Q? Protection from the sun
A. After your tattoo is healed, from now on, you will always want to protect it from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. These can fade and damage a brilliant tattoo very fast. Before spending a lot of time in excessive heat, protect your tattoo with a minimum 30SPF sunblock. This will keep your tattoo vibrant for many years, and it will continue to be a source of great pride.
Q? Scabbing and Peeling
A. After a few days, you will notice some peeling and possibly a little scabbing. Excessive scabbing could indicate a poorly-done tattoo, but a little is sometimes normal and there is no need to panic. Apply warm moist compresses to the scabs for about 5 minutes 2-3 times a day to soften them and they will eventually come off on their own. (Do not apply ointment or lotion to a softened scab – wait for it to dry) You will also start to itch, just like a sunburn when it begins to heal. The advice here is, don’t pick, and don’t scratch! If the skin itches, slap it. If it is peeling, put lotion on it. And if it is scabbing, just leave it alone. Your tattoo is almost healed, and now is not the time to ruin it!
Q? Wash and Treat
A. After you remove the bandage, you will want to wash your tattoo. Use lukewarm water and mild, liquid antibacterial or antimicrobial soap (Satin and Provon are my highest recommendations. Dial tends to be too harsh – generic brand antibacterial soaps are actually better) to gently wash away any ointment, blood and/or plasma and to completely clean the area. Do not use a washcloth or anything abrasive. Your hand is your best tool in this case. (If your tattoo feels slimy and slippery, you have probably been oozing plasma. Try to gently remove as much of this as possible – when the plasma dries on the skin surface, it creates scabs.)
Then pat (do not rub) the area firmly with a CLEAN towel or paper towel to get it completely dry. Follow with a very light application of your choice of ointment. A&D vitamin enriched ointment would be my first choice, but if you don’t have any, Bacitracin or a similar antibacterial ointment is acceptable.
**Do not use Neosporin. This is a wonderful product for cuts and scrapes, but not for tattoos. Some can have an allergic reaction to the Neosporin, which causes little red bumps. When the bumps go away, so does the ink, and you end up with a polka-dotted tattoo.**
Q? Leave That Bandage Alone!
A. Your artist took the care to cover up your new tattoo for a very good reason – to keep air-born bacteria from invading your wound. Yes, as pretty as your new tattoo is, it is still a wound. Open flesh is a breeding ground for bacteria and infection. Leave the bandage on for a minimum of two hours. Excitement of having a new tattoo will make you want to remove the bandage so you can show your friends, but your friends will just have to wait until later.
Q? Your Tattoo Is A Reflection Of You
A. You can pick up the latest tattoo-related magazine, and you will see some examples of great artwork of some very “outspoken” tattoos. Demons, serial killers and sexually explicit tattoos can be artfully perfect, but this may not be how you want people to view you. Whatever you have tattooed on you is the impression people are going to get about what kind of person you are. Granted, this is no-one’s business but your own, but if you want to project a certain image, your tattoos should reflect that.
Q? Consider Your Professionalism
A. It’s great to see that many white-collar professionals are getting tattooed these days. It is becoming more main-stream and acceptable on all levels of education, background, and professions. Unfortunately, though, this does not mean it is acceptable to the employers or clientelle of the professional worker. Before putting a tattoo in a very visible area of your body, you will want to consider how it will affect those around you.
Q? Most Painful Areas
A. Men – Abdomen, Spine, Chest
Women – Ankle, Spine, Ribcage
Least Painful Areas:
Men – Buttocks, Arm, Back
Women – Abdomen, Buttocks, Thigh, Shoulder
Q? The Pain Factor
A. The question I get asked most is, “Where does it hurt the most?”. Well, there are no hard and fast rules about this subject, but based on many opinions over the years, here are some ideas:
Q? Listen To Your Friends
A. Your friends can be a great resource to you. If they have had a good experience, they will probably recommend their artist. And if they’ve had a bad experience, I’m sure they’ll warn you not to make the same mistake! Ask around. If you’re outgoing, and you see someone walking down the street with a great tattoo, don’t be afraid to ask them where they got it! Most of us love to talk about our tattoos.
Q? Visit Several Studios
A. Shop around! I’m sure if you were about to make a major purchase, like a car, you wouldn’t buy one from the first dealership you went to. Check out examples of the artists’ work, ask around, and take the time to just stay for a while and watch if you can. Ask the artists questions, and see if they are friendly and willing to talk to you. If you wander around the shop for half an hour, and no one even asks if they can help you, they don’t take much pride in their work.
Q?Take Your Time!
I know that getting a new tattoo is exciting, and when you finally decide this is what you want, it is hard to wait. But this is not something to be rushed into. If you really want a tattoo that you are going to be happy with, its going to take some time. So, relax, and don’t be in a rush to get inked.
Q?My friend just bought a tattoo kit and wants to practice on me. Should I let them?
NO! Your friend could be putting both of your lives in danger by foolishly trying to learn this at home. Tell them they need to get a proper apprenticeship, and they can start practicing on you when their mentor (master) feels they are ready.
Q? Are Tattoos Safe?
A. 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
Q? What should I expect when I go to get my tattoo?
A. If you are thinking about getting your first tattoo, but are unfamiliar with the process, the thought might meet you with anticipation. Fear of the unknown can sometimes hold us back from doing things we really want to do. You might be concerned that it will hurt too much. You might be worried that you wouldn’t know if the artist was doing something wrong.
The best thing you can do is educate yourself on the process of the tattoo application, and that way you will be prepared and know what to expect when you sit in the artist’s chair. So, how is a tattoo applied to the skin? From start to finish, this article will tell you exactly how the human skin is transformed into a beautiful work of art.
Please keep in mind that the following outline describes the most favorable situation for getting a tattoo. There will always be differences between one artist and the next, but any major deviance from these guidelines could indicate a problem.
Once you have decided on your tattoo design and your artist, you will be required to show valid identification for proof of age. You may also be asked for your address and phone number, so your artist can contact you in the future if need be. In most studios, payment must be made before services are rendered. It is up to each studio to decide which methods of payment they accept.
Q?Does it hurt?
A. Pain is really relative. Everyone has a different tolerance to pain. I’m not going to kid you, 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.
Q? Can I use some kind of numbing cream?
A. These kinds of products are really not recommended, however we do stock it for those who really want to make use of the cream.
Q?How much is it going to cost?
A. 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.
Q? What should I get? And where?
A. 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.
Q? Is it OK to get a tattoo if I’m sick?
A. 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.
Q? Is it OK to lay out in the sun or go to the tanning bed when you have tattoos?
A. It might be really tempting to get some rays during the summer months, But no its not really a good idea to do that, until your tattoo is fully healed!