Whether you’re a total tattoo greenhorn or an inveterate tat veteran with several inks, this checklist is worth reading, so you won’t forget anything when you visit your tattoo artist. Firstly, as there are many professional tattoo artists in your city, you must do your due diligence and pick a reputable one for your skin inking project. It would be a nightmare to end up in a fly-by-the-night tattoo shop that recycles needles and uses cheap ink that becomes splotchy. This could be detrimental to your health, so be selective about your tattoo artist.
Do an initial consultation and discuss your favorite design, one that you don’t mind wearing on forever. A tattoo is a permanent mark on your skin, so you can’t be flippant about your choice. Some say that you can get it erased with technology, but this will cost you thousands of dollars and be excruciatingly painful. If you are feeling ambivalent, think things through. You must be sure, without any trace of doubt, when you visit your tattoo artist. Once you are sure about your decision, schedule your appointment, and run down this checklist so you can make the best out of your experience:
Lay Off the Alcohol
Be sure to lay off the liquor the night before your tattoo appointment. In most states, it is against the law to put a tattoo on someone inebriated. Most artists will refuse to work with you if they see you are under the influence. No one wants to break the law. You can certainly afford to skip your glass of wine or can of beer to make sure your schedule pushes through.
Get a Doctor’s Note
If you have any health condition, you may be required to bring a note from the doctor clearing you for this procedure. Should you have a blood disorder or a heart problem, it is your responsibility to get clearance for your medical professional. Your tattoo artist cannot be held liable if you do not disclose any of your underlying medical issues.
Skip the Caffeine
On the day of your tattoo appointment, be sure to skip all sorts of caffeine. This includes coffee, tea, and cola beverages. Caffeine has the power to thin your blood, so it would be harder to get your tattoo as it will cause profuse bleeding. On top of that, caffeine is a stimulant so it can amp up your nerves, making you feel even more antsy and jittery. This is the last thing you need when you have to sit still being poked by a needle for several hours.
Personal hygiene is vital. You and your chosen artist are going to be extremely close to each other. It would be embarrassing to reek of body odor. Apart from that, when you get a tattoo, you are essentially getting a skin abrasion. This is an open wound that would be very painful to get wet. After your session, it would be advisable to do only a sponge bath to help your wound dry quickly. For these reasons, you have to take a full bath before your skin inking schedule.
Exfoliate and Shave
Additionally, you may need to exfoliate and shave the area getting inked. For instance, you are getting a tattoo on your leg; it would be easier to copy a design without those distracting hair strands. Sloughing off dead skin cells is also a good idea. Always keep in mind that smooth skin is the best canvass.
Eat and Hydrate
Eat something light before you get your tattoo. When you are feeling nervous because of the tattoo needle, your stomach acid will react with a vengeance. With the influx of gastric juices, you may end up with a tummy ache if you don’t eat. On top of that, while tattooing, your blood sugar levels will go up and down. Eating a meal before your session ascertains you don’t faint or get sick. Most of all, don’t forget to drink lots of water. Your body is seventy-five percent water, so to keep your skin supple and moisturized, you need to hydrate. It is so much easier to work on skin that’s not dehydrated.
Bring an ID
Do not forget to bring an ID that shows your age. Most professional tattoo artists in your city are very strict about enforcing this policy. You have to be of legal age to get inked. Remember, this is a permanent procedure, so they do not serve minors.
Take mild painkillers and anti-inflammatories like Tylenol after your session. This will help you deal with the dull pain. It will also deter massive inflammation. After your session, you may need to clean the area with antiseptic and apply topical antibiotics like Neosporin. Ask your artist to be sure. After–care to keep your new tattoo clean is paramount because you want to avoid infection. Avoid sweating days after the procedure as your wet bodily secretions can impede your recovery. On top of that, steer clear of the sun for several days because the UV rays can cause the tattoo ink to fade.
Tip the Artist
Finally, don’t forget to tip your tattoo artist. This person deserves something extra for the time he or she spent working to bring your tattoo dreams to life. You are also paying for the talent and skills of this person. Tipping will show your appreciation, and it will help build a good relationship with your artist. Tattooing can be quite addicting, so establishing a great bond with your artist is an excellent idea. This way, your tattoo artist will readily accommodate you in the schedule book and gladly welcome you back with open arms.