Are Tattoos Safe?
Yes, as long as you go to a reputable artist that is following all recommended safety precautions. Find out what these recommendations are by going through the safety checklist.
What should I expect when I go to get my tattoo?
We've got it all laid out for you, get in touch with your tattoo artist.
Does it hurt?
Pain is really relative. Everyone has a different toleration to pain, though - it does hurt. Just not that much. Some have compared it to a "hot scratching feeling". But, people would not be returning again and again for tattoo after tattoo if it hurt that bad! Most of us are not into pain, but the beauty of the tattoo and the pride associated with wearing it far outweighs a little pin-stick here and there.
Can I use some kind of numbing cream?
These kinds of products are really not recommended. The cream is applied to the skin and you have to wait 30 minutes for it to take effect. Once it starts working, it only lasts for about 30 minutes. An average sized tattoo takes anywhere from 30 minutes to three hour sittings and subsequent sessions. When the sensation returns, it is a shock to the system and the discomfort felt from being tattooed becomes more painful.
The fact of the matter is, getting a tattoo or piercing just isn't that bad! But it is a "right of passage" that many feel should be earned by dealing with the discomfort that may go along with it. If you are not willing to do that, maybe a tattoo or piercing is not right for you. If you really want a tattoo or piercing, there are other ways you can "survive" them without going through all the trouble of these numbing products.
How much is it going to cost?
When it comes to tattoos, you get what you pay for. Yes, there are plenty of people tattooing out there that will ink you cheap, and you'll be crying to a real artist to have it covered up. Look for quality, and be willing to pay for it. NEVER haggle over the price of a tattoo. It is disrespectful to the artist. If you can't pay for quality, don't bother. This is not a bargain bin. It is a piece of art you will wear for life.
Should I tip my tattoo artist?
Tipping is a really nice gesture! But, there are no real solid ground rules for tipping. Gratuity for a tattoo or piercing can't really be determined by the percentage rating most use for tipping a restaurant server. A tip, instead of a percentage, should be based on (1)how much you can afford and (2)how much you feel it is worth. A 400 rupee tip would certainly be accepted more graciously than nothing at all.
To tip an artist...shows that you thought the artwork you just received was well worth what I charged and you were happy enough to add a little. It's not requested and it's not required...The words, 'That's kick ass!' mean a lot more to me than any tip." - KdzTattoos
What should I get? And where?
This is all a matter of personal taste. You can get whatever you want, and whatever your artist is willing to do. You can choose a picture off the wall, or you can have them create a custom piece just for you. Your only limit is your own imagination. As far as where you should get it goes, just keep in mind what you do for work and the type of social circles you are in. You might want to consider placing your tattoo where it can be easily covered up with normal clothing.
What is the best time of year to get a tattoo?
Although you can get a tattoo any time of the year, your skin gets a lot more abuse during the summer with swimming, tanning and just being exposed to the elements more. Your personal lifestyle should determine when would be the best time to have a tattoo applied.
Is it OK to get a tattoo if I'm sick?
Getting a tattoo when your immune system isn't at 100% isn't a good idea. You're going to need your strength and your white blood cells to heal your tattoo, something your body won't be able to do if it's already doing battle against virus and bacteria. Not to mention the fact that it's very inconsiderate to bring your illness into the tattoo studio and risk passing the germs onto others, particularly your artist. If you have an appointment, call and reschedule for when you're feeling well again.
Where can I find pictures of (skull, teddy bear, lion, etc.) tattoos?
If you're getting a tattoo, especially as an expression of your individuality, why would you want a tattoo just like someone else's? Instead, find other pictures of what you're looking for and have your artist draw up a custom design for you. Example: If you are wanting a tattoo of a penguin standing on a glacier, find real photos of penguins and glaciers. If you want a tattoo of a blue rose wrapped around a cross, find pictures of real roses and crosses that you like. If the pictures don't show exactly what you want, just take them to your artist to use them as guidelines and tell them what changes you want made to the original pictures. A real artist will welcome the challenge of a custom piece.
Is it OK to lay out in the sun or go to the tanning bed when you have tattoos?
It's no secret that tanning isn't really good for your skin anyway, but it's even harder on your tattoos. Ultraviolet rays, while adding a nice bronze tone to your skin, drain the life out of a tattoo. The more you tan, the more the ink fades and slowly goes from brilliant to boring.
Does that mean your tanning days are over? Well, I guess that depends on how much you love your tattoos and want them to stay bright and looking their best. I can certainly empathize with anyone that also loves the sun and just can't stay away. If you absolutely must go soak up some rays, at least be sensible and use sun block. Find the highest SPF level you can find and re-apply often if you're going to spend a lot of time outside. If you just can't accept having pasty white skin and your goal is to go out and get some color, make sure you at least protect your tattoos with as much sunscreen as possible.
I just got a new tattoo on my leg - can I shave?
If you've got a new tattoo, especially if you are a woman, the question is going to come up as to when it's safe to shave again. Of course, guys might need to know, too, depending on where they got the tattoo and where they usually shave.
When you get a tattoo, the area will be completely shaved before it's applied, so at least you're starting off with smooth skin. After a couple days of stubble and bristly skin, the urge to shave can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, at this point, shaving is about as brutal on your tattoo as a weedwacker. The wound is still fresh, and especially if you have any scabbing or raised areas, you run the risk of damaging your artwork by running a razor across it. Chemical hair removers are just as bad if not worse - you never want to put anything like that on a fresh tattoo.
Of course, you can shave the area around the tattoo. Be sure any and all creams, gels and/or hair follicles are cleaned away from the tattoo immediately afterward, and then apply your ointment or lotion as directed by your artist.
So, when is it safe to shave again? Your tattoo will go through several different stages, one of the last being the peeling stage. Once the peeling has finished, your skin will start to regenerate and produce a new protective layer over your tattoo. Once this new layer has appeared, it is usually safe to shave again. Depending on your tattoo and your own body's ability to heal, this can take anywhere from 5-10 days in most cases. Do this simple little skin test to see if it would be safe for you to shave:
Close your eyes and run the tips of your fingers across and around your tattoo. Are there any bumps? Raised areas? Hard scabs? The tattoo should feel the same as the skin around it - if you can tell where the tattoo begins and ends or feel any skin irregularities, you might need to wait a little longer.
Sometimes a tattoo can remain raised slightly for as long as a couple months. This can be very frustrating and itchy to the wearer. In this case, if the tattoo is completely healed with no open sores or scabs, an electric razor is you best option. Even a chemical hair remover would be better than a blade, but be sure to leave it on for the minimum time required to remove the unwanted hair. If you must use a blade razor, exercise extreme caution. Your tattoo is so close to being successfully healed - the last thing you want to do now is open it up.
Once a tattoo is completely healed, you can shave just like normal without worry.