There are several kinds of anesthetics that are used to numb, or desensitize, the skin during laser tattoo removal sessions. Generally, anesthetics are applied topically to the skin and wear off in a reasonable amount of time. Laser tattoo removal has the reputation of being extremely painful, but it feels similar to the pain experienced during the tattoo process. Others have compared the pain to a rubber band being snapped against the skin repeatedly.

Some popular anesthetics used during laser tattoo removal include the following.


Before a laser treatment begins, some licensed medical technicians might offer to put ice over the area that will be treated. The ice will dull the nerves. This works particularly well for smaller tattoos.

Cryogen Cooling Devices

Popular at most laser tattoo treatment spas, this device works by spraying the outer layers of the skin with a burst of cryogen, which provides a cooling sensation. A licensed medical technician can apply the cooling device in adjustable durations that hit the skin before and after each laser pulse. Most devices work by cooling the top layer of skin without disturbing the layers beneath. There are many advantages of using a cooling device, such as:

  • A pain-free and comfortable laser hair removal treatment
  • Higher levels of energy that provide better and faster results
  • Client satisfaction
  • Less swelling and irritation

TAC Numbing Creams

A triple anesthetic cream or TAC is a topical cream that is used to numb the skin prior to laser tattoo removal treatment. These creams typically contain three ingredients: benzocaine, lidocaine, and teltracaine.