Getting a Tattoo: What to Expect, Pain Tips, Checklist, and Aftercare (2023)

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Most tattoos have a story. Your artist can create a touching tribute to a loved one or illustrate an inside joke you have with your friends — but underlying meaning is never a requirement to getting inked.

What’s important is that you walk away from your session happy with the art that’s permanently etched into your skin. And whether it’s your first or fifth time, this feeling is never a guarantee when you’re considering a new tattoo.

But there are steps you can take to ensure that you walk away loving your new artwork and that it’s healthy. We’ve rounded up everything you need to know to make your experience as easy, painless, and regret-free as possible.

What to know before you head to the shop

Above all else, you have to know what imagery you want. Do you want something floral? A portrait? Abstract blots of color? Or maybe you just want some simple script?

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It’s important to have your core idea fleshed out before setting up a consultation — unless you’re coming in for lettering, which often only requires you to decide on a font. During the consultation, your artist can work out the finer details. You can show them any images you’ve saved as inspiration and figure out placement and pricing.

Depending on the time they have available, the artist may create a mock-up of your tattoo on the spot or a few days later, but ultimately, the final results will depend on several factors:

  • how much of your body you want to dedicate to the art
  • how feasible the tattoo placement is
  • how well the colors you want will show up on your skin tone
  • how much time you want to spend with the artist

Here’s more on what you should consider when designing your next tattoo:


Once you’ve decided what you want tattooed, you have to figure out how you want it to look. There are a ton of different tattooing styles, and you’ll want to go to an artist who’s skilled in the look you’re after.

Some of the most popular styles include:

  • American traditional. Characterized by clean, black outlines and the primary color palette, this style commonly features skulls and roses.
  • Traditional Japanese. Inspired by traditional Japanese artwork, this style’s clean lines and minimal shading are often used to create tigers, koi fish, and flowers.
  • Realism. The goal of this style is to recreate subjects using shading and color contrast, as they appear in real life.
  • Illustrative. By combining aspects of traditional tattooing and realism, this style is about bold outlines and intense color saturation.
  • Neo-traditional. A modernized take on American traditional imagery, this style leans heavily on shading and color to create realistic portraiture.
  • Minimalism or geometric. With a focus on crisp black lines and negative space, this style is about precision. The results are often simple and symbolic.

But you don’t need to be familiar with the lingo to get one of these styles. Browsing Instagram is incredibly helpful, as most artists post their work on their own channel and to a hashtag feed. If, for example, you’ve decided you want to get a tattoo of a cat, a quick #cattattoo search pulls up over 220,000 results.

Save the images you like most and show them to your artist during your consultation. They can use these as inspiration to create a one-of-a-kind piece of your own.


Many people opt for pure illustration, but if you want script — standalone or alongside an image — you’ll need to figure out what kind of font you want.

Adobe Typekit is a great place to look up font styles, offering everything from handwriting to typewriter. The site even lets you see your text of choice in the font you’re considering so that you can actually visualize how it might look on your body.

(Video) Tattoo aftercare tips from a dermatologist| Dr Dray

If you see something you like, print out a couple of different versions to bring to your artist. They may not have your exact font on their computer, so they can use these pages as a reference.


Although the style of tattoo often dictates the color palette, the artist can work with you to modify the design and style to better suit what you want.

That said, your skin tone plays a big role in how well individual colors will hold. For example, fair skin tends to hold white ink better than other skin tones. Red and purple pigments are also more vibrant on fairer skin tones.

Darker skin tones typically hold darker colors — think crimson red and royal blue — better than lighter hues. Having darker skin doesn’t mean that you can’t get pastels or other light hues, just that these options usually don’t appear as pigmented as darker colors might.

Greyscale is also an option. With this style, your artist will use a mix of pure black, watered-down black, and white ink to create the appropriate shades and hues.

Tattoo color guide

  • Lighter colors show up brighter on fairer skin tones, especially white, purple, and red.
  • Richer colors hold better on darker skin tones than pastel colors.
  • All colors will fade over time.

Remember, all colors — including black — will fade over time. You can search online for examples of tattoo appearance over time to get an idea of how yours may look one to five years from now.

Size and location

Speaking of fading, outlines and shapes may look sharp and slick at first, but over time, these can fade or even blur. It all depends on the size and location of your tattoo. That’s why it’s important to think about where you want your tattoo and how visible you want it to be.

Often, location alone can determine your tattoo size. After all, there’s only so much space on your forearm or your thigh.

Don’t worry if you’re still second guessing the finer details. Your artist can help you weigh the pros and cons of the location and sizing, as well as set expectations for how it’ll feel when you’re getting inked.

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If you know what you want, consider it a sign that you’re ready to take the next step: Shopping for an artist. Ask your friends to see if they can refer you to a specific shop, or let Google or Instagram point you in the right direction.

(Video) 'Keep It Clean!' How to Take Care of Your Fresh Tattoo | Ask the Artist

Here’s what you should keep in mind while you’re sifting through your options:

1. Make sure your artist and the shop has proper licensing

A quick Google search will show you what your state’s rules and regulations are for tattoo licensing. Each state is different, so it’s important to be familiar with the guidelines in your area.

Once you know what you’re looking for, make sure the shop and artist you’re interested in are certified. The parlor’s licensing should be prominently displayed on their website and on the shop wall.

2. Keep an eye out for hygiene and general health habits

Most reputable shops smell like disinfectant and have spotless workstations and floors. If it smells like month-old gym socks, immediately turn tail and head to the next place on your list.

Assuming the shop passes your visual inspection, you’ll want to talk to your potential artist about their tattooing practices. Artists are required to use single-use needles and ink to avoid cross contamination. This also applies to gloves, bandages, swabs, razors — anything that your artist might use must be new.

3. Gauge shop courtesy and ask if the artist offers consultations

Last but not least, take note of the shop and artist’s general professionalism and personality. You’re about to trust someone to permanently etch a piece of artwork into your skin, and in order to do this, you have to be comfortable with the artist and with their work.

You want the artist to be as excited as you, or at least understand your passion. But remember, they aren’t required to work with you just because you like their portfolio.

If you aren’t meshing well or just not digging the overall vibe in the shop, it’s more than okay to move along to the next one. Just be sure to thank the artist for their time before you see your way out.

If you’ve made it this far into our guide, it’s safe to say that you have all your bases covered.

To wrap things up, here’s how your interaction with your artist and getting your tattoo done will likely unfold:

  1. Reach out to the artist or shop to talk about rates and set up a consultation.
  2. Meet the artist to talk about your design and expectations.
  3. Agree upon the final design with the artist and confirm the rate. If revisions are needed, this may involve setting up a follow-up appointment to look over the final design before locking in your tattoo date.
  4. Aspirin (Bayer) and ibuprofen (Advil) are off limits in the 24 hours leading up to your appointment, as they can thin your blood. This applies to the consumption of alcohol as well. You may be able to take acetaminophen (Tylenol), but confirm this with your artist beforehand.
  5. Plan to wear something that will keep the area to be tattooed exposed. If you can’t do this, wear something you can easily slip in and out of.
  6. Show up to your appointment 10 minutes early. Don’t forget to bring cash for tips!
  7. Fill out any paperwork and, if needed, finalize any details of your design.
  8. Your artist will take you to their station. You may need to roll up or remove any clothing that may be in the way of your tattoo placement.
  9. Your artist will disinfect the area and use a disposable razor to remove any hair.
  10. Then your artist will place the tattoo stencil onto your skin. Move this around as much as you like until you’re happy with the placement!
  11. Once the placement is perfect, your artist will tattoo the outline of your design before filling in any colors or gradients.
  12. After your artist is finished, they’ll clean the tattooed area, wrap it up, and tell you how to take care of it.
  13. Don’t forget to leave a tip for your artist when you pay! It’s standard to tip at least 20 percent, but if you had an awesome experience and are able to tip more, go ahead.

If you have any lingering questions, ask before you leave the shop. One of the best times to get them answered is when your artist is wrapping your skin.

Since you’re here, screenshot or print out this handy list of questions for your consultation before you commit to an artist.

Things to ask before you get your tattoo

  • How long have you been tattooing? Apprentices can provide great work, but some designs are best left to veteran artists.
  • What are your qualifications? Some artists favor specific styles, even if they can do more general styles.
  • Can I see your portfolio? A reputable artist will have a portfolio of past work on hand so that you can get a sense of their range and specialties.
  • Do you guarantee your work? Sometimes small spots of ink or other blemishes can occur during the healing process. Most artists offer one free touch-up appointment to take care of these areas.
  • What’s your hourly rate? It doesn’t matter if your piece will take 15 minutes or 2 hours — most artists have an hourly rate, or minimum, that must be met before they’ll agree to a piece. Others price on a piece-by-piece basis.
  • How do you sanitize your equipment? If they can’t answer this question, it’s off to the next one. Poor sanitation practices can lead to an infection or worse.
  • Do you have latex-free gloves? This is especially important if you have a latex allergy.
  • What brand of ink do you use? Again, if you have allergies to specific ingredients or materials, now is the time to bring them up.
  • What placement would you recommend for this design? Maybe you’re determined to get tattooed on the inside of your ankle, but they think the piece would work better on the inside of your calf. You need to be happy with the outcome, but remember that they’re the expert.
  • What aftercare procedure do you recommend? Reputable artists will have this information ready to go so that you know what to expect after your piece is complete.

What does getting a tattoo feel like?

(Video) TATTOO AFTERCARE: How I Heal My Tattoos

Before you ask: Yes, it’s going to hurt. But how much it hurts depends on your pain tolerance, size, and location. Tattoos tend to hurt more around sensitive areas that have more nerves and less flesh. But if you’ve got skin made out of steel, you probably won’t feel a thing. This is especially true if you opted for a meatier location, like your bicep or thigh.

More painful areas tend to include the:

  • forehead
  • neck
  • spine
  • ribs
  • hands or fingers
  • ankles
  • top of your feet
Pro tip

The fleshier the area, the less it’ll hurt. It’s probably going to hurt a little no matter where you put it, but most artists agree that the areas listed above tend to hurt worse than others.

What else will I feel?

Depending on the piece, you may feel:

  • Scratching. This is more common with tattoos that require shading.
  • Sharp stinging. Although this is usually associated with detailing, it may also happen with tattoos on areas with tighter skin, like your wrist.
  • Burning. This is the most common feeling, and it’s caused by the needle going over the same spot multiple times. Take a deep breath! It’ll be over before you know it.
  • Vibrating. This is more common with tattoos in bonier areas, like your ribs or on your foot.
  • Dullness. All feelings will eventually melt into a dull roar. Once you reach this point, you’re home free.

How to tackle potential pain

If the area in question is prone to pain, this will be a great time to get in touch with your meditative side and practice some deep breathing techniques. If at any point the pain becomes too much, let your artist know. A good artist will get to a stopping point and allow you to take a breather. Use this time to get your head back in the game.

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A general rule of thumb is to keep the dressing on for a few hours — especially if you plan on spending the rest of the day out and about. When you get home, be sure to wash your hands before you remove the dressing. Remember, a fresh tattoo is an open wound. Dirt or bacteria can damage it or slow the healing process.

After you take the dressing off, wash the tattoo with your artist’s recommended cleanser or a gentle, unscented soap. You should avoid using any soap with fragrances or alcohol, as these ingredients can cause irritation.

After you wash, gently pat the area dry with a clean towel. Whatever you do, don’t rub! Rubbing can pull at the skin and may cause ink fallout.

If you’re dealing with itchy, dry skin, apply a thin layer of your artist’s recommended ointment or a gentle, unscented lotion. As with the cleanser, you should avoid using anything with irritants like fragrance or alcohol.

Most artists will give you a verbal rundown of how to take care of your new ink and send you home with a handout to reference later. You should always follow your artist’s aftercare instructions.

If the tattoo starts to flake or peel, don’t panic. This is a normal part of the healing process, and it usually only lasts through the end of the first week. Just don’t pick at it — this can lead to ink fallout and ruin your art.

How to maintain your tattoo

(Video) Tattoo removal: tips for recovery

Most tattoos heal at the surface layer within the first couple of weeks, but it may be months before it’s healed completely. Skimping on care can delay the healing process and also affect how your tattoo looks in the long term.

Practicing good hygiene is the only way to reduce your risk for infection. See your doctor right away if you begin experiencing:

  • skin that’s warm or tender to the touch
  • a burning sensation
  • swelling after the first couple of days have passed
  • green or yellow pus
  • foul odor

In addition to keeping the tattoo clean, you want to keep it fresh and hydrated. Exposing the tattoo to direct sunlight can cause the colors to fade, so invest in a quality sunscreen or SPF clothing. Dry skin can also cause a tattoo or the ink to look dull.

Still have questions? Here’s everything you need to know about taking care of your tattoo.

Tattoos may not be forever, but they’re pretty close. Although many people can and do get tattoos successfully removed, there’s no real guarantee that these methods will always work. It all depends on the tattoo size, the type and color of ink that was used, and how deep the artist went with their tools.

Removal is also expensive and often more painful than getting the tattoo itself. And despite what some internet hacks may claim, the only way to remove a tattoo is through a surgical procedure.

This includes:

  • Laser therapy. After injecting the area with a local anesthetic, your surgeon will use targeted energy pulses to heat and shatter the tattoo ink. Multiple sessions are needed to fade the tattoo.
  • Surgical excision. Your surgeon will inject the area with a local anesthetic before using a scalpel to remove the tattooed skin. The edges of the surrounding skin are sewn together. This usually leaves a scar and is only recommended for small tattoos.
  • Dermabrasion. After numbing the area, your surgeon will use a high-speed device to sand away the inked layers. The area will be sore and raw for about two weeks after the procedure. Due to its unpredictable results, this method is used less commonly.

If you do decide that you want to get a tattoo removed, set up an appointment with your healthcare provider or dermatologist. They can talk through the different procedures available and answer any questions you may have.

In some cases, it may be easier — and more affordable — to get a new tattoo to hide the old tattoo. An artist can walk you through your cover-up options and advise you on what comes next.

You may be itching to get your new tattoo right away, but it takes time to get the details just right. The last thing you want is to cut corners on price or location and wind up with a shoddy tattoo — or an infection.

Patience will pay off in the long run, so be sure to explore all of your options until you find what works for you. And if you have a great experience, your first tattoo doesn’t have to be your last! Keep adding to your canvas and embrace the confidence that it gives.

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(Video) Day 1-10 of taking care of my new tattoo with the Mad Rabbit Soothing Gel. #tattoo #tattoos

When Tess Catlett was 13, she wanted nothing more than to dye her hair blue and get a Tinkerbell tattoo on her shoulder blade. Now an editor at, she’s only checked one of those things off her bucket list — and thank goodness it wasn’t that tattoo. Sound familiar? Share your would-be tattoo horror stories with her on Twitter.


What are 3 things you should consider before getting a tattoo? ›

8 important things to consider before you get a tattoo
  • Expect to be waitlisted. ...
  • Tattoos are expensive. ...
  • Do a recce of the shop. ...
  • Consult your dermatologist. ...
  • Proofread. ...
  • Getting inked hurts. ...
  • Tattoos do need touch-ups. ...
  • Post-tattoo care is crucial.
1 Mar 2020

What can you do to ease the pain of getting a tattoo? ›

To reduce tattoo pain, follow these tips before and during your appointment:
  1. Choose a licensed tattoo artist. ...
  2. Pick a less sensitive body part. ...
  3. Get enough sleep. ...
  4. Avoid pain relievers. ...
  5. Don't get a tattoo when you're sick. ...
  6. Stay hydrated. ...
  7. Eat a meal. ...
  8. Avoid alcohol.
23 Jul 2019

What to expect after getting a tattoo? ›

The tattoo healing process is fairly straightforward. Swelling, pain, and oozing typically resolve by day three and are followed by itching and peeling for another week, in our experts' experience. Your tattoo may even look darker and duller than expected for the first month.

What to expect before getting a tattoo? ›

The first moments of getting your tattoo will probably be the most painful. Don't worry — that feeling won't be as intense the whole time. "As your body builds up natural adrenaline, the pain generally begins to taper off," Abad explains. "Just keep this in mind to help you get through the pain of a tattoo."

Can I tolerate tattoo pain? ›

The more flesh, the less intense the sensation. Don't opt for the most painful areas if you know you have a low pain tolerance. It's also important to note that the larger the piece, the more pain you'll endure because the process will take longer.

How do you prepare for a 3 hour tattoo? ›

Leading Up To Your Tattoo Session You Should:
  1. Get Hydrated.
  2. Moisturize.
  3. Shave.
  4. If you experience razor burn, stop shaving and leave yourself at least a week to heal before going in for the tattoo session. Exfoliate.
  5. Rest.
  6. Eat.
  7. Bring Snacks (For Longer Sessions)
  8. Don't Come if You're Injured.
3 Feb 2017

What painkillers can I take before a tattoo? ›

“You can take things like over-the-counter painkillers, but the sharp pain you have at the surface of the skin will still likely be felt during the procedure.” You can take acetaminophen (like Tylenol) or ibuprofen (like Advil) can help with any soreness that occurs in the hours after you get your tattoo, but there's ...

How soon after a tattoo can you shower? ›

You cannot shower right away. The first 24 to 48 hours are crucial when it comes to the future of your tattoo's healing process. In that period, you should not play around and expose the tattoo to water right away. The reason for this is the fact that the tattoo or the wound needs to start closing.

How do you sleep with a new tattoo? ›

A lot of tattoo artists recommend sleeping with the wrap that was put on. Others recommend re-wrapping, or just applying healing ointment and keeping the tattoo clean. The important thing is avoiding infection.

Can you shower after a tattoo? ›

Showering with a new tattoo isn't only fine; it's necessary for the sake of good hygiene. As long as you follow the aftercare instructions your tattoo artist gives you, and you're careful not to rub or soak your tattoo, showering shouldn't interfere with the healing process of your new ink.

Can I drive after a tattoo? ›

For some people it's fine to drive after getting a small or inconsequential (for driving) tattoo. The rule regarding dentists and doctors is steeped in the use of anesthetics, which render you unable to properly operate a motor-vehicle. That said, there are some things to consider before getting behind the wheel.

What should I eat before a tattoo? ›

If you're wondering what to eat before you visit the tattoo studio, cook a meal that's protein-rich with plenty of eggs, fish or red meat. Protein helps with recovery, so it's a great way to prepare for the procedure ahead.

What should you eat after tattoo? ›

To speed the healing process of the skin, you should consume foods rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, such as omega-3. Foods with the most antioxidant properties include tomatoes, red fruits, citrus fruits like orange, and herbs such as garlic, onion and saffron.

How do I take care of my tattoo the first night? ›

Your first night sleeping, your artist might recommend you re-wrap the tattoo with plastic wrap (like Saran Wrap) to sleep without the tattoo sticking to your sheets. This is generally for larger or solid-color tattoos. If your artist did not recommend re-wrapping, just let the tattoo stay exposed to air overnight.

Can I work the day after getting a tattoo? ›

You should not work out immediately after getting a tattoo. You must give your skin time to heal before resuming most physical exercises.

Can you drink after a tattoo? ›

Drinking before or after

Drinking before and after getting a tattoo is a no-no. Alcohol thins your blood, which means excess bleeding. When you bleed more than normal, it can cause visibility issues for the artist, potentially compromising the quality of the design. Excess bleeding can also thin the ink.

What does tattoo pain feel like? ›

Some people describe the pain as a pricking sensation. Others say it feels like bee stings or being scratched. A thin needle is piercing your skin, so you can expect at least a little pricking sensation. As the needle moves closer to the bone, it may feel like a painful vibration.

What tattoos age the best? ›

Simple, minimalist tattoos are enduringly popular, but bold tattoos tend to last the longest. You can count both the size and the thickness of the lines as two of the reasons why these tattoos age well. "Bold, black text and traditional American tattoos still look badass when they fade," Villani says.

Can I be put to sleep for a tattoo? ›

If you start tattooing a client with a low pain threshold and find they're still uncomfortable, you can apply a secondary layer of a fast-acting topical anesthetic like Tattoo Soothe topical anesthetic gel, Hush anesthetic spray or Feel Better Now numbing gel.

Where do tattoos hurt the least? ›

Least painful to tattoo

The least painful places to get a tattoo are areas of your body with fewer nerve endings. Think outer shoulder, calf, buttocks, and outer arm.

Should I take ibuprofen before a tattoo? ›

Painkillers may not work

Also be wary of taking any kind of pain medication that thins your blood or affects its ability to clot, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, lest you want to bleed more while getting tattooed.

How much is an 8 hour tattoo session? ›

The average price for a quality tattoo this size is $1000 - $1500. This is a partial sleeve with intricate detail and no negative that would take approximately 8 - 10 hours. The average price for a quality tattoo this size would be $850 - $1200.

How much does a 2 hour tattoo cost? ›

2. Hourly. On average, tattoo artists charge $100 to $250 an hour, although in certain cases, high-profile tattoo artists charge more.

How do you sit with a 4 hour tattoo? ›

How To Survive A Long Tattoo Session | Without Worry! - YouTube

How Much Should U Tip a tattoo artist? ›

“A suggested percentage of 20% to 25% for personal services is an accepted standard, especially in these post-COVID times.” Cornolo puts the range between 15% to 20%, but says that it really varies. “Some tip less, and some are very generous."

Does getting a tattoo burn calories? ›

In fact, you'll actually burn calories during a tattoo because your metabolism speeds up in response to tension. Carb loading is a great way to make sure you'll have enough energy to get through your next tattoo appointment.

What is tattoo flu? ›

If you're feeling a bit under the weather after getting some new ink, you might be experiencing “tattoo flu.” Usually mild and quick to pass, this post tattoo flu-like illness is a common result of your body's natural defenses saying “Whoa! A sharp thing is poking little holes in me!”

Can you over moisturize a tattoo? ›

Over moisturizing can lead to tattoo inflammation and infection. Excess moisture can cause clogged pores since the moisturizer prevents the skin from breathing. Excess moisture can cause the tattooed skin to break out.

Is Vaseline good for tattoos? ›

Takeaway. Vaseline isn't the best choice for tattoo aftercare. Petroleum jelly traps moisture and bacteria, which can lead to infections and scarring if your tattoo doesn't get enough air while it's healing.

How long should you keep tattoo covered? ›

After you leave the salon or your tattoo artist, you need to keep the tattoo wrapped for 2-4 hours if you use simple cling wrap (plastic foil). If you have a protective tattoo film, then keep it for 3-5 days.

Can I wear clothes over my new tattoo? ›

You shouldn't wear clothes over a new tattoo unless they are light, loose, and won't cause any irritation. Tight clothing constantly rubbing against your skin may delay healing and might damage your tattoo. A fresh tattoo is likely to ooze for a couple of days and may even get stuck to the material.

Should I cling film my tattoo for bed? ›

Should I cover my tattoo with cling film when I sleep? You should wrap your tattoo in cling film, even while sleeping for the first couple of nights. This helps keep the germs out and helps with keeping fabric off of the tattoo to reduce rubbing/chafing.

Can I sleep on my tattoo after 2 days? ›

Still, tattoo aftercare and healing take more time than just one night. It'd be the best to refrain from sleeping on the tattooed side for at least 7 nights. If you find that to be impossible, at least be patient until the tattoo starts drying out and you don't have to wear wrap anymore.

What do you put on your tattoo the day after? ›

Aftercare for Your Tattoo
  • Be sure your artist covers your new tattoo in a thin layer of petroleum jelly and a bandage.
  • Remove the bandage after 24 hours. ...
  • Apply a layer of antibacterial/Vaseline ointment twice a day, but don't put on another bandage.
7 Mar 2021

How do you take care of a tattoo for the first 48 hours? ›

The First 48 Hours
  1. Keep it bandaged. Once completed, the tattooist will place a bandage over the tattoo to protect it from dirt and other foreign objects. ...
  2. Keep it clean. ...
  3. Change the wrap. ...
  4. Moisturize. ...
  5. Don't pick at it. ...
  6. Don't go swimming. ...
  7. Don't take it out in direct sunlight. ...
  8. Don't scratch.

Is aquaphor good for tattoos? ›

The bottom line. Aquaphor is a commonly recommended part of a tattoo aftercare regimen. It has hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties that can speed healing and make the process more comfortable. If you're getting some new ink, or have just gotten a tattoo, you may want to consider using Aquaphor.

Is it OK to get a tattoo at 18? ›

In the United States there is no federal law regulating the practice of tattooing. However, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have statutory laws requiring a person receiving a tattoo be at least 18 years old.

When can you not get a tattoo? ›

Thirty-eight states have laws that allow tattooing on minors with informed parental consent, or for the parent to be present. This does not mean a baby can just crawl in and get a tattoo, however. Most tattoo artists will not tattoo anyone under the age of 15 or 16 for safety and liability purposes.

When is the best age to get a tattoo? ›

Once you're of the legal age though, there's no right or wrong time to get tattooed. But if pain is a consideration, it's worth noting that tattoos tend to hurt more as you get older because of thinning skin, so your 20s and 30s are the best time for tattoos in terms of the skin's elasticity.

What does a tattoo feel like? ›

Some people describe the pain as a pricking sensation. Others say it feels like bee stings or being scratched. A thin needle is piercing your skin, so you can expect at least a little pricking sensation. As the needle moves closer to the bone, it may feel like a painful vibration.

What should I bring to a tattoo appointment? ›

Come Prepared

Bring a phone charger, headphones, portable game device, book – whatever will keep you busy and help time go by faster for you. It's also a good idea to bring a water or beverage with you. Some shops will recommend a beverage with a good amount of sugar in it to help your body endure the tattoo.

Where should you not get tattoos? ›

Areas like the feet, hands, stomach, chest, elbow, lips, and inner ear are not good tattoo locations. It's essential to consider a few things when choosing a proper placement, such as pain intensity, practicality, and visibility.

Why does getting tattooed make you so tired? ›

2. Your Adrenaline Will Kick In. Top Health News explained that the body experiences tattooing as a sort of trauma, and responds with a classic "fight or flight" kick of adrenaline. You can expect "a heady feeling that is sort of intense yet relaxing at the same time."

Is it better to get a tattoo in the morning? ›

You can make an appointment for your tattoo at any time of the day. However, according to science, it's more advisable to get your tattoo appointment as early in the morning as possible.

Is 70 too old to get a tattoo? ›

Getting a tattoo is not restricted to young people only; everyone can go get a tattoo at any age they want. It is not something exclusive to young adults, so you should not be bothered by that. If you feel like you need to express yourself or be spontaneous or rebellious, then don't think about your age.

Is it better to eat before getting a tattoo? ›

Tattoo artists recommend you eat one to two hours before your appointment and a meal full of protein and vegetables is a good choice. Beyond the nutritional benefits, it's unlikely that a healthy meal will overstuff you to the point of nausea — a bonus if you're especially squeamish around needles.

Should you shower after a tattoo? ›

The bottom line. Showering with a new tattoo isn't only fine; it's necessary for the sake of good hygiene. As long as you follow the aftercare instructions your tattoo artist gives you, and you're careful not to rub or soak your tattoo, showering shouldn't interfere with the healing process of your new ink.


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Author: Manual Maggio

Last Updated: 01/13/2023

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Name: Manual Maggio

Birthday: 1998-01-20

Address: 359 Kelvin Stream, Lake Eldonview, MT 33517-1242

Phone: +577037762465

Job: Product Hospitality Supervisor

Hobby: Gardening, Web surfing, Video gaming, Amateur radio, Flag Football, Reading, Table tennis

Introduction: My name is Manual Maggio, I am a thankful, tender, adventurous, delightful, fantastic, proud, graceful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.