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Primary vs Secondary Anesthetics

  • 3 min read

Written by Amanda Grebinsky

What is primary numbing: A primary numbing product usually comes in the form of a topical cream. This numbing option is designed to be used on "intact skin" which means the skin has not yet been opened by the PMU procedure. 

What is secondary numbing:A secondary numbing product usually comes in the form of a gel or ointment. This numbing option is designed to be used on "broken skin" which means the skin has already been opened by way of the PMU procedure.

How to decide when to use each product:Generally speaking, the order in which these products are used is in the following ways:  A primary numbing topical is used at the beginning of an appointment for approximately 30 minutes (depending on instructions) The intention behind using this product first is that it eliminates almost all of the clients pain. You are free to move forward with the procedure without fear that your client might move around in discomfort. Usually at some point throughout the procedure the primary numbing will begin to wear off and the client will start to experience pain. This is where the secondary numbing comes in to play. A thin coat of secondary numbing is then applied to the procedure area. The secondary numbing formula is slightly different than that of a primary, therefore it results in a much faster reduction in pain. Both types of numbing play an important role in a successful procedure. NOTE: you would  not be able to just fast track the numbing procedure by just going in with a secondary numb right away, the skin MUST be open first in order for it to successfully relieve pain. This is why we use them in this specific oder. 

What are the benefits to using a primary topical numbing cream:The benefits to this type of numbing is that you are able to move forward with your PMU procedure without fear that you client might move around in pain while you are trying to meticulously create your masterpiece. Taking the time to numb your client for 30 minutes at the beginning of your appointment allows you to really take the time to ensure you are completely set up and ready to execute a perfect appointment. It forces you to slow down a little and not rush right in to the service. 

What are the benefits to using a secondary numbing cream:The benefits to this type of numbing is that it efficiently provides a relief in pain for clients who are in discomfort in the middle of their appointment. Unlike the primary numbing option, this numbing cream does not take as long to become effective. The other benefit would be that some secondary numbing products include the ingredient "Epinephrine" which is a vasoconstrictor that removes blood from the surface of the skin which results in the appearance of a trauma free procedure area. Epinephrine reduces the appearance of redness and helps the artist take more appealing photos of their work at the end of the procedure.

What products do I recommend and where can you find them:My favorite primary numbing cream would be Ink+Arches version of a topical. My all time favorite secondary numbing is MEI-CHA'S Blue gel. I am not just saying this out of obligation, but rather because its an incredible product and is one of the best in its category for secondary numbing. I definitely recommend! 

Share your favorite numbing with me on Instagram @boujee_brows!

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