The Untold Story of Tattoos: The Pain Doesn’t End When the Needle Stops

Tattoos seem to have gotten more and more popular recently, and you can see everyone with one from the Hollywood movie star to the cashier at the local Wal-Mart. A lot of people like tattoos and may even think about getting one day, but they should be aware of what they’re getting into.
Anyone who has a tattoo can tell you; you have no idea what it’s like until you get one. Afterward, you have more of an appreciation for anyone you see with body art because you know they too have gone through the pain of getting one. This knowledge is almost like having a membership to a secret club. Before you jump into the world of body art, let me tell you some of the things that you need to know.

The first thing people usually say about tattoos, is that good tattoos aren’t cheap and cheap tattoos aren’t good.

You may have heard this before, but what does it mean? Well, permanent tattoos, in my opinion, are art, and like any art, there is a level of skill involved in creating them. Unlike a canvas that can be thrown away or destroyed if the artist doesn’t like the outcome, tattoos are on the skin and therefore will be with the wearer forever.

cheap tattoo vs expensive tattoo
cheap tattoo vs expensive tattoo

This is an excellent reason to think long and hard about what you want and how much you’re willing to pay for it. Sure, you could get a cute Tweety bird on your butt for $20 at some little hole in the wall tattoo shop, but the quality won’t be that good, and you’ll be stuck with it forever. Had you taken the time (and money) and gone to a more reputable shop, you would have paid a little more, but you would have something that you’d be proud to show off. The bigger and more detailed a tattoo is, the more it will cost and the longer it will take to complete.

This brings up another issue, depending on the size and difficulty of your tattoo, it could take from 20 minutes to a few days to complete.

Larger tattoos such as back pieces are often done in more than one session. That means that you will have to sit there for however long it takes and have the needle repeatedly dragged into your skin. That’s one thing that a lot of people ask about…pain. Does getting a tattoo hurt? You bet it does! How much it hurt varies from person to person since some people have a higher pain threshold than others. Where the tattoo is being done is also a factor in pain, because if you get a tattoo in a place where there is not a lot of fat (on foot for example), it will hurt more than other areas.

full back tattoos for girls
full back tattoos for girls

I’ve also heard that the ankle is the most painful place to get tattooed. If you can’t take the pain, you could always tell them to stop, but you won’t get a refund, and you’ll have a half-finished tattoo forever. As crazy as it seems, I asked a tattoo artist about this when a friend of mine was getting his back done, and they said that some people do quit after they start getting the tattoo.

After you’ve gone through the pain and the tattoo is finished, that’s it for the pain right? Wrong!

While the healing process may not hurt as much as the actual tattoo, it’s often the hardest part of getting the tattoo. You must be careful to wash the tattoo several times a day and keep it moisturized (original Lubriderm work best for this), keep it away from too much sunlight, and keep it out of the direct spray of the shower.

Also, you can not scratch, pick at or rub the tattoo too hard or you may flake off some of the ink. This isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it messed up the design of the tattoo that you endured pain and paid good money for. Plus you will be stuck with it forever. This is especially hard after a few days of healing when the tattoo starts to scab over, and it itches like CRAZY! If you don’t mess with it, the scabs will eventually heal and fall off on their own. After this, you are left with your tattoo which you can enjoy for the rest of your life.

tattoo pain scale for women
tattoo pain scale for women

I hope I’ve shed some light on some of the things to expect when getting tattoos, and especially the work that goes into taking care of them afterward. Getting a tattoo is a big decision and is one that should not be taken lightly. You will never regret NOT getting a tattoo because you can always get it later but if you get one you don’t like, or don’t take care of properly, the regret can last a lifetime.

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