As a kid, I remember staring at my domestic help who sported tattoos on her forehead and forearms. She would regale me with tales of how her mother got her name inked on her arm as a little girl, and how her husband got her to tattoo a ‘bindi’ on her forehead.
She would go into details about the procedure, and I would cringe from within on hearing the “gory” details. “Didn’t it hurt?” I would always wonder and she would chortle at my innocence and curiosity.
Today, the tattoo has earned a place of pride on many a young and old body. Names, poems, epigrams, portraits of loved ones, signs and symbols, totems, numerals…there are a hundred things people pick to flaunt on their bodies.
I, too, was wondering if I should get a tattoo. Paw prints on my arm would look cute, but the dilemma continues to this day—to get inked or not to get inked remains a question.
The reason why I can’t gather enough courage is, the possibility of an infection or a skin allergy.
The other reason is that, with age, our body gets wrinkly. Imagine how the tattoo will transform from the beautiful picture it was to a wrinkled, crumpled version as we age.
So, if you are planning on getting inked, do deliberate over it before you take the plunge and take into consideration the following things to stay safe.
5 Things To Remember Before Getting Inked
#1 Check out the parlor or ask for recommendations
There may be many a tattoo parlor, but, frankly, not every parlor warrants a visit. Enquire about the best parlor before going ahead with your plan. Make sure the tattoo artist is well trained in the art, has worked as an apprentice and holds a license in tattooing and piercing.
#2 Equipment used
A tattoo artist uses various tools for tattooing, namely an adjustable chair for the customer, tattooing gun and needles, inks, ink caps, gloves etc.
Make sure the chair is comfortable and the room is well lit and ventilated. If it is a suffocating, sleazy kind of a place, scoot!
The needles need to be unused. Tattooing involves piercing the skin, so the needles have to be clean and sparkling new. Avoid skin allergies at all costs.
Cleanliness and hygiene are the top priorities of a tattoo artist. An artist cannot take a risk with that as their reputation is at stake. So, if you do find an artist giving zero attention to this detail, just leave!
#3 Care after the tattoo
Get the details for aftercare. You need to allow the tattoo to heal completely before flaunting it to the world. Wash it multiple times a day with an antiseptic soap and water and shade it from sunlight. A moisturizer or an ointment prescribed by the artist or your doctor must be applied to avoid any infection from setting in.
#4 The right tattoo
Think carefully about the design you wish to get tattooed. Check out the designs created by the artist at the tattoo parlor and select the one that YOU love. If it’s your first time, select a small and simple design, just so you get a feel of it. Once you are comfortable, you could go in for a more detailed design.
#5 Do not be in a hurry
Neither to get the tattoo, nor to show it to one and all!
Firstly, a tattoo is a permanent fixture on your body. Make sure the artist knows precisely what you want. Spelling errors or blunders can cause embarrassment for life, so choose the design or words with care.
Secondly, choose the spot on your body with care. Wherever you decide to get the tattoo, remember, it HURTS, badly. Select an area where you can bear the pain. Ask the artist to help you out with it.
And, it takes a laser removal if you wish to get rid of a tattoo, so think a hundred times before going in for this embellishment!
If you still wish to get inked, go ahead, but do remember these important points.
Wish you the best!