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Tattoos and Piercings This forum is to ask questions and discuss tattoos, piercings and other aesthetic body modifications.

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Considering my first tattoo - April 2nd 2018, 07:03 AM

For awhile I've kind of toyed with the idea of getting a tattoo, but mostly because of the pain and the fact that it's permanent, I never seriously thought about it. But, I'm turning 30 this year and I've made peace with some major things over the last few years and I want something to symbolize that. I do have a clear idea of what, how big, and where I would want it, but there are things I'm worried about.

My pain tolerance is less than zero- This is the main thing holding me back, I know everyone is different, but I'm afraid that I'll regret it as soon as the pain starts and there's no turning back.

Healing/reactions- The necessary care seems pretty extensive, and if I went through with it, the last thing I'd want to do would be to screw it up somehow by doing something wrong. Also, because of where I would put it, it would be covered while it's healing and I've heard that that can cause problems. I also heard it's possible t be allergic to the ink or to have reactions years later and that might be rare, but my luck is basically if it's rare, it's going to happen to me.

Cost- It's a factor, but it's not the deciding factor, I have some income now and can save up if needed, but I don't know what's reasonable expensive vs. too expensive. It's going to be relatively small, so it shouldn't be too bad.


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Re: Considering my first tattoo - April 2nd 2018, 10:40 AM

I don't really have a huge pain tolerance either, but I can say that the pain levels differ depending on the location you want to get it. For example, I've heard people say that the foot is incredibly painful, but I got two of mine on my calves and they tickled more than anything. My first tattoo took three hours, though, and toward the end my body had had enough and that's when it started hurting more. But for that, know that multiple sessions are always an option! You can discuss the pain level at a certain location with the artist, but they can only give you a general idea. But, you can also talk about doing multiple sessions if it eases your mind. You may be able to do the line work in one session and the coloring in another.

It will help a LOT for you to stay hydrated and to eat. Even bring snacks with you. I was a fool with my shoulder blade tattoo and didn't eat... I didn't end up throwing up but I came close. They had to give me candy and a soda. It's even okay to ask for a break. I have three and when I have food in me and am hydrated, it's a lot easier to manage everything.

Healing wise, my artist had me use A&D ointment for a day or two and then switch to an UNSCENTED lotion. When I showered the first few times I also couldn't make it scalding hot, and I couldn't go swimming for a few weeks (I think two, but if you have any sudden swimming plans you'd want to double check). Do not pick at it if it peels! Some peeling is normal and intentionally peeling it can mess it up. If it comes off itself it's not bad. I was working when I got the first one on my calf so I had to wear my pants over it while at work, but I immediately changed after. My biggest complaint with any tattoos and clothing is they stick! The ointment sticks, but the first few days you also "bleed ink" and that sticks too. It also stains so you may want to wear dark clothing. If your tattoo is going to be covered 100% of the time I'd just let the artist know. You can get tattoos virtually anywhere on the body after all, so I'm sure there are ways to keep things healthy. I can't say much on reactions. I have sensitive skin and was fine but obviously everyone is different.

The cost depends on factors like size, detail, and the amount of time it takes. I had one cost me a bit over $300, but it also took three hours to complete and was large and detailed. My two others are about $120 ish? It doesn't hurt to get quotes, though, plus it's okay to look at different tattoo places in general just to see if they're up to par. Look at their work, look at their reviews, and just look at how they treat you. Definitely don't pay an outrageous amount but also remember that what you're paying for is what you'll get, if that makes sense. Also remember to tip your artist!

I'm not sure if this helps any but I hope it does.


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Re: Considering my first tattoo - April 3rd 2018, 05:41 AM

Thanks, this definitely helps. It would be small enough to be done in one sitting, the problem is that it would be on my shoulder (where a short-sleeved shirt would cover it), so there will always be a sleeve over it and at work, my arms are moving the whole time so the sleeve on my work shirt would be rubbing against it. Plus if it stains, the work shirts are company issue and I will eventually have to give them back.


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Re: Considering my first tattoo - April 4th 2018, 02:14 AM

I can't guarantee that it won't stain or that it will come out in the wash. It definitely might, or you may still have some spots at the end to be honest!


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Re: Considering my first tattoo - April 4th 2018, 06:35 AM

You can talk to the artist about this and they might be able to provide you with insight pertaining to it staining and being covered. I don't think that it being covered by a shirt is a huge deal as I have a family member who got a tattoo on their chest and it was covered by shirts while healing.

A good artist will talk you through your concerns and explain the best way to handle it. If you are worried about the allergy you can ask them because they can give you more insight and all that.

Talking to the artist also helps you get a bit more comfortable with the person doing the tattoo or that's what I have heard from the family members I have who have gotten tattoos.
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Re: Considering my first tattoo - April 6th 2018, 11:04 AM

Kate, thank you for this topic!
I also think about first tattoo and hesitate, because of pain. Your example encourage!
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Re: Considering my first tattoo - April 8th 2018, 04:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kate* View Post
For awhile I've kind of toyed with the idea of getting a tattoo, but mostly because of the pain and the fact that it's permanent, I never seriously thought about it. But, I'm turning 30 this year and I've made peace with some major things over the last few years and I want something to symbolize that. I do have a clear idea of what, how big, and where I would want it, but there are things I'm worried about.

My pain tolerance is less than zero- This is the main thing holding me back, I know everyone is different, but I'm afraid that I'll regret it as soon as the pain starts and there's no turning back.

Healing/reactions- The necessary care seems pretty extensive, and if I went through with it, the last thing I'd want to do would be to screw it up somehow by doing something wrong. Also, because of where I would put it, it would be covered while it's healing and I've heard that that can cause problems. I also heard it's possible t be allergic to the ink or to have reactions years later and that might be rare, but my luck is basically if it's rare, it's going to happen to me.

Cost- It's a factor, but it's not the deciding factor, I have some income now and can save up if needed, but I don't know what's reasonable expensive vs. too expensive. It's going to be relatively small, so it shouldn't be too bad.
I have a couple of tattoos, and the pain varies where you're getting it. Since you have so many concerns, why don't you go talk to or email a couple of tattoo artists about your concerns. I'm sure they'd be able to answer your questions more appropriately. Particularly in the case of healing. My wife has a tattoo on her bra line, so I can ask her how it healed for her. However, I'm fairly certain they'll have you keep it covered and expose it when possible. Typically if its a covered area, it should likely remained wrapped for about a week because it can cause staph infections since it is an open wound. Overall, I wouldn't be worried about it. So long as you care for it properly, you should be fine.

More importantly, I'd say that make sure you understand that it is permanent. Even if you regret it later, you should recognize it was important to you when you got it. I'm also 30 years old. I got one of my tattoos when I was 18. It's a dinosaur that looks like Charmander (but it isn't). For various reasons I got it, but I am embarrassed of it now. However, I don't want to cover it because it was part of who I was. I think if you recognize that, any concerns of permanence should be put to rest.


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Re: Considering my first tattoo - April 8th 2018, 07:10 PM

Thank you. The thing I want hasn't changed in years, but the design of it has, and there's plenty of meaning in it. And I have anxiety about anything I've never done.


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Re: Considering my first tattoo - April 9th 2018, 01:21 PM

It sucks that you have anxiety. I can relate to that. I hope that you will be able to get a tattoo and love it. I know I tend to get anxiety about big changes such as this. I have wanted a tattoo for a long time but I always had a reason not to. For the first time, I have an actual design that I like and a few things I'd like to add.

I think that my first step will be finding an artist that I am comfortable working with. I know a lot of people shop around and talk to a few people. Doing something like that might help? It might make it a bit more real but if you talk to a few people who can give you more of an idea about the process it might calm the anxiety a bit.

You know yourself the best so do what you think is best. If you end up getting the tattoo please feel to share with us. I like looking at the different tattoos that people get.
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