You must hydrate yourself and remain hydrated for the period leading up to your tattoo session. While it is generally advisable to stay hydrated at all times to maintain proper bodily function and good health, it is especially important when you are getting a tattoo. Staying well hydrated makes your skin more resilient, which will allow it to endure longer tattoo sessions, and help you heal faster following your tattoo session.
Just as you should hydrate your skin from the inside by drinking water, it is just as important to hydrate the outside of your skin with a moisturizer. You should apply lotion to your skin daily for one week prior to your tattoo session. These critical steps will make it easier for both you and the artist.
Shave the area where you will be tattooed to create the smoothest possible surface to work on. Take extra caution while shaving because even a minor cut or abrasion of the skin could hinder your ability to have your work done on schedule.
Wear loose-fitting clothing to your tattoo session. You should expect to spend a prolonged period of time getting your tattoo done, and you want your clothing to be as comfortable as possible. You must also dress in a way that leaves the area to be tattooed easily accessible to avoid having to remove clothing in the studio. While most tattoo artists are accustomed to seeing just about every part of their clients’ bodies, you may not feel comfortable removing your clothing in that setting. If you plan ahead and wear something that is both comfortable and that doesn’t get in the way of the area getting tattooed, your experience will be much better.
While we understand that many people are afraid of needles, or just have a general worry about the pain of the tattoo experience, you must resist using drugs or alcohol to calm your nerves prior to your tattoo session. Alcohol acts as a blood thinner and could compromise your tattoo, or increase your risk of developing a problem. You must abstain from drugs and alcohol the day before your session and until the tattoo has completely healed because consumption of alcohol can slow down the healing process. We also advise that you not use any numbing cream on the day you are getting the tattoo. Some artist Have their own numbing agent that they are familiar with. While it is acceptable to take pain relievers such as Tylenol during your tattoo session, never use drugs or alcohol to numb the pain as they can lead to various complications and jeopardize your safety and the quality of your tattoo.
Get a good night’s rest and eat a healthy, balanced meal before your tattoo session. We understand that nerves can lead to a loss in appetite, but it is important to be fully nourished heading into your session. Your body will exert a great deal of energy during the tattoo process, and proper nutrition will aid you in this. Hunger is known to diminish the ability to tolerate pain, which could make the process more unpleasant for everyone. Feel free to bring a snack, especially if you expect a longer session, but try to choose a snack that isn’t messy and can be eaten with one hand. While many artists will give you a break during the session, it is not recommended that you leave the studio to avoid the risk of contamination.
Tattoos cannot heal effectively on freshly damaged skin. Activities such as sun tanning, spray-on tanning, chemical peels, must be avoided. Weight lifting and strenuous exercise should be avoided for at least two days before your tattoo session. Putting strain on your muscles can cause swelling and soreness which may exacerbate the sensation of the tattoo and impact the time it takes to heal. It can also cause your skin to stretch slightly which will lead to your tattoo potentially being distorted when your skin returns to normal.
If possible, you should come alone to your tattooing session. While some tattoo shops will allow you to bring a friend for moral support, you should generally avoid bringing people who are not there to get work done themselves. Children and infants are generally not permitted because they can cause distractions or interrupt the tattoo artists. Feel free to bring a pillow if you intend to lay down or if you will be lying prone for a prolonged period of time during your session. You should also consider bringing something to keep you entertained because the long process can get boring. Bring something that is non-intrusive and that won’t disrupt your tattoo artist, but can still distract you from the pain. Don’t be in a rush when you come in for your session. Relax and let the artist take their time. Don’t schedule commitments immediately after your session.
This article was written by David Lintz, from Ocean Blue Tattoo.