What Painkillers Can I Take Before A Tattoo

What Painkillers Can I Take Before a Tattoo?

What Painkillers Can I Take Before a Tattoo?

So, you’ve made the brave decision to get a tattoo. Congratulations! The world of body art awaits you, and with it comes a certain level of pain. Don’t worry, though, because there are painkillers that can help make the process more bearable. But before we delve into the best painkillers for tattoos, let’s go over some important facts to keep in mind.

First and foremost, it’s crucial to consult with your tattoo artist or a medical professional before taking any medication. They can assess your health condition, current medications, and any potential allergies to ensure your safety during the tattooing process. Proper guidance is key, so don’t underestimate the importance of professional advice!

The Most Common Painkillers

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about painkiller options that you may consider before stepping into the tattoo parlor. Please keep in mind that the suitability of each painkiller could vary depending on your unique circumstances. Always consult with a medical professional before deciding what is right for you.

1. Ibuprofen: This over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. It should be taken according to the recommended dosage instructions provided with the medication.

2. Acetaminophen: Another over-the-counter pain reliever, commonly known as paracetamol, that can help manage mild to moderate tattoo pain. However, it’s important to avoid exceeding the maximum daily dosage to prevent potential liver damage.

3. Topical Anesthetics: These numbing creams or sprays are applied directly to the skin before the tattooing process to provide temporary relief. They work by desensitizing the area, but their effectiveness may vary from person to person.

Considerations and Precautions

Now that you’re aware of some painkiller options, here are a few additional things to keep in mind before taking any medication:

1. Allergies and Sensitivities: Be aware of any allergies or sensitivities you may have to specific painkillers. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so inform your artist and medical professional beforehand.

2. Potential Side Effects: Painkillers, like any medication, can have side effects. While over-the-counter options tend to be safe for most individuals, there’s always a chance of experiencing adverse reactions. Read and follow the instructions on the packaging, and if you notice anything unusual, seek medical advice immediately.

3. Healing Process Interference: Painkillers may affect the body’s natural healing process, so it’s essential to consider the potential impact. Follow the aftercare instructions provided by your tattoo artist to ensure proper healing and minimize any complications.

Alternative Techniques for Pain Management

If you prefer to explore alternatives to painkillers, here are a few methods to consider:

1. Mindful Breathing: Deep breathing exercises can help distract your mind and relax your body during the tattooing process. Focus on your breath, inhaling deeply and exhaling slowly to naturally alleviate some of the discomfort.

2. Numbing Sprays and Gels: Some tattoo artists offer their own numbing sprays or gels that can be applied before starting the tattoo. This option may provide temporary relief, but it’s essential to discuss its usage and effectiveness with your artist beforehand.

3. Distraction Techniques: Bringing along a friend or listening to music can help divert your attention from the pain. Engaging in conversation or activities that you enjoy can make the experience more pleasant.


Getting a tattoo is an exciting and personal experience. While pain is an inherent part of the process, there are painkillers and alternative techniques that can help manage it. Remember, always consult with a medical professional or your tattoo artist for guidance specific to your situation.

It’s essential to prioritize your safety and wellbeing, ensuring that you’re making informed decisions on pain management before, during, and after your tattooing experience.

Charles Brown

Charles C. Brown is a journalist, writer, and tattoo enthusiast. He has over 10 years of experience in the tattoo industry, working as a tattoo artist and body piercer. He has written extensively on the history and culture of tattoos, exploring the many different meanings, symbolism and designs associated with tattooing.

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