HOW TO HANDLE THE PAIN OF YOUR FIRST TATTOO
LEARN WHERE TATTOOS HURT THE MOST
A good amount of the pain from your tattoo is affected by the location on your body where you get it. If you're looking to minimise your pain, you may want to move it to one of the less-painful areas. The sensation of getting a tattoo is not that bad and unique for each individual. The popularity of tattoos can attest it!
- One-colour tattoos are less painful (and take less time) than multi-colour tattoos.
- Areas of solid colour hurt the most because they require the artist to go over her work several times.
ARRANGE FOR SOMEONE TO COME WITH YOU
You don't have to endure your tattoo experience alone. If you can, try taking a friend or family member whose company you enjoy.
KNOW THAT THERE WILL BE NEEDLES AND SOMETIMES A SMALL AMOUNT OF BLOOD
A modern tattoo machine is essentially a small set of needles that go in and out of the skin very quickly, leaving a little amount of ink each time.
HAVE A MEAL BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT
- Have a glass or two of water to avoid dehydration.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing you won't mind sitting in for a long time.
- Bring anything you'll need to entertain yourself during your appointment (music player, reading material, etc.)
EXHALE DURING ESPECIALLY PAINFUL PERIODS
Try to exhale when you feel more pain. Exhaling during stress or exertion makes it easier to "power through" the pain. On the other hand, it's possible to make tattoo pain worse if you breathe incorrectly. Try to resist the urge to hold your breath during painful moments.
MOVE AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE
It can be tempting to move. Try your best not to. The less you move, the more precise the artist can be and the quicker your appointment will go. If you do have to move, warn your artist beforehand so that he has a chance to remove the tattoo machine from your skin.
DON'T HESITATE TO ASK FOR BREAKS
Most tattoo artists work on clients with a wide variety of pain tolerances and have "seen it all" when it comes to painful reactions. Remember, you are paying for this, so do what you need to do for you!
DON'T DULL THE PAIN BY GETTING DRUNK
While it can be tempting to show up to your tattoo appointment inebriated, this is a very bad idea. Most reputable tattoo parlours won't agree to do work on someone who is obviously drunk. Alcohol is known to act as a mild blood thinner, which could affect negatively the final outcome of your tattoo.
LISTEN TO YOUR ARTIST'S AFTERCARE INSTRUCTIONS
It's normal for your new tattoo to be sore for a few hours after it's finished. As soon as the appointment is over, your artist will give you detailed instructions on how to take care for your tattoo. Follow these carefully and the pain you experience will be minimal and short. In general, you will want to keep your new tattoo clean, protect it from irritation, and frequently apply a tiny bit of ointments until it heals.
AVOID TOUCHING THE FRESH TATTOO WITH UNWASHED HANDS OR ANYTHING ELSE NON-STERILE
If you accidentally touch it, wash it gently with lukewarm water and antibacterial soap. Accidentally transferring bacteria into a tattoo wound can lead to a painful infection. Plus, it may change the way your tattoo looks.
Feel free to get in touch with your artist if you have any doubts!