What Type of Numbing Cream Can Be Used for Tattoo Removal?

I was offered cream, but at $90 so I opted out. I was wondering if there was a certain cream I could buy cheaper online and use at home before I go in for treatment. I wasn't sure if all creams would work or not or which ones worked best. I can't pay $90 on top of the fees i'm already paying. I also read that not all creams will let lasers through. Is that true? Any help is appreciated!

Doctor Answers 3

Numbing creams and tattoo removals

It is not recommend for you to use numbing cream before tattoo removal.  Icing the area before and after the treatment is recommended.  Numbing creams may inhibit the treatment to be successful

New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 17 reviews


Most physicians, including this one, do not like patients to apply prescription strength topical anesthetics outside of their office. There were two deaths I know of, due to this ill-advised  practice. We find the combination of Benzocaine 20%, Lidocaine 6%, and Tetracaine 4% prepared by a local pharmacologist to be very effective. Like most physicians, we do not charge, for this extra surface ( I am always amazed at the number of stoical and brave patients who forgo this little lagniappe) so I am a bit surprised at yours. Maybe the doctor is mixing it at home and is throwing in his/her labor costs.

If the tattoo is small, or a limited area is to be worked on, you might try LMX cream. This contains 4% Lidocaine. I would recommend calling the physician who will be removing the tattoo to be sure this is agreeable. 

I am curious when the tattoo fad will end and tattoo removal facilities will outnumber tattoo parlors. Five years? Ten years? Twenty years? Who knows.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.