The tattoo is an ancient art form that is been practised in cultures around the world. Tattoos are a form of bodily alteration, creating an image on a person’s skin, which is permanent. The creation of a tattoo involves the piercing of the skin with a needle, which is dipped in ink. Tattoos are hugely popular worldwide either as a form of self expression, a declaration of belonging to a certain group or organisation, or as a fashion statement.
Getting a tattoo can be a painful experience resulting in sore skin. To help this, there are numerous creams and lotions available, which can perform a number of functions, intended to make the tattooing process easier. It is the intention of this guide to explore the features of tattoo creams, and to explain why the online auction website eBay is the perfect place to shop for them.
Tattoo creams have been developed over the years as ways to remedy some of the various minor inconveniences occasionally associated with tattooing. There are three main kinds of cream widely available on eBay. These are:
The following is an explanation and analysis of each of these three main types of cream, intended to help anyone considering becoming a tattoo artist to understand what to look out for:
- The first type of tattoo cream to be discussed is numbing creams. These creams have come into existence due to the fact that the act of receiving a tattoo has been known to cause significant pain. Some people find this tolerable, particularly if they are experienced in having their skin tattooed. Some people find the pain more difficult to deal with, and for these people the experience can be a quite uncomfortable one. Further, stories of the pain experienced during the tattooing process can be very intimidating to someone thinking about getting their first tattoo, and may even be enough to put them off.
- This is what numbing cream was created for. Numbing creams are applied to the skin prior to the original inking, covering the entire area on which the tattoo is intended to be placed. As a result, the area of the skin then becomes unresponsive to the pain of the tattoo needle. Numbing cream contains a chemical called Lidocaine. In the UK, the maximum concentration of Lidocaine that it is legal to include in a product is 2%. This may seem low, but 2% is plenty to negate the discomfort of a tattoo needle. The cream, when applied to the skin, prevents sodium molecules from entering the nerve endings of the affected area, effectively barricading the path of the electrical signals, which travel along the nerves and inform the brain that the skin is feeling pain. This allows for the painless, hassle free application of needle and ink tattoos.
- The average tube of numbing cream comes in a 10 gram measure, though this varies in many cases. A 10-gram tube with a 2% Lidocaine concentration is sufficient to numb, approximately, a 3” x 3” area of the skin, and will last, again for approximately 3 hours. For many smaller tattoos, this will be more than adequate, in terms of area covered and length of time need for numbness. However, many people opt for larger or very detailed tattoos, which take more time to render. For these, enough cream should be used to cover the complete area of the tattoo, and to keep the skin numb for the duration of the process. Always check the instructions provided before use, and follow them exactly.
- Numbing creams are extremely effective, and should definitely be considered by anyone who wants a tattoo, but is worried about the pain. Using eBay to shop for this item is an excellent method, due to the wide range of different products available, and the many different sellers, whose reputations amongst the buyers is easy to gauge.
Once a tattoo has been applied, many people assume the process is complete. However, this is not necessarily the case when it comes to subsequent discomfort, as it is extremely common for the tattoo to remain very uncomfortable for a considerable period after the initial application. This is only to be expected, since tattooing involves scarring skin tissue. Common effects include (amongst others):
- Itching & stinging
- Loss of tattoo colour
These can be exacerbated by scratching, exposure to harmful substances or accidental damage.
Post-tattoo soreness is also catered for by aftercare creams, which are widely available on the online auctioning website, eBay. An aftercare cream, or soothing cream, can be applied to the tattooed area after the procedure. It soothes the affected area, reducing the irritability of the skin.
The creams will often contain gentle, natural ingredients. This massively reduces the chance of the cream aggravating the skin further. The best creams are non-sticky in texture, as they moisturise the skin, which encourages and accelerates the healing process. Vitamins that are often present in the creams are useful for a less irritating regeneration of the skin, and for keeping the tattoo’s colour bright and clear.
These creams are advisable for anyone getting a tattoo, no matter how experienced they are, because aside from the discomfort, too much swelling and irritation can warp the tattoo, reducing the original effect and leaving the consumer unsatisfied.
The third commonly found kind of cream is removal cream. This is used, as the name implies, as an agent to remove an unwanted tattoo from the skin, which is, unfortunately, a factor to consider when getting a tattoo. As tattoos are permanent (if left alone), a person acquiring one will normally want the tattoo to be highly personalised; a tattoo is normally a statement about its bearer. However, whilst a tattoo might not change, people often do. Sometimes, the decision to get a tattoo is regretted. This is not, however, too great a problem, as in modern times the technology exists to have a tattoo removed.
The most commonly known form of tattoo removal is laser-based. This is generally considered the most effective, but has numerous drawbacks. These are:
- Cost: laser tattoo removal requires complex machinery and a lot of time, and is thus very expensive.
- Time: laser surgery takes a long time, with numerous sessions needed, and can take up to seven weeks of frequent sessions.
- Pain: laser surgery is as painful, if not more so, than getting the tattoo in the first place.
- Residue: the process of applying a laser to the skin can, unsurprisingly, leave clear traces on the skin.
Tattoo Cream Alternatives
There is a wide array of tattoo removal creams available for sale on eBay. Tattoo removal creams have some downsides compared to laser removal. They are slower, fading the tattoo gradually, and it can take a very long time to see the required result. However, they have many advantages too. These are:
- Painless: removal creams cause no pain to the consumer.
- Cheap: removal creams are much cheaper than laser surgery
- Residue: While the tattoo fades, no other kind of skin discolouration occurs.
It is important to use tattoo removal cream regularly and consistently to achieve the best results.
How to Buy Tattoo Creams on eBay
- Using eBay to shop for tattoo creams could not be simpler, and allows for a huge range of choice, making it the perfect place to search.
- Navigating the website to the desired section (in this case, tattoo creams) is easy. On the homepage, there is a list in the left-hand margin of the broadest categories. Select Jewellery & Beauty from this list.
- Then select Health & Beauty. From under this list, select the Tattoos & Body Art sub-heading. Since tattoo creams do not have their own section, the best option from this point is to use the search bar. Having already navigated to the Tattoos & Body Art section, typing “cream” into the search bar will only produce results that fit into the Tattoos & Body Art category.
- The item listings should now contain the huge selection eBay has to offer in regards to tattoo creams. The search can also be filtered from here by price, condition or seller’s location, which can be found in the left hand margin. In addition, the “Auction” and “Buy It Now” options can be chosen between, allowing the user the flexibility of either buying for a fixed price on the spot, or bidding against other shoppers.
- Clicking on an item’s entry in the listings will take you to that item’s individual page. On this page, further information about the product can be found, as well as information about the seller (such as ratings and user feedback), and details about how to contact them in the event of questions.
- This easy-to-use interface, combined with the many customisation options and the range of products available, make eBay the perfect place to shop for tattoo creams online.
The art of tattooing is an ancient and emotionally powerful one, which can mean a great deal to some tattooists or tattoo bearers. However, some complications can arise, including the pain of the process, the aftercare issues, and possible regrets. This guide’s intention was to detail the ways that creams can be used to counteract these difficulties, and to ease the tattooing process. Remember the three functions tattoo cream can perform: Numbing, Soothing and Removal.
Further, this guide concludes that eBay is the ideal medium with which to search and shop for tattoo creams, due to its numerous advantages and helpful features.