Getting inked is an important decision in one’s life. Tattoos have significant meanings for people getting them, and they are literally etched on your skin forever. You certainly do not want to end up with a tattoo which you’ll end up regretting in the longer run. Thus you need to thoroughly think it through before getting one, two or as many as you like.

Here are eight important things to consider before getting tattooed-

1. It’s painful

Getting a tattoo is a painful process. Anyone who says otherwise is misleading you. The process is basically about needles piercing your skin to embed ink.

The more complex the design you choose, the more painful it’ll be. The position of the tattoo is also a vital factor when it comes to pain. So if you have a dislike towards needles or blood or have a low pain threshold, we suggest thinking twice before going under the needle.

2. Carefully picking the design

Do not be hasty in choosing a tattoo design. You need to spend time researching what you want thoroughly. You can browse the Internet or ask for help from your tattoo artist.

Getting a tattoo is a painful process. Anyone who says otherwise is misleading you. The process includes needles piercing your skin to embed ink.

People often prefer meaningful tattoo designs. Like names of loved ones, personal mantras, and symbols that represent their lives. But you don’t essentially have to take a meaningful direction. The primary concern is to go with a tattoo design that you won’t lament over and won’t be ashamed of having forever.

Don’t be afraid to ask artists for their advice. They will be more than happy to give any input.

Credits- Teen Vogue/ Instagram

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3. Location of the tattoo

There are individual designs that are best suited for specific body parts. The size of the design also plays an important role in determining the location of the tattoo. For instance, a landscape works best on the upper back, while a portrait of someone looks great on the chest.

If you want your tattoo to be personal and don’t want relatives bothering you with questions during family functions, you might want to get tattooed in areas that are normally covered in clothes. Meanwhile, if you want everyone to check out your tattoos, make sure to have them on visible areas such as wrists, arms, etc.

Another thing to think about is whether having visible tattoos will hurt your odds of getting work in the future. Some organisations are traditional when it comes to tattoos.

Most importantly, different areas induce different levels of pain. In general, getting tattooed in a region with muscle or fat will hurt less than in bony regions of the body.

4. Reason for getting a tattoo

Before getting a tattoo, find a good enough reason. You don’t need to come up with an emotional one to get a tattoo. Just make sure that whatever the reason is, you will be able to stand by it always.

Getting a tattoo is a permanent investment. Taking a U-turn when the tattoo is already set in place will be expensive. It costs a lot more to get it removed by laser.

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5. Skin sensitivities

If you have a known skin sensitivity, no matter how trivial it is, make sure to take advice from the doctor first. You will never honestly know how your skin will respond to being inked until the trial is over. By then it may be too late to back out of the decision. So better get an opinion from a specialist beforehand.

If you develop an itchy rash on your inked skin when outdoors, you may have a sun allergy. Credits- American Academy of Dermatology

6. Artist portfolio and credibility

Artists typically present their works inside the tattoo studio to allow customers to quickly assess their skills. The internet has also made it easier for people to look into artists.

While, some artists specialise in watercolours and abstract designs, which are very common among the younger generation, others specialise in traditional tattoos. If you have a specific design, be certain to find an artist that really knows how to work on it.

Some artists put up works that don’t belong to them gain more customers. However, having friends who already have tattoos can come in handy when searching for artists.

7. Sanitation of tattoo equipment and shop

It is necessary to make sure that the artist follows sanitary methods when it comes to tattoo equipment. Make sure that new needles are being used, see whether the artist takes out a new one from a sealed packet.

8. Aftercare is the most essential

One of the most basic blunders newly tattooed people make is ignoring proper aftercare.

You will need to rinse it at different times in a day with a bar of antibacterial soap, preferably a non-fragrant one to evade skin inflammations. Also, you will need to apply a healing ointment and moisturiser on it routinely. You will have to frequently resist the urge to scratch it. A tattoo is an open wound which needs healing and can get infected easily.

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Image: Refinery29

Saumya Rastogi is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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