7 Things to Know Before Getting a Tattoo

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7 Things to Know Before Getting a Tattoo


Getting a tattoo can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time. It is often the reason why some people don’t push through in getting one (aside from having their parents nag at them, of course). Worrying about the safety hazards of the process takes the excitement away from it, along with picking out the design you want and where to put it. It’s understandable since a lot of things can go wrong and reversing the damage will literally cost you.

Fortunately, there are ways to ensure to lessen your worry and even encourage you to get more tatts. Here’s a rundown of seven things you need to know before getting inked for the first time.


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It will hurt

Having a needle repeatedly poking your skin hurts—a lot, and there will also be bleeding. Tattoo needles reach the skin layer where most of a person’s pain receptors are. However, the pain you feel depends on the location of where you will put the design (feet, ankle, hand, and wrist tattoos hurt most while fatty areas like the arm and hip will be more comfortable to ink).

Beauty Insider Singapore, an online portal for beauty expert tips, makeup, and hair tutorials, reports people who got tattoos described the pain as a “scratching sensation” that intensifies the longer the tattoo gun stays on an area. This is why outlining is a lot more tolerable compared to shading and detailing.

But this sharp pain eventually fades away as the process goes on and becomes a dull, general pain that, although uncomfortable, is tolerable.


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It’s risky

Allergic reactions, infections, raised scar tissue, and bloodborne diseases are just some of the medical and physical risks that come with getting a tattoo. Beauty Insider suggests doing an allergy test before getting inked. Going to a reputable tattoo salon to ensure that all the artists’ equipment is clean will help avoid possible medical risks.

It also recommends not getting a tattoo when you’re drunk, high, or are emotionally unstable. Doing so may lead to regret—a permanent one unless you’re willing to spend thousands to remove the ink from your skin.


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Make sure to have input in the design

Since not all of us are artistically gifted, we tend to leave designing and artistry to experts. But this shouldn’t be the case for getting a tattoo since, you know, it will stay on your body.

International fashion and entertainment magazine for women Cosmopolitan recommends collaborating with the tattoo artist on the design you want. Tattoo artists often have their own designs ready to be applied, but you can always put your own input to it.

If you have your own idea, reach out to your artist and listen to their input regarding your designs, the size, location, or even ink color.

“Let the artist know what aspects of the tattoo you're not willing to change and where you're flexible,” Cosmopolitan says.


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Aside from the design, knowing where you want to put the tattoo design is also important. As stated, the pain depends on the location of the tattoo and there are areas where it will hurt more than the other.

According to Teen Vogue, a fashion magazine for teenagers, it’s good to test your first tattoo on either the legs or arms where the pain will be less intense. Tattooist Myra Brodsky tells Teen Vogue that the upper arms, forearms, thighs, and calves are all great placements since they are the fleshy part of the body. She added that elbows and knees are “kind of spicy, but it’s still doable.”


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Tattoos are basically open wounds with pretty designs, and thus it should be treated like one. There are many ways to care for your freshly tattooed flesh, but the common advice is to stay clear of baths, pools, lakes, oceans, ponds, or any body of water where you have to submerge your body to avoid infection.

There will likely be bleeding after it’s finished so it’s best to wrap the tattooed part in dry bandages to avoid getting blood all over your clothes or bed sheets. But it’s important to let the air out to heal it once the bleeding stops, Teen Vogue says.

It’s also important to keep your skin moisturized so it doesn’t get too dry as the peeling process begins. Having it itch is normal, but you should avoid scratching a healing tattoo and instead just slap the skin.


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When a portion of the tattoo design didn’t heal properly or it starts to fade, you may want to go back to your artist and have it retouched. It’s crucial to have the same artist who did your design to do the retouching as well since they are already familiar with the design and know exactly what to do.

Cosmopolitan says the artist will probably be more than happy to fix any imperfection, sometimes even for free.


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Cover-ups and removal

If retouching doesn’t work and you grow unhappy with the design, you can opt to cover it up. Covering up is a good way to change a tattoo, but Teen Vogue notes that it isn’t 100 percent effective.

“No matter what we do as a cover-up, you will always see what’s underneath,” Brosky warns.

If you want to permanently get rid of your tattoo, then laser removal is the way to go—a method that typically hurts more than the tattoo. It isn’t cheap either and can cost somewhere between $300 and $800 per session.




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