When an individual decides to get part of her skin pierced, there is often some pain associated with the process. In order to combat this pain, most people will numb their skin prior to piercing. Numbing skin that is about to be pierced not only makes the piercing process more comfortable for the person getting pierced, it also eases the piercing process itself.


Ice is one of the most common methods of numbing the skin. However, this method isn’t always used at professional piercing salons, as it takes some time and can be wet and messy. If you are attempting to ice a small area such as an earlobe, place one or two ice cubes in a paper towel and rub the ice in small circular motions on the area. Do this for at least fifteen minutes, until the area is cold and numb. If you are icing a larger area, place several ice cubes into a ziplock bag, and hold the bag on the area of the skin you wish to numb for 15 to 20 minutes. Once you remove the bag, the area should be cold to touch, feel numb and will probably be red in color as well. Proceed with the piercing immediately after removing the ice. Ice can also be used to numb an area after it has been pierced to decrease any pain or swelling in the pierced area.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is a common solution used to numb an area prior to piercing, and also helps clean and disinfect the skin and needle before piercing. Rubbing alcohol is generally used on less sensitive skin areas, such as the ears. Rubbing alcohol can be found at a local drug store and can be applied by pouring the solution onto a cotton ball and covering the area of skin about to be pierced. It can also be applied through alcohol strips or alcohol toilettes that can be purchased at beauty supply stores. Rubbing alcohol should be applied directly before the piercing process. Although it will not numb the skin to the intensity that ice does, it does provide enough numbing for most people to comfortably get through the short piercing process.

Numbing Sprays

Numbing sprays have become increasingly popular numbing solutions for piercing professionals, tattoo artists and waxers. Numbing sprays quickly and effectively numb the skin prior to piercing. Numbing sprays can be purchased at beauty retailers or online, and there are several numbing sprays designed specifically for piercing. These sprays also come in toilette, gel and lotion forms which are often easier to apply when dealing with smaller areas of skin, such as the ears. Numbing sprays are most common for larger, more sensitive piercings such as the navel or the neck, but can be used anywhere on the body, except for the inside of the mouth. Numbing sprays should be applied seconds before piercing, and while they will help make the piercing process easier, they generally don’t do much for the area once the piercing is complete.

Oral Medicines

Oral, over-the-counter pain killers can also be taken to help numb the skin prior to piercing. Many individuals take medications such as Advil or Tylenol, prior to getting pierced either alone, or in accordance with a topical numbing solution. These medications will help slightly numb the skin and can also help with any dull or aching pain that may occur after the piercing. Individuals deciding to go with this numbing method should simply take a normal dose about an hour before getting pierced, as taking extra pills can be dangerous to your health. Oral medications can also be taken after a piercing to help numb sensitive areas.

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