BIG or small – Your First Tattoo, what to do?

small-tattoosJust about everybody today has considered getting a tattoo. This can be a serious personal statement, or simply a way to celebrate something important. Regardless of the reason, you should understand what is involved and what to expect.

Safety First Getting a first tattoo is exciting, and is still considered a bit rebellious. Before heading out to the nearest tattoo shop, consider what to expect and the safety considerations. Move past the concept and be sure to understand what is involved.   Basically, a tattoo is a wound to the skin, like any other puncture or scrape. This means that infection is a serious possibility. Before getting a first tattoo, here are some health issues to consider: Be sure your immunization shots, especially hepatitis and tetanus, are up to date Know where you will get medical attention if the area where the tattoo is applied becomes infected Check with your doctor if you have you have medical conditions, are pregnant or tend to get keloids

A second safety concern is to choose a tattoo studio that is safe and clean. A professional studio will be clean, use an autoclave to sterilize equipment, and use disposable gloves, needles and masks. It is not unreasonable to ask for references.

Choosing the Design Now it is time for the fun part. Explore different tattoos design options or make your own. Studios will have books of options for different tattoo ideas. Remember that tattoos are permanent, unless you go through a painful removal process. Choose a design that you will be comfortable having as a permanent part of your body.

Choose a color that will look good with your skin tone. Size is not everything, and a big tattoo is not necessarily the best choice. A bigger tattoo means more pain and more visits to get the work done. First timers should choose something on the smaller side that can be done in a few hours.

What to Expect Here is what you can expect: 

The artist will wash with a germicidal soap and don gloves and maybe a mask; the area of your body to be worked on will be cleaned and disinfected .

An outline of the tattoo will be drawn on your skin with the tattoo machine, and cleaned with antiseptic soap.  

Thicker needles will shade in the tattoo.

Blood will be removed with a sterile cloth.

After the design is complete, the area will be cleaned and a bandage applied.

Before you know it, you will be sporting your first tattoo. Follow all care instructions to allow proper healing. Later, if you enjoy your new body art, you can add to your collection.