Getting a tattoo is a big decision. The tattoo will remain on your body for the rest of your life. If you are thinking about getting your first tattoo, you might have a lot of questions. Here are some tattoo frequently asked questions, or tattoo FAQ, that we have compiled that hopefully will answer all your tattoo questions.
How much does it hurt to get a tattoo?
This is the most frequently asked question about tattoos. And actually getting tattooed is not really too painful because modern tattoo machines move the needles through your skin pretty fast. Depending on the tattoo design, location and size, the amount of pain may vary to some extent. Usually tattooing over a bone where there is less flesh or meat hurts a little more than fleshy areas. Tattooing the outlines makes a different feeling from shading or tattooing areas of color. Most people say the outlining hurts more than the shading. Most people describe the pain of a tattoo to that of a bee sting or a bad sunburn.
Are tattoos safe to get?
If you go to a tattoo studio where they use the correct tattooing machine is, getting a tattoo is very safe. Years ago there was much concern about spreading hepatitis from tattoos, this is something that all tattoo artists are very aware of these days. As long as new needles are used for each customer, there is no way of getting this disease. Many artists will be happy to set your mind at ease by opening the sterile package of needles they will be using in front of you before they start tattooing. When your tattoo is done, the artist will throw away these needles.
How much does a tattoo cost?
All tattoo prices will vary based on the size and work needed. A large and more intricate tattoo will cost more than a smaller one or simpler one. To give you a good idea small or simple tattoos that are quite easy like a small ankle tattoo will usually cost about $80 when it is all finished. Prices can vary however, so the best bet is to ask first. Bring a design or describe one and most tattoo artists will be able to quote you a price right away.
Do some tattoos look bad with age? Are there any places where I should avoid getting tattooed?
It is true that some areas of skin may sag in some places as you get older but this does not automatically mean that your tattoo will look bad with age. Use your common sense when choosing the area that you get the tattoo. We know basically where our skin sags as we get older so do not get a huge tattoo in these areas. Smaller tattoos are usually alright. There are several places on your body where you can get tattooed that won’t really change much over several years, like your ankle, shoulder or arms. Keep in mind that all tattoos will fade over time however, and you may want to get it re-done. Colors do tend to fade much faster than black work. UV rays from the sun or tanning bad are a tattoo’s worst enemy.
What do I do if I’m unhappy with a tattoo?
Regrettably, the tattoo removal options are very limited. Depending on the tattoo, it is possible that the tattoo can be covered up and this may make the look of your tattoo better. You can look at all of the tattoo removal methods but they are very costly and painful, but the outcomes tend to be much nicer than they used to just a few years ago. The object is to make certain that you are getting the tattoo that you really want before the tattooing process starts. This is why the artist applies a stencil before they start tattooing. You will get to see what the tattoo will look like, and to fine-tune the positioning.
How can I become a tattoo artist?
Tattoo artists work in a very highly competitive field. We recommend starting out by reading the Aspiring Tattoo Artist’s Guide.
How old do you have to be to get tattooed?
Eighteen, though this may vary depending on what area you live in. Many tattoo studios are more conscientious than others about asking for identification than others so many people are successful in getting a tattoo before they are actually eighteen. It is not usually a good idea because, the older you are when you get the tattoo, the less likely you’ll be to regret it.
Is there a time that I should not get a tattoo?
You should not get a tattoo if you are drunk or stoned and many tattoo studios have strict policies about this, usually they refuse to tattoo anybody whom appears drunk or high. The main reason for not getting tattooed is if you are unsure about the whole thing. Wait until you are sure or don’t get one at all. There are no medical reasons, but use common sense.
Am I able to give or get a tattoo from a friend at home?
In theory it is possible to give yourself a tattoo or get one from a friend, but is not advised. You should always have your tattoos done by a licensed tattoo artist, or else you are asking for trouble with an infection or slower healing. Homemade tattoos hurt much more and they rarely turn out as nice as professional tattoos do.
Can tattoos become addictive?
This is false, but it is fact that most people who have one tattoo are much more likely to get more. It is however possible to get hooked on the thrill of getting a new tattoo. Most people who have multiple tattoos do it because they like tattoos. Here is more information on the subject of tattoo addiction.
Is it true you can’t have an epidural once you get a tattoo on your lower back?
A recent study concluded that there is no evidence to support this theory. Even though there is no scientific proof that you cannot have an epidural with a lower back tattoo, some anesthesiologist have been known to refuse attempting the procedure just because of the belief.
Can I donate blood after getting a tattoo?
If you live in a state that regulates tattoo studios, you can donate blood right away after getting a tattoo. However, most states do not regulate tattoo facilities. In this case, you must wait 1 year after getting the tattoo in order to donate blood. This requirement is due to concerns about hepatitis.
What is the best place to find tattoo artwork?
We recommend Chopper Tattoo. They have the largest selection of tattoo artwork available on the Internet from award winning tattoo artists from all over the world. That is what we use for all our tattoo art.
Can I shave over my new tattoo?
Once the tattoo is healed, you can shave as you normally would over your tattoo. Just make completely sure it is healed.
Is it OK to go tanning or use tanning beds with a tattoo?
You will do no more harm to your body than without the tattoo, but UV rays are really bad for the tattoo itself. UV rays cause the colors of a tattoo to quickly fade. If you are going to be in the sun or a tanning bed, cover the tattoo or use a very strong SPF lotion over the tattooed area.
Can I tattoo over a mole?
This is not recommended. You can tattoo around the mole, or incorporate the mole into your tattoo. Or talk to your doctor about having the mole removed. You will then have to wait for the area to heal before getting it inked.
Can I use numbing cream before getting a tattoo to reduce the pain?
This is not recommended. Most these creams last for less than an hour, and tattoos typically take more than an hour to do. Most people that have tried them say they are more trouble than they are worth. Pain is just part of the process of getting a tattoo.
Should I tip my tattoo artist?
Just like at a restaurant, if you are happy with the tattoo service you received, you should tip your tattoo artist.
Is it OK to get tattooed when sick?
You need to have your body’s immune system at full strength to fight off any infections and heal the tattoo. That is why it is not advisable to get inked while you are sick.
When is the best time to get a tattoo?
It’s OK to get a tattoo anytime, but fall and winter are probably the best. This is because you are doing less physical activities and staying out of the sun during this time of year.
How can I tell if I have an infected tattoo?
A tattoo infection is a serious matter. Check out this page to learn about tattoo infections.
Will getting a tattoo prevent me from getting a job?
This is a real possibility. Although a lot of employers are a lot more lenient with tattoos than they were even just 10 years ago, some employers still are strict. If you think this is going to be a problem, choose a location that can be covered up easily with clothing. And if any of the tattoo might be exposed, make sure you are not choosing a design that would be inappropriate in the workplace.
How do I choose the right tattoo artist and studio?
Getting a good tattoo depends on how good your tattoo artist is. Look at other examples a tattoo artist have done before choosing them. Spend time in their shop and talk to repeat customers and look at the work being done. Make sure the studio is clean and well lit. Here is more information on choosing a good tattoo artist.
How is a tattoo done?
Tattoos are applied to the skin using a tattoo machine that remains relatively unchanged since Samuel O’Reilly invented it in the late 1800’s. Ink is inserted into the skin cells of the epidermis. Here is more detail about how a tattoo is done.
Can I get HIV or AIDS by getting a tattoo?
HIV does not survive long when outside the human body. It is typically only transmitted when HIV infected blood enters another body. If you choose a reputable tattoo artist, they will use new needles for every tattoo. According to the CDC, there has never been a case of a person getting HIV from a tattoo.
Thomas Riley used Edison's idea for the electric pen when he created his coil machine used for tattooing.