So you want a Tattoo?

     While the notion of getting a tattoo is appealing to many in today’s modern culture it wasn’t always that way.  In years gone by tattoos were marks generally reserved for sailors, soldiers, and folk of ill repute.  Tattoos were generally regarded as socially unacceptable, although today they are a visual expression of the individual worn by anyone game to get one. 

     The reasons behind getting a tattoo can include, but are not limited to, the person’s family history, general themes of interest in that person’s life, affiliation to certain clubs or beliefs even a mark of love to another person.  Sometimes it can be as simple as a poor choice made after consuming too much alcohol!  With that said let us go through a few things to consider before getting a tattoo.

     Diamonds are forever some say.   Well, let me assure you, so are tattoos. You will find it a whole lot easier to discard any unwanted diamonds than you will an unwanted tattoo.  A tattoo is about the most permanent thing you can do to your body.  Skin art is there for the duration of your life.  There are ways to remove tattoos, although they are costly and often result in exchanging you’re poorly thought out ink work for a permanent scar in its place.

Tattoo underway
Credit: Image courtesy of IveHadit_yaow

Some Points To Consider

     If you are considering getting some artwork applied to your body think hard about what you are getting done and where it will be placed.  You may think the artwork you are about to get is perfect for you.  But look ahead; imagine where you might be in five, ten or fifteen year’s time.  Will your tattoo still be relevant to your life then?  A skull and cross bones or a partners name might seem cool when you are young but you will more than likely regret it by the time you hit twenty five or thirty years of age.  Remember it will be there forever so think it through before the needles come out!

     Who is doing your work?  Are they experienced? Are they Health Authority Approved?  Is the workplace clean and sanitary?  These are a few questions to ask before getting that tattoo.  Tattooing is a minor medical procedure and should be treated as one.  Teeth get pulled by Dentists, wounds get treated by Doctors, and Tattoos should be done by a professional Skin Artist or Tattooist. 

     Check out the standards of your artist before commissioning any work to be done; ask to see some examples of his or her work.  Do they use single use, disposable equipment?  Is the studio neat and tidy?  Is the work area well lit and equipment covered in protective plastic?  Refuse to be tattooed if you did not personally view a fresh needle being taken from its sterile wrapper.  Any artist worth their salt would have set up in front of you anyway.  Hygiene should be at the forefront of your mind and the tattooists.

     It will hurt there is no doubt about it.  So be prepared for some discomfort.  A piercing is short term pain.  Do not think the fact you have a nose piercing or other type of piercing will put you in good stead to take a tattoo.  A tattoo will involve mild, localised pain for up to a few hours depending on the size of the work you are getting done.  Then the area tattooed will be sore to the touch for the next few days as your custom wound begins to heal up.  So be prepared for a little discomfort, after a while you will get used to it.  Anyway, with all the tattooed people out there how bad can it be right?

     Caring for your new tattoo, are you up for the task?  It is not as simple as getting the work done then walking out of the shop and forgetting about it.  There are a few ways to care for your new ink work.  Listen to the advice given to you by your artist.  They will know what works best for their tattoos.  How you care for your work plays a big role in how well the finished product looks.  You pay good money for a tattoo so it seems prudent to look after it yes?  If by some chance you are not given any care information, do ask for it before you leave.  Your tattoo should have been covered with some suitable healing salve and a bandage before you leave.  Basic antiseptic cream and cling wrap are the bare essentials, although specific tattoo salves and care creams are available and used by artists.

Sterile Needles(82003)
Credit: Image courtesy of woodnthingsantiques

Ok Then

     If you have gotten to this point in the article you are now armed with some important information regarding what to consider before getting a tattoo.  Be mindful that tattoos can become addictive, so do your research. Plan out what you want done.  Find the best place you can to get them done and you should be happy with what you get.  If you have decided tattoos are not for you then that’s just as good too, better to find out now than when it’s too late!