Mom's is awfully thick stuff, but they've been around forever so they must be doing something right) I had it in solid.

So I thought.

Three days later it looked like I had no idea what I was doing. Like I was scratching away with no brain at all. Then I figured it out I think. If the Prep H shrinks tissues it also closes pores. I realized I wasn't seeing the normal swelling and pores when I worked, which was why I was feeling so odd about the tattoo. I'm a "go by the gut" guy anyway, but I try to be very attuned to the skin and client as well. (READ: I keep a jar of Jelly Bellies at all times.)

It was a memorial piece too for his father who had just been buried that day with full military honors, which made me feel extra bad. In my head I'm going, "AHHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!"

Of course on my face was just a look of sheer terror.

The moral? If you need the numbing cream, by all means get it. I'd never mock you. But leave the Prep H in the back of the bathroom drawer.

Edited by Gloomy Inks
Dumbness. On my part.
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I am using tattoo numbing cream (5 % lidocain) in my shop, but only on some spots that I know could make problems if I have to work 2 to 3 hours. Problem with numbing cream is that there is bigger possibility for ink to run out or even not to stay, so you have to dig deeper or you have to rework tattoo. Other thing about tattoo is that is swallows more if that it usually would. And third of all, had to be applied hour before you start work, first you have to massage one layer in the skin, and then put thick layer over and wrap it with plastic, so air would not get in and it has efect for hour, or hour and a half... Till now, when I was using it, it did hep. It does not numb completely but it does make work easier.

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