Guide to getting a tattoo for the first time
The latest trend of today’s world is ‘tattoo’. It has occupied its place everywhere- from the muscular chest to the irresistible flat abs- from bare shoulders to intimate hidden places of body- tattoo has its access everywhere.
For a lot of people, the biggest obstacle to overcome when deciding whether or not to get a tattoo is the pain or fear factor. Does it really hurt that bad? Is it worth it? What can you do to reduce the level of pain during the procedure? The following links deal with issues of pain and overcoming your fears.
Now, if you are thinking about doing it on your body then take a deep breath and think carefully if your are really serious about making a permanent design on your body because if once it is done then you cannot repent afterwards. And of course you have to be above eighteen to have a tattoo on your body.
The few questions puzzling your mind are:
- What tattoo design/illustration/text would satisfy me?
- How safe is getting inked?
- How much is this going to cost me?
- How do I pick my artist?
- And last but not least, how bad is it going to HURT?
Every coin has two sides to it, and in this case, you’ll find two kinds of people:
- The ones who regret
- The ones who don’t
The ones who regret are rare to come across but surely do exist. Even in this category, there are sub-divisions.
The guy/girl who out of pressure or being plastered love-drunk, got a silly looking heart with his/her ‘then’ spouse’s name on it. The tough guy across your street who watched ‘American History X’ 28 times!! The person who walked into the tattoo studio because he/she thought it was cool; hastily picking a cliché design and later coming to the conclusion that he let his adolescent mind take over his rationale. I could go on about them but let’s get straight to the point; needless to say, they should’ve read this article.
The method of tattoo creation has been changed with time. Tattoo is nothing but the placement of the pigment in to skin dermis. Today, the tattoo artists generally use tattoo machines which contain sterilized, single used needles. The procedure is somewhat like that-
After washing his/her hand the tattoo artist will clean and disinfect the area of your body where the tattoo will be made. Generally, they rub alcohol to clean the area.
Then the artist will put on his/her gloves and start making the outlines of the tattoo design. In the next step, he/she will clean it with antiseptic and water. Next comes shading and colouring. Generally thicker needles are used for shading and colouring.
If blood comes out then it needs to be wiped out immediately. But if the tattoo artist is an expert then bleeding does not generally occur. After finishing the whole procedure the tattooed part will be cleaned again and bandaged.
How much is this going to cost me?
The cost of tattoos can vary from one studio to another or one artist to another. Also, a lot of it depends on the design and how elaborate it is. In studios, you will usually find a hierarchy of artists starting from the apprentices going up to the head of studio. Choosing whichever artist suits you will define the price. Then comes in your design. If it’s simple text, it’s unlikely that it should take more than an hour. However, if you have an elaborate design/illustration with added colors, it’s going to take longer and the cost is obviously going to increase. You can be expected to pay anywhere from Rs. 4000 to Rs. 5000 ($80 – $100)/hour. Before you plan to cut cost and settle for an apprentice, read the next topic being addressed.
And the biggest question! How much is it going to hurt?
“No pain, No gain”. Yes, it hurts.
How much it hurts differs from person to person. As you already know, everyone has a different threshold of pain. Getting a tattoo on your arm (bicep) isn’t as painful as getting one on your chest. A tattoo down your spine could be quite throbbing. The human body has a very efficient nervous system and the second that needle starts doing its thing, your nerves will graciously inform your brain. Make sure you are stocked up with a good amount of water and other hydrants such as glucose. Try shifting your focus to your respiration. If you feel like you need a break, ask for it. A good artist will make sure it is as easy on your body as possible (which is why, create a good relationship with him/her).
Getting the Right Tattoo Artist-
As the successful implementation of the tattoo largely depends on the artist, you need to be extra cautious about choosing the right person. In some countries there are established permit and safety process. Your first choice should be a licensed tattoo artist and a tattoo shop. But, if licensed artist is not available and tattoo studios are not inspected in your region then do a thorough research before opting for the right person.
Handy Tattoo Tips-
- Be sure that the needle used in tattooing is a new and sterilized one. Otherwise it may cause serious health concerns like AIDs. Always go for a well reputed tattoo studio.
- Educate yourself about the potential complications and how to handle that. If you are pregnant or a nursing mother then it is not the right time to go for a tattoo.
- The tattoo artist should wear gloves before doing the tattoo. Take expert’s advice on skin type and other skin complications before doing tattoo. It is a permanent body art. Think carefully if you really want that permanent design on your body or not.
- Taking Care of Tattoo-
- Remove the bandage only after twenty four hours and apply antibiotic ointments. Try to keep the place dry but do not rub it. You may apply antibacterial soap and pat dry the place using a towel without rubbing it.
- Try to avoid direct sunlight on tattoo for first few weeks. It will take approximately two weeks to heal completely. Try to stay away from hot baths and pools.
- You may apply moisturizer but petroleum jelly is not recommended. It is better to use antibacterial ointments. If the place gets reddish or swelling occurs then applying ice pack may prove to be a good idea.
- Plan it at least a couple of months in advance
- Read more about tattoo safety (precautions)
- Ask your artist what they suggest for after-care
- Be sure to take as many opinions as possible
- Beyonce wouldn’t have been down with ‘I got 99 problems but a b**** ain’t one’ on Jay-z’s arm
The Risk Factor-
Allergic infection from tattoo is very common, especially if the tattoo artist is not using sterilized needles and sharing ink between his customers. Again, red colour often causes allergic infection.
If the tattoo artist is not using disposable needles then you are at a high risk of viral infections such as hepatitis B/C, bacterial skin infections, skin irritations and even AIDS.
If the wound caused by the needle during tattooing does not heal completely, there are chances to suffer from Keloid.
How to Remove Tattoo-
Now comes the most vital part. What if you do not want that design on your skin any more? Tattooed skin can never come back to its original form except plastic surgery.
- According to experts, laser treatment is the only way to remove tattoo. But it also cannot remove the tattoo totally. A dark black spot will always be there and it will look really ugly. Actually laser treatment will break the ink modules in smaller pieces and make them to be absorbed in the blood stream.
- There are some tattoo remover scrubs and packs are available in the market. But according to experts these products are really not so helpful; they can only make the tattoo lighter. You may try another design on the faded old tattoo. But, of course, do it with doctor’s advice.
- Temporary Tattoo-
- If you are not sure about the design and want to avoid the inevitable hazards of permanent tattoo, then temporary tattoo is your best option.
- It not only looks like original tattoo, it can also be removed very easily. Airbrushing is most popular in temporary tattoo art. It can be easily removed by baby oil or sun tan lotion.
- You may also opt for semi-permanent tattoo or temporary body art. Now, the choice and decision is yours. Choose the design and think carefully on which portion of body you want it to be shown off.
Hope you would now have understood or learned more about tattoos. Do tell us what are your views.