Its my first tattoo, what do I have to do to prepare?
Make sure you have eaten well and are generally feeling healthy, not fighting off any colds, flu's or infections. A sugary snack before and during the tattoo sitting also helps some people. Try to relax, remain calm and enjoy the experience. We'll take care of the rest.
Does getting a tattoo hurt?
Getting a tattoo does hurt and everyone has a different threshold of pain. What one person considers not painful at all could be devastating to another. Some have compared the feeling to a "hot scratching feeling". Some have said it was "annoying". Most say it was not nearly as bad as they feared. 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 the pain of getting it.
Can I use some kind of numbing cream?
No, these kinds of products are not recommended.
What should I get? And where?
This is all a matter of personal taste. You can get whatever you want, and whatever your tattooist is willing to do. You can choose a picture at the studio, bring a picture of your own or we can create a custom piece just for you. As far as where you should get it goes, keep in mind what you do for work and the type of social circles you are in. Your tattooer will give you advice on sizing and placement for your particular choice of tattoo.
If you need a little extra inspiration picking a tattoo design check out Tattoo Powers tattooists work, or Google (search engine) is an awesome starting point. There is also plenty of Tattoo Design websites to refer to; Free Tattoo Designs | Tattoo Johnny | Tattoo.com | Mens Tattoo Ideas | Tattoo Finder | Check Out My Ink | DAFONT
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 tattooist. If you have an appointment, call and reschedule for when you're feeling well again.
Is it OK to get a tattoo if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
It's hard enough dealing with all of the changes that your body is going through as it "grows" another human being, not to mention that your immune system is lowered during these months, so fighting off anything out of the ordinary is going to be even more difficult. For this reason alone, we will not tattoo you if you are expecting or are breastfeeding.
Remove the bandage after 4-6 hours.
With clean hands, wash your new tattoo with soap and warm water using a gentle massaging motion; this will remove the excess ink and dried fluid. Massage but do not scrub. Always use your clean hand and never an abrasive cloth.
Gently pat the tattooed area dry with a clean towel. DO NOT re-bandage your tattoo.
DO NOT apply any creams for 48 hours. After 48 hours gently massage a small amount of Tattoo Aftercare or antibacterial ointment, such as Dr Pickles, Protat or Bepanthen into your tattoo. It is sufficient to lightly apply aftercare ointment to the skin when it feels dry, no more than 2 or 3 times and only use a small amount to take the dryness away. Never apply ointments to wet skin, let the area air dry for 1 hour after showering before applying any ointment.
For the first 2-3 days wear loose-fitting clothing that will not stick to or rub against your tattoo.
Typical healing time for a new tattoo
A tattoo can take anywhere between 7 days to 3 weeks to fully heal. During the first few days you may experience some minor swelling and discomfort. Towards the end of the first week usually your new tattoo will start to peel and flake. The area of your new tattoo may also feel dry and itchy. Do NOT scratch or pick at your new tattoo. Usually by week 3 most of the peeling on your new tattoo will be gone. The area may still be dry, shiny and sensitive as your skin continues to heal completely.
Typical tattoo healing process
Getting a tattoo breaks the skin barrier, therefor you need to treat your tattoo like a wound. Correct aftercare is the key to healing a tattoo properly and it will also prolong the visual appearance of your tattoo. Be sure to keep the area hygienic, clean, and germ-free. While the newly tattooed area will get itchy, scratching and picking will only prolong the healing process of your tattoo.
Do's and Don'ts
DO NOT PICK OR SCRATCH AT YOUR NEW TATTOO. Do NOT apply vaseline, alcohol or any other random cream to your new tattoo. Do NOT submerge (swim, or soak) your tattoo in water for at least 3 weeks. Showering is fine, bathing is not. Do NOT get your new tattoo sun burnt. DO keep the area hygienic, clean, and germ-free.
Is it OK to lay out in the sun or go to the tanning bed when you have 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. 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. Don't put sunblock on a fresh tattoo - follow your tattooists aftercare instructions.
How long do I have to wait before I can go swimming?
You can submerge your new tattoo in water once your tattoo has finished peeling and has grown its first protective layer of skin. Everybody is different and healing processes will vary from person to person. Generally the healing period is around 3 weeks.
How long do I have to wait before I can exercise?
This really does depend on the location of the new tattoo and the exercise you intend to do. As long as your fresh / healing tattoo is not going to be bumped or rubbed or aggravated in anyway then you should be ok to exercise .. be smart and use your better judgement.