Skin Rashes and Other Conditions

12 Tips for Getting a Tattoo

Amy Sep 27th, 2012 (updated Nov 11th, 2015)
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If you are planning a trip to your local professional tattoo artist, here are some general suggestions you might make note of when preparing for your new work.

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Observe good hygiene
Observe good hygiene

Shower beforehand. Your tattoo artist will appreciate it.

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Remove hair beforehand
Remove hair beforehand

If you are capable of removing the body hair in an area where you would have your tattoo put, do so in advance. Tattooists are typically prepared to do this if need be, but they will always appreciate a customer who thought ahead and saved them the time.

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Dress appropriately
Dress appropriately

If you wear a dress to the tattoo shop and want tattooed in the small of your back, realize you may end up undressing for your work. If you think ahead, you can wear something which allows for easy access to the area you intend to have tattooed.

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Relax
Relax

Don't fret and worry! Getting a tattoo isn't as hard or painful as most people think it will be when getting their first tattoo.

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Stay sober
Stay sober

DON'T drink liquor or take drugs before going in to be tattooed.

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Avoid taking certain medication beforehand
Avoid taking certain medication beforehand

Avoid using aspirin or blood thinners before going in for a tattoo session.

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Be upfront about what medications you're taking
Be upfront about what medications you're taking

Advise your tattooist of any prescription medications you are taking.

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Share your medical history with your tattoo artist
Share your medical history with your tattoo artist

Be prepared to advise your tattooist of any conditions you may have which you think could in any way influence the tattoo procedure or healing.

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Eat before your appointment
Eat before your appointment

Don't go to your appointment hungry. Get a good meal in you, go feeling energetic and strong.

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Bring your ID
Bring your ID

Take your photo ID along with you. Many states require the practicing professional to ask you to show proof of age.

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Do your research
Do your research

It is certainly worth one's time to research their options in getting a tattoo applied. Good work isn't as common as poor work, and since state regulations vary so widely, it's good to find a tattooist with a professional affiliation that you can trust to be educated and adept at the practice of safe tattooing.

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Bring your own entertainment
Bring your own entertainment

If you are planning on a long session, think about bringing along something that you might use to pass the time, a book to read, an ipod, etc. While most good tattoo artists are capable of entertaining you with their witty banter for the duration of your tattoo, it never hurts to take something along with you in case. Some tattooists are less gregarious than others.