Forum: Arts / Body Art

Tattoo FAQ; The Guide To Getting Tattoo'd (karma: 14)
By MuffinHeadmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 13, 2006 10:46 PM
Made sticky by calypso (11968) on 2006-01-17 12:48:58

SECTION ONE; The Most FREQUENTLY Asked Questions

Naturally, everyone is curious about tattoos. Why would you do that? What are you going to do when you get old and saggy? Did it hurt? How safe is that? How is it done? How long have tattoos been around? Do they numb it? Were you DRUNK when you got that?

There's plenty of questions one could ask about tattoos. There's also plenty of places you can find your answers. In this FAQ, I'm going to try and cover as many of the possible questions and answers I can. And don't lie-- whether you're thinking about your first tattoo, or you just got your tenth-- there's always another question that can be asked about tattoos.

Is it safe to get a tattoo?
It depends. If you're getting a tattoo done in your best friend's, cousin's, niece's, plumer's garage by his parakeet's dental hygenist... no, it's probably not safe. But if you're going to a respected tattoo parlor and getting tattoo'd by a respected tattoo artist, generally-- it's safe. But I do have a lovely 'safety checklist' for you to read to see whether the place you have chosen is, in fact, safe.

1. Ask to see the autoclave and sterilization certificate.
An autoclave is essentially a pressure cooker primarily used in the medical field for sterilizing medical instruments. An autoclave must maintain a temperature of at least 246 degrees for 30 minutes in order to fully sterilize the equipment." -- Karen Hudson;

Make sure the autoclave is clean. If not-- high-tail it out of there. Was the staff curteous and ready to show you-- or were they hesitant? Or did they not even know what you were talking about? If you answered yes-- or hesitant... go find another place. A parlor should ALWAYS be prepared and ready to answer any and all questions about your tattoo. Especially concerning your safety.

Also, ask to see the results of their latest spore test-- which tests to make sure that the autoclave is working properly. The results should be no mroe than two months old. If they are-- you should consider finding a new tattoo parlor.

2. Be sure your artist is wearing gloves.
Gloves are necessary, not only for your safety-- but for the safety of the tattoo artist. Also, be sure that the gloves fit properly. If they are too big or too small-- the artist may puncture a hole in them. Cross contamination is NOT fun. Also-- if you're allergic to latex... mention that BEFORE they put their gloves on. ;) Silly goose.

3. Inquire as to your artist's training. Do they have certificates?
Do you want to be tattoo'd by someone who has only done it a few times before? Someone who isn't properly trained? Someone who perhaps didn't go through an apprenticeship of some sort? I doubt it.

You want someone who knows what their doing. Who's been trained in the safety of giving a tattoo. Who is a good artist. You should also ask to see some of their work. You wouldn't want to get a cute little faerie by someone who is known for their bleeding skulls, right? Probably not. Make sure your artist is versatile enough to give you exactly the tattoo you want.

4. Is the artist vaccinated for Hepatitis B? It's advisable that you ask... what happens if you get cross-contamination and you don't know? You run the risk of getting the disease yourself. Always think about your safety first, no matter how outlandish you may think the question is.

5. Ointment, ink, water and other items should not be returned to a universal container after it has been removed for use on a client.
Simply, this means that ANYTHING the tattoo artist uses on you/the person ahead of you/etc. should be THROWN away after it's used. That does NOT however-- mean the entire bottle of ink that they used to pour into the small ink cups. That's stupid. But.. those little ink cups that they use to get ink on the needle-- should be IN the trash and NEVER used ever again. Oh, and those little ink cups? They're called 'ink caps'.

Usually, the artist will use deodorant on your skin before shaving the skin or to make the ink on the design stand out more. Do NOT let them use the deodorant directly on your skin. How many other people have they used it on if they used it on you? Disgusting. Make sure they use a tissue or paper towel of some sort to put the deodorant on you.

6. Sterile needles should ALWAYS be removed from an autoclave bag before being used.
NEVER, I REPEAT, NEVER let an artist tattoo you with a needle that's been used on someone else. That is disgusting and extremely dangerous. EXTREMELY dangerous. Always make sure they open the needles IN front of you with you WATCHING. Pay attention! Don't be stupid and let your mind wander-- be on top of things.

New needles are a BRIGHT silver color. They should not be dulled, brown, or stained with ink. If they are-- get the HECK out of there! In some places, used needles that have been properly autoclaved CAN be used again-- if you find out they are doing this-- I suggest you go elsewhere. You can usually tell because the needles would be duller than a bright silver.

Used needles, if properly sterilized, can very well be perfectly safe. There is also the risk, though, of the needle tips becoming dull after use on a previous client, which can seriously damage your skin when used.

7. Be sure that they dispose of needles in a sharps container.
A sharps container is that white box that's usually attatched to the wall. It has a biohazard symbol on it-- like the kind you see at the doctor's office. Used needles and anything else that is not going to be steralized should be placed in here immediately and disposed of A.S.A.P. But... A.S.A.P. DOES NOT mean that second. Obviously, it won't happen in front of you.

What should I expect when I get my tattoo?
Like many others, I didn't know what to expect when I got my first tattoo. Would I go in and magically be ready to get it? Will I have to wait for the artist to draw out my design? Will the artist be able to create my desgin? Do I have to sign anything? Do I have to show my ID?

I have found the step-by-step process of getting a tattoo.
Step 1: Paperwork and Payment. When you arrive, after explaining what you would like to have done to either a receptionist or a tattoo artist-- you will be given a dollar amount of how much the tattoo will cost. Also, you will be given a form to hand out. That is-- after they ask for your ID. In most, if not ALL states, you MUST be eighteen to be considered for a tattoo. Even with parental consent. So kiddies-- don't expect to be getting a tattoo until you are LEGAL.

Step 2: The Tattoo Chair. After filling out the appropriate paperwork, you'll be seated in the chair. This was probably the most nervewracking part of me getting a tattoo. By the time I was in this chair-- the anticipation was nearly killing me.

Step 3: Preparation. Now, the artist will clean and shave, YES shave, the area. Shaving the area helps keep it completely clean while the area is being tattoo'd. Also, it helps to keep stray objects OUT of the tattooing area. The razor should be disposable-- and thrown away in a sharps container after being used. After the shave-- the area will be cleaned once more for good measure.

Step 4: Making/Applying the Stencil. If the stencil hasen't been made yet-- it will be now. And it will be applied to your skin in the exact area you want it. If the stencil isn't EXACTLY where you want it-- have them remove it and place it again. Once they start... you can't go back. The stencil is like a temporary tattoo-- the skin is wet and they place the stencil on it-- the stencil will then be on the skin where you can examine and make sure it's perfect.

Step 5: Preparing equiptment. This is when the artist will take out NEW ink caps and NEW needles. Clean water will also be poured into a cup for cleaning needles during the tattoo process. Also, some vaseline or A&D ointment will be placed on a CLEAN and STERILE area for use during the tattoo process.

Step 6: Line work. The outline. You know when you draw a picture? You always draw the OUTLINE of the picture first. Same with a tattoo. You can't just jump in and color something when it's not drawn yet. Before starting the tattoo process, some ointment will be applied to the area to help the needle slide along your skin more smoothly.

Now-- calm down and make sure you breathe. Don't panic yourself. Plenty of people have passed out while getting tattoo's-- but not because of the pain... because of them PANICKING! The first minute is the worst-- because you are still adjusting to the feeling. After that-- the pain should subside a bit.

Step 7: Coloring and Shading. Now the hard part is over-- the outline is notorious for being the worst part of getting a tattoo. Whether it's because it's harder for the artist-- or it hurts more-- or whatever... coloring is known for being just easier all around. Shading and coloring usually go pretty quickly-- so before you know it... you'll be done!

Step 8: Bandages. Now, the artist will wash off the excess ink and possibly blood. ;) But your tattoo is an open wound- and needs to be treated as such. A protective layer of ointment will be applied and then a bandage will be placed over it-- and taped down. It's important you keep this bandage ON for as long as your artist says to. That means NO showing it off until the bandage can come off!

Step 9: Aftercare. Now that you're home and newly tattoo'd you still gotta wait until the time your artist told you that the bandage can come off. This is the HARDEST part of getting a tattoo because all you want to do is LOOK at it. But be patient, the bandage WILL come off soon. Once the bandage DOES come off-- wash it with soapy warm water to get all the ointment off and then REAPPLY a layer of A&D ointment. NOT vaseline. But cocoa butter IS acceptable-- that's what I used.

Does it hurt?
This will be the shortest answer. WE. CAN'T. TELL. YOU. Pain is relative. It's different for every person. Depending on the place you get the tattoo-- how high your pain tolerance is-- etc. depends on the pain. A bonier place is obviously going to hurt more than a fatty region. There's more skin in a fatty region, silly! But it all depends on the person. I have a tattoo on my lower back and felt next to nothing while it was being done. My modern teacher on the other hand thought it was one of the most painful things she's ever done in her entire life.

Can I use a numbing cream?
Numbing cream is generally NOT reccomended because they take FAR too long to activate-- and work for far too SHORT. It could turn a two hour tattoo into a four hour project. That would be ick.

How much will I pay for my tattoo?
It depends on a few factors. Is the tattoo colored or black and gray? How big is the tattoo? Obviously a thumbnail sized tattoo will be much cheaper than a back-piece, or a sleeve. It also depends on the artist. Some people charge more than others. Some people charge less than others.

One word of advice-- DON'T haggle a tattoo price. Once the price is set... it's SET. It's disrespecful to haggle the artist. If you can't pay-- don't get it. Too bad. Besides, it's worth it to pay a lot for the tattoo. It's going to be there forever.

Should I tip my artist?
Tipping is nice. But not necessary. There are no solid rules for tipping, But if they did a really good job, wouldn't you want to let them know by tipping them a little? Do not use the 10% rule on a tattoo though... some can run up to a few hundred dollars. Even a $5 tip is worth it for the artist.

What should I get? Where should I get it? Where can I find clipart?
We can't tell you what you should get, or where you should get it. Being a dancer-- I can tell you that they are hard to cover up while performing unless you are skilled at getting them in not-visible places or really good at makeup. Performers generally should NOT get tattoos-- for risk of losing jobs or their career entirely. But other than that-- it's up to you. Do you want something easily hidden? Perhaps on your hip, lower back, back, stomach, or thighs should be considered. Places like arms, wrists, hands, feet, legs, and neck are NOT easily covered up. So I don't personally suggest getting them there-- especially if you are looking to work in an office or something a bit professional.

Clipart. I hate clipart. Those stupid little drawings on the wall of skulls and teddy bears and faeries. Why would you want a tattoo that TONS of other people have? Unless it has some sort of meaning to you that is special-- please... stay away from clipart.

When is the best time to get a tattoo?
You can get a tattoo at any time during the year and during the day. But summer is more rough on tattoos what with swimming, tanning, and being exposed to more elements. It's just more abusive to the tattoo. Winter is actually the "best" time to get a tattoo. Your body isn't really exposed to the elements much, you won't fade it with tanning, and I doubt you'll be going swimming in chlorine anytime soon.

Can I go tanning after getting a tattoo?
Big NO! on the tanning. The more you tan, the more your tattoo fades. Does that mean you can't go tanning ever again? Depends on how much you love your vibrant tattoos. Do you want them do fade? If you just can't STAND being pale-- be sure to protect your tattoos with as much SPF as possible. But you should be wearing that stuff anyway.

And remember, tanning beds are JUST as bad. And DON'T put sunblock on a brand new tattoo. Try and keep it in the shade for the first few weeks. Once the tattoo has finished peeling, you can start using SPF on it. But remember, a tattoo isn't fully healed until about three months.

Sunless tanning lotions? This is as safe as applying any other type of lotion, as long as the tattoo is completely healed. Once the tattoo is healed-- nothing can harm it that doesn't harm the rest of your skin. But-- fair warning-- it may make your tattoo rather odd looking. It would make more sense to just avoid putting the lotion directly on the tattoo.

When is it safe to shave again?
Did you get your tattoo on a place that you would normally shave? If you did-- you're probably wondering when you can shave again. The artist should have shaved the area before giving you your tattoo-- so you ARE starting off with a clean shave. But after a few days that stubble will be hard to resist. But remember, your tattoo is an open wound. Do you shave over open wounds? NO! If you do-- and there is any scabbing or raised areas, you could risk damaging the tattoo-- and you paid too much and put too much effort in it to do that!

You CAN shave around the tattoo area... but not directly over the tattoo until the last stage of healing has finished. The peeling stage. Once your tattoo has completely peeled-- then you can shave. This means that the tattoo has no raised areas or scabbing left. It's HEALED.

And that, my friends, is the first SECTION of the Tattoo FAQ. Expect more to come-- check back in this thread every so often to see if I've added more questions/answers.

16 Replies to Tattoo FAQ; The Guide To Getting Tattoo'd

re: Tattoo FAQ; The Guide To Getting Tattoo'd
By Kirsty_Pmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Jan 14, 2006 03:38 AM
Step 2: The Tattoo Chair. After filling out the appropriate paperwork, you'll be seated in the chair. This was probably the most nervewracking part of me getting a tattoo. By the time I was in this chair-- the anticipation was nearly killing me.

The chair must be all dark and scary it's just known! Like a dentists chair :P Great Guide there. - Kirsty
re: Tattoo FAQ; The Guide To Getting Tattoo'd
By MuffinHeadmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Jan 14, 2006 09:16 AM
It really depends on the parlor what the chair looks like. I've been in three different tattoo parlors and they were all different.

One had a HUGE black chair what was leather and all cushiony. It was MASSIVE.

Another had a brown, leather- very worn out rolling chair. I liked that one the best.

And the third had like--- a chair that could be converted into a bench. It was very uncomfortable.

Some parlors have stools or just benches or regular chairs. It depends on their budget.

Next Section
The next section will be about choosing the right parlor/artist/design. Look for it in the next few days.
re: Tattoo FAQ; The Guide To Getting Tattoo'd
By tartan_toesmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Jan 15, 2006 07:57 AM
how do you ask to make things sticky?

this is a fantastic thread and deserves it

re: Tattoo FAQ; The Guide To Getting Tattoo'd
By rallyhopbackPremium member
On Mon Jan 16, 2006 03:12 PM
Step 9: Aftercare. Now that you're home .... Once the bandage DOES come off-- wash it with soapy warm water to get all the ointment off and then REAPPLY a layer of A&D ointment. NOT vaseline. But cocoa butter IS acceptable-- that's what I used.

There is a lot of differing opinions on what to put on a tattoo to help heal and protect it. Tattoo Goo is a popular ointment sold in most tattoo parlors. Lubriderm is the only lotion recommended by my husband's tattoo artist. All tattoo artists should be able to offer you an aftercare information sheet. Even if it is just a photocopy on a quarter sheet of paper, it should have the basics on it: no swimming, no baths, no picking at scabs, no sun exposure, etc.

Your tattoo will likely be red and the area may swell slightly. If the tattoo is larger than your hand and heavily colored, you should expect redness and swelling. If the redness or swelling increases or does not start to diminish within 48 hours, you should have it checked by a doctor.
re: Tattoo FAQ; The Guide To Getting Tattoo'd (karma: 3)
By MuffinHeadmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jan 16, 2006 04:00 PM
Now, for the next section of the Tattoo FAQ. Choosing the right design and the right artist.

Choosing The Right Artist

Choosing the right tattoo artist can either be a short or a very lengthy process. It depends on how much you care about their previous work. On how much you care about your tattoo coming out. Personally, I didn't look very in depth about my tattoo artists. My dad took me for my first tattoo to a place where he knew most of the artists-- a very respected place to get tattoo'd in my area... and luckily I got a great artist. My second tattoo was also rather spur of the moment, but I used clipart-- so I wasn't too worried about him screwing up the design.

But this is the guide on how to choose your artist CORRECTLY. I do not reccomend just going into any old tattoo parlor and taking the next available artist. If you want your tattoo done properly, and to your standards choosing your artist is crucial. Would you get your hair cut by a three year old? Probably not. So, you should make sure you're getting your tattoo done by someone with experience.

Be patient.
Getting a tattoo is VERY exciting. So-- of course you're going to want to get it done quickly. Everyone wants to just get it done-- but STOP! Be patient. A tattoo will be on your body for the rest of time, so you want it done correctly-- by someone who knows what they're doing. Relax and don't rush yourself. Remember-- you may have to wait a week or two before getting tattoo'd by the perfect artist-- but it's worth it because the tattoo will be there the rest of your life!

Vist Tattoo Parlors.
How are you going to find the best artist without shopping around? You can't just look people up online usually. Wouldn't you rather MEET them first? If you were going to buy a car... you wouldn't buy one from the first dealer you met, would you? Don't you try and shop around? Ask to see an artists portfolio. Check out his works. Take your time and stay for awhile. Ask if you can watch them in action. You want to see how they treat their customers, don't you? You wouldn't want some rude and abrasive tattoo artist. You want someone who's nice and gentle. Preferably someone who will talk to you while tattooing you. Wander around the shop for awhile-- if no one asks you if they can help you... they probably don' t take much pride in their customers. I suggest finding another parlor. Also, if you notice the tattoo artist's portfolio is full of skull and crossbones-- and you want a soft, looking faerie-- you might wanna find a different artist. Look for someone who's versatile. Someone who can tattoo just about everything from words to skulls to faeries to photos of people.

Scrutinize Their Work.
Not out loud of course. That would be rude. But you don't need to be a tattoo artist to tell whether someone is bad or good. It's generally common sense. It's easy to be fooled by pretty pictures. Check out everything. Look closely. Check out those lines-- are they straight lines? Or are they a little jagged? Do their circles look like circles? Or are they a little rushed looking and curvy? The tattoo should be smooth looking-- not bumpy or jagged. All colors should be filled in completely-- no missing spaces or blank areas. Be objective!

Listen To Your Friends.
Obviously you don't want to listen to your friends ALL the time. But-- if they have tattoos... ask them about their artist. If they had a good experience, usually they'll reccomend the same artist to you. Or maybe they had a bad experience-- in which case hopefully they will let you know. Make sure you ask people that you can trust. You don't want someone tricking you into thinking someone is a good artist when they're truly not. Or-- if you're really outgoing and you see someone walking down the street with an amazing tattoo.. don't hesitate to ask them where they got it!

What Makes A Good Artist.
Being a good artist on paper does NOT mean that they will be a good tattoo artist. There is MUCH more to being a tattoo artist than drawing pretty pictures for people. Safety is a number one concern of ALL tattoo artists. They need to learn how to clean properly, prevention of cross-contamination, sterilizing equiptment, what CAN be steralized and what needs to be thrown away, how to protect equiptment, and how to properly dispose of materials. If you don't care about any of these things... you probably shouldn't be getting a tattoo until you do. If your ARTIST doesn't care about these things.... run away. They should not be a tattoo artist.

Choosing The Right Design

Choosing the perfect design is hard for anyone getting a tattoo. You want to make sure it's exactly what you want. That it's perfectly placed. That it's the perfect size. One mistake and you're stuck with it for the rest of your life. You don't want to have to deal with covering up tattoos or even getting them removed. (Getting a tattoo removed costs A LOT more and also HURTS a lot more... by the way. But I'll get into that in a different section of the FAQ.) You want your design perfect. So... what steps do you need to go through before getting tattoo'd?

Placement And Pain.

Of course, where you're putting your tattoo is a main factor in getting one. If you're a lawyer-- you probably don't want a huge dragon shooting flames up the side of your neck. Not very professional. If you're a professional dancer-- you most likely don't want anything that could be visible in a costume. Which leaves you limited for space. But if you're a rock star-- heck, you can get them anywhere. Make sure you REALLY think about where you're putting that tattoo. If you're a girl-- do you really want that faerie sitting on a mushroom on your shoulder blade-- I'm sure everyone at your wedding would really LOVE it. And guys... how many business men have full sleeves? Doesn't seem very professional for the workplace. Before getting a tattoo think of how it will affect those around you-- be it your job or whatever.

Pain is also another factor in where you're putting your tattoos. Fatty areas hurt less than bony ones. And the pain factor is different on men and women. There's no difinitive answer as to where does a tattoo hurt the most. But I can give you some ideas collected from many opinions.

Most painful areas:
On Men: Abdomen, Spine, Chest
On Women: Ankle, Spine, Ribcage

Least painful areas:
On Men: Buttocks, Arm, Back
On Women: Abdomen, Buttocks, Thigh, Shoulder

Your Tattoo Is A Reflection Of You
While many people go into tattoo parlors, pick any old piece of clipart off the wall and get it done-- many people would agree that this is the worst idea. Why do you want a tattoo with no significance to you that hundreds of thousands of people already have? Whatever you have tattoo'd on you is going to be how people percieve you. It's a reflection of yourself. How would your family react if you got a naked woman tattoo'd on your forearm. Probably negatively. And the people around you? What would they think of your little 'sexy nurse'? I'm sure that people would percieve you differently.

If you want to give off a certain image, your tattoo should refect that. Because you are giving people an impression of YOU with your tattoos. Be sure whatever you get is something meaningful to you. Something that will stand the test of time. Keep the image you're thinking about somewhere visible in your home. Make sure you'll have to look at it EVERYDAY. Ever get sick of that image? You probably shouldn't get it tattoo'd on you. If you're sick of it after a few days or a few weeks-- think of how you'll feel in a few YEARS! Probably not happy with yourself.
re: Tattoo FAQ; The Guide To Getting Tattoo'd
By dkbtjbp
On Mon Jan 16, 2006 06:07 PM
Thanks for this post. You have obviously put a lot of work into it. I've been thinking about gettting a tattoo on and off forever and this information is very helpful. But I still haven't made up my mind and won't probably for awhile.
re: Tattoo FAQ; The Guide To Getting Tattoo'd (karma: 2)
By MuffinHeadmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jan 17, 2006 01:05 PM
Now... time for the third part of the guide... AFTERCARE.

Aftercare Of Your New Tattoo

If you have a huge gash on your leg-- you do what? Put a bandage of some sort over it, right? Why? To keep bacteria away from the wound. Well, a tattoo is a wound as well-- why wouldn't you do the same thing? After getting a tattoo, your artist will ALWAYS put a bandage of some sort over it. Whether he put gauze and medical tape or a paper towel and scotch tape. There will always be a bandage covering your new tattoo. Open flesh is a breeding ground for bacteria, and that's why he does that. You need to keep the bandage on the tattoo for a MINIMUM of three hours, no matter how big or small your tattoo may be. Even if you have to leave the bandage on overnight-- it's better than taking it off too soon.

Of course when you get your tattoo, you're going to want to look at it. But be patient. I promise, it will STILL be there in three hours. It's not going to just up and walk away on you. You'll have the rest of your life to look at your new tattoo, three hours won't kill you. I swear.

If you KNOW that you won't be able to handle not looking at or showing off your tattoo for the next three hours, ask if they could cover it with a clear cellophane wrap. That way-- it can still be protected from infection and you can show it off through the clear cellophane. But please-- leave the bandage alone for at least three hours!

After removal of the bandage, you'll need to wash the tattoo. I'm sure there is still some ink on your skin along with maybe some blood and that A&D ointment that they put on three hours ago. You want to get all this off before you put on a fresh layer of ointment. Use lukewarm water and antibacterial soap to wash the area completely clean. DO NOT use a washcloth or anything abrasive. Don't want to grind that tattoo off your flesh already, do you? Once you've washed the tattoo PAT it dry with a paper towel. Follow the washing with a light layer of ointment. Not enough so that the ointment is gunky on your skin. You want a thin layer of film-- just enough for the tattoo to be shiny. The tattoo is still a wound and it needs to breathe to be able to heal properly.

Do NOT use neosporin to cover your tattoo. Bacitracin and A&D ointment are the two most reccomended types of ointments for your new tattoo. Continue using the lukewarm water and antibacterial to wash your tattoo and the bacitracin/A&D ointment for the next three days. After that you can switch to a NON-SCENTED lotion to put over your tattoo. I personally use cocoa butter throughout the entire healing process of my tattoo and it doesn't scab up as much as many other people's have.

Scabbing and Peeling
After a few days, you're going to notice your tattoo peeling, and maybe even scabbing. Although, if you keep using the ointment/ lotion then you should in theory, never scab over. Excessive scabbing CAN indicate a poorly done tattoo-- but some people DO scab more than others. So, don't freak out or anything if your tattoo scabs. Also, your tattoo is going to begin to itch like a sunburn. DO NOT SCRATCH. DO NOT PICK. If your skin is itchy, slap it. If it's peeling, put some lotion on it. If it's scabbing, leave it alone! Your tattoo is almost healed-- picking or itching at it... will prevent the tattoo from coming out looking good.
I scratched at my tattoo on my back... and now I have to go get a section of it re-colored because the color is now blotchy. Don't want to have it redone? Don't scratch or pick. But generally-- with most parlors... if part of your tattoo came out blotchy they will re-do the tattoo for free.

Sun Protection
From now on-- you ALWAYS have to protect your tattoo from the sun. Unless you happen to LIKE the look of old, greenish/blue faded tattoos. Which, I doubt anyone really does. Before spending time in the sun you should always put SPF30 or above on it. UNLESS your tattoo is still healing. Do NOT use sunscreen if your tattoo is still healing! Just put lotion/ointment on it. Or better yet-- stay out of the sun until it is healed.

The next section of this FAQ will be risks of getting a tattoo and tattoo removal.
re: Tattoo FAQ; The Guide To Getting Tattoo'd (karma: 1)
By KMonstermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jan 17, 2006 08:16 PM
Hm... could have sworn I already wrote this in, but maybe it didn't go through... anyways I shall try again

Sorry about not seeing your post, it must have missed my eye as I was in this board. However after reading yours and looking at mine there are quite a few differences and so I think it's good to have such a wide range of information... anyways as I was reading you're I found a little something that isn't true

There is also the risk, though, of the needle tips becoming dull after use on a previous client, which can seriously damage your skin when used.

When I was reading up on the tattoo machine and how they use it they said that the needles grow sharper each time you use them, not dull. This is because of the constant stabbing motion towards you're skin. Also sone needles that I've seen at my shop are a lot more dull then others (shading in contrast to outlining). Therefore I just wanted to make it clear that if you see dull needles it's not because they've been used a lot

re: Tattoo FAQ; The Guide To Getting Tattoo'd
By MuffinHeadmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jan 17, 2006 08:47 PM
I got much of the information from and a few other sites that have a lot of information on tattoos and they all said that needles get duller after they've been used a lot. And yes-- outlining needles are sharper than shading/coloring needles.

Outlining needles also contain less ACTUAL needles as compared to shading/coloring.
re: Tattoo FAQ; The Guide To Getting Tattoo'd
By KMonstermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Mar 06, 2006 02:38 AM
I came across a point of interest to our comments to tattoo needles above.

Tattoo needles do not dull with age, but instead become sharper by the repetitive honing motion they experience in the tattoo machine. This happens because the metal of the sanitary tube rubs against the needles, and the softer metal (the needles) will wear. The problem with these sharpened needles is that they sharpen into flat razor-like edges, and begin cutting the skin instead of piercing small holes.

Since a tattoo is created by the conical shape of the needle transferring pigment into the skin with the aid of a wetting agent, the needle's shape is as important as its sharpness. Pigment does not transfer into the skin as efficiently when the shape is altered, and can also lead to scarring.

Another problem with needles is the occurrence of burs or barbs when the needles hit the side or bottom of the pigment caps.
While it is possible to use the same set of needles for more than eight hours (on the same client, of course), correct needle configuration, setup, and alignment of the needle and machine are very critical.

I was home this past weekend so I stopped by at the shop and a girl getting tattooed argued with the artist about this. He also said they get sharper in time. Info from

re: Tattoo FAQ; The Guide To Getting Tattoo'd
By dancing4pointe
On Thu Apr 23, 2009 08:11 PM
Awesome post! This really helped answer alot of my questions! Like i'm going taning right now. So guess no tat. : (
re: Tattoo FAQ; The Guide To Getting Tattoo'd
By x_kates_x
On Sat May 22, 2010 05:56 AM
wow, great thread. I was thinking about gettinG a tattoo next month as i will be 18 then. This has given me alot of confidence in getting one done and has given me the knowledge of what to look for when I go to a tatoo artist/shop.
thank you for this thread :D
re: Tattoo FAQ; The Guide To Getting Tattoo'd
By kittykat06
On Wed Nov 09, 2011 07:49 AM
they are so addictive great thread have 6 myself and love them
re: Tattoo FAQ; The Guide To Getting Tattoo'd
By hipo1
On Wed Nov 09, 2011 07:58 AM
HI. I'm a new one around and i dont have much information. but I'm getting so professional with friends like U. Tnx for the info ;)
re: Tattoo FAQ; The Guide To Getting Tattoo'd
By ash007
On Mon Aug 20, 2012 03:14 PM
hey there, thanks for posting this,actually found it very useful
re: Tattoo FAQ; The Guide To Getting Tattoo'd
By dancer_aimyXomember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Jun 19, 2013 02:45 PM
Great post I'm thinking of getting my first tattoo pretty soon :)


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