Getting a tattoo means permanently committing to a work of art on your body. Thus, for this work of art to be perfect and worthy of its permanence, one must be well prepared and choose wisely. It is essential that a tattoo is a well-considered decision, rather than something you do spontaneously, otherwise you may regret it.
So, in the following paragraphs, we will share with you all the things NOT to do before getting a tattoo. Unless you want to regret the decision and start making an appointment for laser removal, here’s everything you should avoid doing before getting a tattoo. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
9 things to avoid before tattooing!
1. Alcohol and Drinking
First of all; Tattoo artists are not legally allowed to tattoo and provide services to clients who appear drunk and intoxicated.
However, if being drunk doesn’t seem obvious and you somehow pass the visibility test and get a tattoo, you could still be in a lot of trouble. There’s a reason tattooing while intoxicated is highly discouraged. Here are some of the reasons why this is the case;
- Alcohol thins the blood – alcohol acts as a blood thinner which can contribute to a bloody mess that you will encounter during tattooing. Alcohol will cause excessive bleeding during tattooing, which will impair the artist’s vision and ability to trace and tattoo correctly. This can seriously compromise the final result. Not to mention that alcohol can thin the ink, which can contribute to more bleeding, as well as an uneven, faded, and completely ruined tattoo.
- Alcohol impairs judgment – getting drunk and then deciding which tattoo you are going to get can be a terrible mistake. Because alcohol impairs your judgment and makes you think something looks good when it looks horrible, you will surely regret your decision. You will be asked to approve a tattoo design, the stencil and where it will be placed. If you make a bad decision, which you will do while drunk, a surprise will await you once you sober up.
- Alcohol changes your behavior – when you are drunk, your general behavior and reaction to things change. You cannot control the way you move and you become nervous and restless. All of this is not welcome during a tattoo session, as it increases the chances of the artist making a mistake and ruining the tattoo. Such behavior can also lead to a tattoo blowout due to the tattoo needle pushing too deep into the skin and the ink spreading.
2. Anticoagulant pills
Like alcohol, some pills like aspirin or ibuprofen can act as blood thinners. It is essential to stay away from these pills (which are usually over-the-counter anti-inflammatory tablets) at least 24-48 hours before getting a tattoo.
If you take such a pill before getting a tattoo, you can expect excessive bleeding during the tattoo process. Also, you can expect the tattoo artist to mess up the tattoo due to the lack of visibility caused by the bleeding. Not to mention that your tattoo will take longer to heal since the blood is thinned and therefore more difficult to clot.
Also read: What happens if a tattoo artist makes a mistake?
3. Sun exposure
If you thought that after a long day at the beach you could just get a tattoo, you are wrong. Exposure to the sun damages the skin and makes it “burnt”. This can lead to excessive dryness of the skin as well as flaking. Now imagine putting a tattoo on such damaged skin. Not only will the tattoo look all messed up, but it will hurt a lot more than usual.
Additionally, damaged skin can contribute to tattoo infection and a slower healing process later on. It is essential to avoid sunburn on the skin before and after tattooing. And even after your tattoo has healed, you should continue to protect it from the sun to prevent fading and aging of the tattooed skin.
4. Dairy products and sugar
It is thought that consuming more dairy products and sugar before getting a tattoo could lead to a slower and more difficult tattoo healing process. Also, foods high in milk and sugar can cause your skin to bloat and dilate. This can potentially mess up the tattoo, especially if placed in the abdomen area. Stretched skin can make the tattoo look different after bloating.
Bloating means that you are also retaining fluids, which upsets the moisture balance in the body. As a result, your skin will look older, wrinkled and dry, which can further disrupt the tattooing process. Instead of dairy and sugar, load up on foods high in protein and vitamin C, along with healthy carbs and fiber. Not to mention it’s also a good idea to drink plenty of water, but not too much to cause a pee urge every 15 minutes during the tattoo session.
It is strongly advised not to consume caffeine before getting a tattoo. While caffeine can give you the boost you need to sit down during a tattoo session, it will also cause problems. The effects of caffeine are temporary, but while it’s in the body, it also causes long-term effects, like thinning of the blood and drying of the skin.
Caffeine can also make you jittery and restless, especially if you’ve had too much of it or combined coffee and energy drinks. Caffeine consumption can also raise your blood sugar levels and inhibit tattoo healing for the first few days when the tattoo should stop bleeding and start to dry out.
6. Getting a razor cut
It may sound silly, but everyone knows that it is essential to shave your hair where the tattoo will be placed. Tattoo artists cannot work properly if the area is too hairy; this can completely alter the visibility of the tattoo.
However, shaving, especially with a razor, can often be accompanied by a cut or razor burn. Unfortunately, getting cut or razor burn can significantly interfere with the tattoo process. Both act as a fresh open wound, so the tattoo artist cannot tattoo on open or irritated skin.
7. Avoid taking a shower
Every tattoo artist will say they want their clients to be clean and fresh when they come in for a tattoo. By showering and cleaning yourself properly, you will avoid smelling and making your tattoo artist feel uncomfortable. It can be quite off-putting to smell bad while your tattoo artist is working.
Another thing is that not showering can cause bacterial transfer during the tattoo process. Dirty skin is home to millions of old skin cells and bacteria, all of which can end up in your tattooed skin and cause bacterial infection. This especially applies to cases where the tattoo is placed near the armpits or genital area where the skin receives more moisture and sweat.
Not taking a shower is disrespectful to your tattoo artist and can also get you in serious trouble with your tattoo!
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8. Wear tight clothes
It is essential to wear loose and comfortable clothing before and after a tattoo. When you wear comfortable clothes during the tattoo process, you will be able to sit or lie down properly. You won’t cut off blood flow like you’re sitting in the tightest jeans ever. In addition, you will be able to breathe properly and help your skin to breathe as well.
You should also dress according to the area of your body that is going to be tattooed. This means that if you get a tattoo on your thigh, you will not be wearing pantyhose and a skirt or tight jeans. Instead, you will wear a short dress or shorts. Or, if you’re getting an arm tattoo, you won’t be wearing a tight, long-sleeved shirt. Instead, you’ll be wearing a tank top.
9. Party the night before
In addition to avoiding drinking alcohol before getting a tattoo, you should also avoid staying up all night before your appointment with the tattoo artist. Staying up all night and partying will weaken your immune system and make you tired, sleepy, restless, jittery and groggy. You’ll also be more likely to drink lots of coffee before your appointment to cover up your lack of sleep. This can affect your experience while getting a tattoo and prevent the tattoo from healing properly.
It is essential to be rested, healthy and unstressed before getting a tattoo. Instead, your tattoo experience will be much worse than it should be. In addition, pain levels will also be accentuated significantly. Getting a tattoo is already exhausting on its own, so coming to the session tired is only going to be an extremely bad (and painful, too) experience.
Getting a tattoo is not a simple project. You should be well rested, hydrated, relaxed, and mentally and physically ready for a tattoo. And, you may not be ready if you’ve been drinking and partying the day before the date, or if you’ve dried off on a beach in the sun. Make sure to take care of yourself and your health before going for a tattoo.
Avoid coming to the tattoo artist dirty or sick. It is also recommended to avoid getting a tattoo during your period. Come get a tattoo once you are in top shape, mentally and physically. Otherwise, you will only create health problems and your tattoo may not look good. Also, you can make your tattoo artist feel uncomfortable or get them in trouble (if you get drunk during the session).
Also read: Checklist of safety precautions before getting a tattoo (How to prepare for your tattoo)
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