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Tattoo Basics: What You Should Know Before and Do After

by Lou-Ann Jordan Aug 12, 2019

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Tattoos are all the rage. 

While there are opposing views on this form of artistic expression, it continues to grow in popularity.  Gender plays no significant role in determining who gets a tattoo.  Both men and women line up to have their bodies bear illustrations of images or symbols that hold personal meaning.

Similarly, there is much fluidity in terms of the age of those who have tattoos.  It’s not unlikely to see someone in their 50s visit a tattoo artist for their first ‘ink.’

Also, many people with tattoos say that there is no such thing as having only one.  After the pain dissipates and the ink dries, the urge to have another soon follows.

If getting a tattoo is something you’re contemplating we want to equip you.  We are sure you’ve given it much thought, as it’s not something you should do rashly. 

Whether it’s before you get your tattoo, or the dos and don’ts for aftercare, this article is for you. 

With the help of tattoo artist Nayasana George of Central Ink Tattoos, we’ve compiled a list that we hope will be a useful guide. 

Things to know before getting a tattoo

Expect pain.  Getting a tattoo hurts.  However, the tattoo’s placement determines the intensity of the pain.

Take your time in choosing a design.  If not a lifetime investment, chances are you’re going to have it for a long time.  Be sure to choose something that can stand the test of time and your emotions.

Drink plenty of water.  You may not be aware, but being hydrated is said to aid in your body, absorbing the ink easier.

Don’t consume alcohol.  Yes, getting a tattoo can be painful, but using alcohol to dull the pain is a bad idea.  Alcohol is known to thin your blood.  It’s also a good idea to avoid energy and other caffeinated drinks.

Small tattoos aren’t necessarily cheaper.  Its size does not determine the cost of your tattoo.  Your price is dependent on the intricacy of your design, as well as set-up, prep, sterilisation and supplies.  So, don’t haggle.

Fees can vary by artist.  You will find prices may change if you visit different tattoo artists.  Fee structures tend to differ.  Some artists may charge by the hour, while others by design.  Ultimately, the artists’ expertise, training and location influence the cost.

Trust your artist.  We know it’s your body, but they are the experts.  They have a reasonably good idea of how your body will change over time; which areas tend to take longer to heal and why a popular trend may not have longevity. 

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Things to do after having had a tattoo:

  • Remove the dressing after two hours.
  • Wash your hands before cleaning your tattoo.
  • Use warm water and soap to clean your tattoo.
  • Maintain aftercare cleaning routine for the full healing period (three weeks).
  • Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Take regular showers.
  • Be sure your clothing and bedding are clean.
  • Allow your body the time it needs to heal.
  • Speed up your healing process with a dietary supplement containing vitamin C and zinc.

Things you should not do after getting a tattoo:

Don’t pick at or scratch your tattoo.

Don’t allow dirt, mud or grime to come into contact with your tattoo. 

Don’t use a sauna, swim in the sea or chlorinated swimming pools until your tattoo has healed.

Don’t wear tight clothes or footwear which may restrict or rub against your healing tattoo.

Don’t direct the shower spray on your tattoo.

Don’t rub your tattoo dry; let it air dry if possible.

Don’t share your tattoo aftercare products because it may cause cross-infection.

Both you and your tattoo artist want your tattoo to remain a beautiful work of art for many years to come.  Your aftercare regime plays an essential role in ensuring that it does. 

And, tattoo artist Nayasana George advises:  “Remember, each body is unique.  Healing times and the way each body reacts can vary considerably.”

Yello thanks Central Ink Tattoos for their participation. 

Visit Central Ink Tattoos on Facebook and Instagram.

Sources: BookedIN and Spoon University