3 Things To Consider Before Getting Tattoos

In the past 20 years tattoos have gone from the fringe of society to the cultural mainstream. People young and old, men and women, are getting tattooed in increasing numbers. Some of these tattoos are successful expressions of personal philosophies and beliefs while others are permanent blunders that lead to dissatisfaction.

If you are considering getting your first tattoo, then you need to think about several factors so as to increase your chances of long term happiness with the skin art that will become a permanent part of your body and appearance.

1. Why are you getting a tattoo? This is the most basic question, but honestly assessing your motivations for adding a tattoo to your skin is critical. Good reasons for getting your tattoo include the desire to memorize a lost loved one, adding artwork to your body that is personally pleasing or meaningful, and exploring your spiritual awareness through skin art. Bad reasons for getting a tattoo include trying to be cool on spring break, expressing devotion to a lover and/or spouse (the number one candidate for tattoo removal by the way), and merely for the sake of rebellion. Upon analyzing your reasons for getting tattooed, you should get a sense of how comfortable you feel with them. Do your motivations ring true? Do you think they will remain valid for you 10, 20, 30 and more years down the road?

2. Who will be your tattoo artist? You need to be confident in the skill and professional demeanor of your tattoo artist. Being tattooed is a fairly intimate procedure in which the tattoo artist will be injecting ink into your skin while you hold still. This can sometimes take hours to accomplish. Simply walking into a tattoo studio and letting anyone tattoo you without any preliminary assessment could produce the wrong results. Before getting a tattoo, you should ask to see samples of the artist's work and discuss your various concerns about safety and hygiene for the procedure. The tattoo artist should be attentive to your aesthetic goals and willing to discuss any aspect of the tattoo process.

3. What do I need to know about healing from a tattoo? When people get tattoos, they are prepared for some pain, but not everyone considers the length of the healing process and the precautions against infection that are necessary. Depending on the size and location of the tattoo, healing can take several weeks and during that time you will need to apply various protective ointments, wash the wound, and often apply bandaging. You also must avoid baths, swimming, and hot tubs during your healing period. Skin wounds are easily susceptible to infection and you need to commit to taking proper care of your new tattoo. Failure to do so can expose you to serious skin infection and ruin the tattoo.