Tattoo: How Much Does it Hurt?
For anyone looking to get their first tattoo the question is, ‘how much does it hurt?’ different people have different pain experiences when getting ink. From those who swear it was a near death experience to those hardcore types who sleep through it.
Tattooing involves piercing the skin and the price for a good work of art is pain. The good news is that there are pain killing products that can make the pain more bearable. TAC cream for example, is a skin numbing cream that can reduce the pain considerably.
Why it Hurts
A tattoo becomes permanent by depositing the ink on the second layer of the skin. The skin has the epidermis (1st), dermis (2nd) and hypodermis (3rd) layers. The first layer is constantly dying off and being replaced. The second and third layers are permanent meaning ink on these layers is permanent.
The tattoo needle must penetrate the skin about 1/16th of an inch. It gets into the skin 10-15 per second. At this speed and depth it does not tear the skin but pierces it enough to get to the pain nerves hence the pain.
Parts that hurt where the skin is the thinnest include:
- Top of the foot
- Back of the knees
- Inside the elbow
Parts that hurt and have large muscles under the skin include:
- upper arm
- outer forearm
- upper back
- upper thigh
While it is not possible to kill all the pain, you can take it down considerably by using tattoo creams. These are creams that numb the skin just like what is done when you are having stitches at the clinic. TAC cream is a powerful skin anesthetizer that contains powerful pain killing ingredients.
This cream works by suppressing the nerves on the skin. It cuts the communication between the nerves and pain receptors in the brain. To use the tattoo cream:
- clean hands with soap and water with an antiseptic then wear gloves
- clean the area to be tattooed with soap and warm water
- use a tongue depressor to apply an even coat of TAC cream on the tattoo
- wait for the cream to sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping off
- Outline the tattoo stencil
- Keep applying the TAC cream lightly during the tattoo session applying small amounts through the session.
A numbing sensation comes on about 15 minutes after applying the cream. The tattoo pain is reduced to pin pricks as long as the cream is in place. After tattooing and wiping off the cream, numbing will gradually lessen after 2 or 3 hours.