Tattoos: FAQ

October 6, 2006

A lot of the questions and answers for tattoos are similar to piercings, so I’ll try to just cover the differences.

What does it feel like?
The feeling of getting a tattoo is completely unlike any other kind of pain, even piercings. Some people describe it similar to getting snapped with a rubber band repeatedly. I think that’s the best way to describe it as it’s very difficult to say the feeling in words.

Will it bleed?
Yes, most tattoos DO bleed while you’re getting them done. However, it’s not like you’re going to see blood running down your skin. It mixes in with the fresh ink and the tattoo artist wipes it off as he/she is working. The tattoo may ooze for a while after it’s done but it should stop shortly.

How do I care for my tattoo after it’s done?
Your tattoo artist will most likely give you a special ointment to coat lightly on your tattoo. If you happen to not receive any, you can go to the baby section at Walmart and get some A&D Ointment. It’s a diaper rash ointment but doubles as a skin protectant, and it’s basically the same thing the artist will give you. You’ll want to put just enough on so that your skin looks shiny. For the first day or two, your tattoo should be covered up because it will still be very sensitive. After that, take the bandage off and let it get some fresh air. You can keep putting the ointment on for up to 2 weeks if necessary.

What are some do’s and don’ts for tattoos?
DO wash your tattoo lightly with anti-bacterial, non-scented soap when you shower.
DO wear light clothing for the first couple of days to cut down on irritation.

DON’T shower or bathe in extremely hot water. It will fade your tattoo.
DON’T expose your tattoo to sunlight while it’s still new. If this is impossible, put high-SPF sunscreen on it.
DON’T pick at the scabs. This is supposed to happen and if you pick them off, you will pick a layer of ink off as well.
DON’T peel off dry skin. This is also supposed to happen. It’s just your skin healing.

Will I need a touch-up?
This depends usually on what color of ink you have. The colors that normally need touch-ups are red, yellow, and black. Fortunately, touch-ups are not needed frequently and they are much cheaper than the actual tattoo.

Can I use my own design?
You sure can. Bring in your drawing and your tattoo artist will transfer it to your skin. They may even pay you for the rights to your design.

What if I change my mind?
Unfortunately for some, tattooing is not as changeable as piercings. You can cover up old tattoos, but it’s extremely painful, difficult, costly, and time-consuming to get your tattoo lasered off. This is why I suggest you think carefully before you get something done, and consider having it done on a place you can cover up.

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4 Responses to “Tattoos: FAQ”

  1. love2fish said

    Thank you for your detailed information. The format is nice, and it takes the scariness out of the process.

  2. It’s really not as bad as some people make it out to be.

  3. Good information as is your information about piercing. I’ve learned a lot and feel more confident with my desire to have a tattoo applied to my “delicate” skin.

  4. Delicate skin isn’t a huge problem, just don’t start with something very close to a bone.

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