Preparing for my first tattoo, advice/experience needed! - Page 2
 
 

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Preparing for my first tattoo, advice/experience needed!

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  • Experience needed for tattooing

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    03-20-2013, 01:43 PM
  #11
Yearling
I've got three medium sized tattoos. Firstly: DO NOT take Advil. Or ANYTHING, for that matter - Advil thins your blood, and in addition to that making it TONS more work for the artist it'll take longer (and, by the way, most artists charge on how long it takes...)

And yes, it will hurt. Bring a friend to talk to, or talk to your artist about whatever. Music can help. I'm not going to sugarcoat it, it's not pleasant - though it DOES get a bit better once your adrenaline kicks in. I asked both of my artists if they'd ever had anybody stop in the middle because it hurt too bad and they both said no... So I think you can do it ;) While most people say it hurts more over bone (like ribs) and less over the more squishy parts, I find the opposite is true. The tattoos on my hips weren't NEARLY as bad over the hip bone as over the more squishy part of my side. It was a much sharper pain. (I suppose over, like, an ankle bone would suck pretty bad, but). Also, the outline is the worst - if you're getting shading, especially coloring, it doesn't hurt as bad due to the different needles. (Really, the WORST part is near the end, when they have to wipe the blood/ink off your skin with a paper towel. After a few hours of the gun, your skin is just raw and THAT hurts. But then when you're done, and they spray it down with cool water... Oh boy does that part feel nice on it).

As for safety, you should be fine. Most reputable shops use either 1 time needles or they clean, sterilize, and autoclave their needles (cook it so dang hot that it kills anything on it). Feel free to ask, if it's a good shop they will be happy to explain it to you.

Second, it'll be a few weeks before you can ride. I mean, you COULD ride - but you do NOT want to risk cracking open your scabs. If the scabs come off, it pulls out the ink. And for the first week and a half or two, it'll hurt. Bad. I've got one on either hip/side and I had to invent come pretty creative ways to get into my car, as I had to bend sideways to do so! So, please, take time off of riding. You're paying a lot of money for this, the LAST thing you want is spotty color because you rode too soon. And being on your ribs, that's a pretty bendy part of the body, so it's better to be safe than sorry :)

On that note, wear loose clothes. Nothing that will rub on it. You don't want to keep it covered by a bandage or anything, so don't wear tight shirts that will cause too much friction. You can put a cool icepack on it (it will feel burning hot... After all, you DID just get pricked with a bunch of needles several thousand times. Your skin doesn't like that too much.) but do it through your clothing.

I'm sure the aftercare will tell you this, but I'll throw it out there. You'll want to keep a thin layer of ointment on it - A&D works well, it's what I've always used. You can get a big tube for cheap. Otherwise WalMart sells Tattoo Balm (though it's very overpriced). Any UNSCENTED lotion can work, but it doesn't stay on as long. You want a good thin layer, but you don't want your scabs to be damp with it or they slough off.

Try to avoid getting it too wet in the shower, and DO NOT scrub it. With your HAND, very VERY gently clean it with antibacterial handsoap, then rinse it off. Pat it gently dry so it doesn't bog down with water. Reapply a thin ointment layer when it's dry. Don't go swimming with it, either.

After a week or two, it will start peeling BAD. Like a REALLY bad sunburn or something. To the point that when you apply your ointment/lotion, you'll come off with flakes of scab/skin on your hands. As tempting as it is DO NOT pull off the peeling flakes! It will pull ink out if it's not ready to come off on its own. This is when it will start to itch. Bad. Again, DO NOT scratch it. Smack it through your clothes a few times - the pain will make the itch go away. Once it gets to this point you can switch from your ointment to an unscented lotion - I always used Aveeno or Lubriderm to keep it healthy, as it does start to get dry as the scabs heal.

Keep it out of the sun while it's healing, and after, be sure to slather it with sunscreen if it'll be exposed - sun makes it fade faster.

When it's healing, it will not look pretty. A tattoo never looks as good as it does the day you get it done. What it looks like during healing will vary, but mine looked pale, milky, spotty. Don't panic. This is normal. When it'd fully healed it will look fantastic. I'm glad you've thought long and hard about this... If I may ask, what is it you're planning on getting?

And feel free to ask if you've got other questions!

ETA: A lot of people will tell you you can skip some of these steps, or you can ride right away, or whatever. For sure, you can!. But in my opinion, you're paying a lot of money for art that's on your skin forever. You want to make absolutely sure it's going to heal to look the best that it can, so you can enjoy it for the rest of your life.
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    03-20-2013, 01:43 PM
  #12
Green Broke
Kayella- super thank you! I live in WA and am hoping to get it done before summer so it will be easy to keep out of the sun since it will be under a shirt!

Thank you guys again so much!!!!
     
    03-20-2013, 01:51 PM
  #13
Green Broke
THANK YOU SO FREAKING MUCH Shoebox!
Wow that helps so much!!

It's super hard to explain via typing and want to keep it a surprise kids but I don't mis privately sharing with you! Feel free to contact me via email or I don't min texting if you can receive photos, just PM me for my number!
     
    03-20-2013, 01:52 PM
  #14
Green Broke
I was going to say ... start small ... but, oh well........

Have fun!
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    03-20-2013, 02:04 PM
  #15
Green Broke
That's where I got my first too ;P definitely wear a loose shirt. And I would go with swears or something loose on your waist...speaking from experience being stuck on your hip for hours at a time is UNCOMFORTABLE if you have jeans on

I would also make sure your shirt is one you don't mind getting ink on. Mine leaked through the gauze they had on and stained my shirt.

Hey should have a paper with instructions on how to take care of it...FOLLOW IT.

It really depends on your pain tolerance and body type for how long it will take to ride comfortably again.

I was riding the next day and doing PT etc. But my ribs were pretty stiff for like a week.

I'm probably forgetting stuff but I'm sure its all been pretty well covered.

Have fun with it!!!!
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    03-20-2013, 02:10 PM
  #16
Green Broke
Thank you :)
I had not thought about it getting on my shirt lol
Ill let you know how it goes once it starts lol
     
    03-20-2013, 02:13 PM
  #17
Yearling
No problem, glad I could be of help! One thing I forgot to add... don't sleep on it. If the tattoo sticks to your sheets, or your shirt, when you pull it away it will rip out any scabbing (and thus, ink) that's started. If it does stick, get the shirt wet over the area and slowly work it free. I'm not sure if you normally sleep face down or on that side of you, but if so, switch it up now so it won't be so hard later. :)
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    03-20-2013, 02:14 PM
  #18
Green Broke
Oh yeah I wondered about that!
It's going on my left side of my rib cage so I will be to switch it up lol
     
    03-20-2013, 03:40 PM
  #19
Green Broke
Make sure you watch them open the new needles and stuff and don't tense up. Eat before you go and bring a soda/water with just in case. I hadn't eaten before mine and within the first 10 mins I got a heat flash and stomach ache, boyfriend got me a tea and water and I was good for the next 4 hours. Make sure you breathe and talk to your artist if you aren't feeling well. Don't be afraid to ask for a break if you need one. The worst part for mine was after the 4 hours or so of shading and then having to go back and add in the white that had me cringing a bit. Good luck :] Oh! And my girl went through tons of gloves, don't let them touch things that haven't been sanitized and then go back to tattooing ask them to change gloves. I'm using auquaphor and you won't want to sleep on it even if you could lol especially your ribs it'll be sensitive and uncomfortable to sleep on. Also when you clean it wash with warm and then shock it with cold. I got mine last friday and I completely agree wear clothes you wont mind getting stained, mine has also already started to flake off the dead skin keep it moist and yes do not scratch, pick, scrub or rub it.
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    03-20-2013, 03:48 PM
  #20
Green Broke
Thank you! I was wondering about feeling sick! Yikes! Good to know about the gloves :)
     

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