Tattoo Before Care
Choosing a new tattoo
A permanent piece of art embedded in your skin for life should be chosen very carefully as the process of tattoo removal is said to be more painful and expensive than the tattoo itself. Not only is tattoo removal more painful and expensive to endure, it also will never restore the skin to how it was prior to the tattoo. Most people are left with scars and pigmentation from tattoo removal procedures. Tattoos are a beautiful thing to have and should be gotten for the right reasons. Many young people get a tattoo just to follow current trends. Trends always change, a tattoo won't.
It is highly recommended that you choose a design that represents meaning to you personally, such as your favourite flower or a special date etc. Therefore you are less likely to get sick of the piece on your body. When selecting a tattoo, it may be good idea to give it some thought and take some time to do so before you book in your session.
Choosing your artist
Many artists have different styles and will have different strengths from one another. There are many 'backyard' tattooists in Australia that do not have hygiene certificates or insurance to tattoo, and that don't take all measures that should be taken to deliver a hygienic and quality piece.
It is highly recommended that you scope out the area to ensure it seems hygienic for your piece to be performed into your skin.
Try reading customer testimonials of the artist you would like to tattoo you.
Listen to your chosen tattooist. For example, colours (especially if light colours) may not be suitable for your complexion. They may not look so good in reality on the skin you have.
Preparing for a new tattoo
Once you have booked in for your session, the following instructions should be followed by you:
- Do no consume alcohol or blood thinning medications such as Aspirin, 24 hours prior to the tattoo session. Alcohol will effect your blood circulation and cause:
- extra swelling. Swelling can become an obstacle for the artist. It is hard to pack in colour and pain is intensified for you also. Artists may need to ask you to book in at a time that you are not so swollen.
- extra bleeding. When the blood thins, people will generally bleed more from a wound. too much blood can mix with ink and create more obstacles.
Purchase either of the following anticeptic creams and have it ready before your tattoo session:
- Tattoo Goo
- Dr Pickles
If you have any allergies, especially to tattoo ink, you need to inform your artist clearly and immediately. Allergic reactions can be dangerous and your artist needs to be aware of possible implications.
Getting your new tattoo
It is important that your artist takes all steps to ensure a quality and safe tattoo for you. You should pay attention to every action your artist is taking to ensure this is all done:
- ensure your tattooist does not seem drunk or under the influence of any dangerous drug as this is possible.
- ensure your tattooist shaves all hair from the area on and around where the tattoo will be made. Even if you have light and very little hair it is imperative that they still shave the area. If tattoo needles inject into hair it could push the hair inwards and cause you to then have ingrown hairs, which could lead to complications and infections for you.
- ensure all needles being used are brand new and watch them be removed from their sealed packs.
- ensure that plastic wrap is placed over all equipment being used in the process (the furniture your tattooed body part will be rested on, the artists instrument bench/table, power leads, power machines, etc).
- ensure all ink cups appear clean and new.
- ensure your tattooist is wearing gloves and that they change to new gloves after any rest breaks that is had.
- ensure your tattooist is washing his/hands with soap or with instant hand cleaner immediately after they remove gloves.
- ensure your tattooist is using a vasoline on your skin regularly and that the vasoline is not removed from it's jar with contaminated hands.
Tattoo After care
- Your new tattoo needs to remain concealed in the plastic wrap for between 30 minutes to 2 hours. Some artists choose to use a dressing or bandage instead of plastic wrap. Remove this in 2 hours also.
- Once plastic wrap is removed, wash your tattoo with warm soapy water and dab dry with a gentle towel.
- Apply your tattoo cream that you purchased on your tattoo.
- Continue to clean your tattoo and apply the cream regularly for 2 -3 weeks after your session.
- Your tattoo will become itchy, scabby and flaky as it follows the healing processes. It will also lose some intense colours as it heals.
- Use harsh shower gels or chemicals on your tattoo for at least 3 weeks after your session.
- Swim in the ocean or swimming pool for at least 3 weeks after your session.
- Expose your tattoo to the sun for at least 3 weeks after your session.
- If you require more sessions on the same piece with your artist, you need the piece to heal properly before you can go again in order to avoid infections. This should take no longer than 4 weeks.
- ensure your tattooist covers your completed piece with clean plastic wrap.
- ensure your tattooist disposes of all biohazard waste and needles into proper bins.