Home Tattoo What You Need to Know Before Getting a Tattoo: 6 Facts and 3 Preparations Tips

What You Need to Know Before Getting a Tattoo: 6 Facts and 3 Preparations Tips

Things to Consider Before Getting a Tattoo
Our recommended Product - Dr. Numb® 5% Lidocaine Cream - 30g

Educate yourself and make an informed decision before getting a tattoo. It's self-expression and a commitment to caring for your body and ensuring safety.

Discover wisdom from others when getting a tattoo. Find a reputable studio and artist. Take breaks, meditate, and dress comfortably for a serene experience. Optimize your diet and avoid alcohol/caffeine for optimal healing.

In this blog post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about tattoos, including the history of tattoos, the health risks and safety precautions, and what to expect during the tattooing process. So, before you take the plunge, look at what you need to know.

What You Need to Know Before Getting a Tattoo: 6 Factors to Consider

Own Your Tattoo Experience: Enhance Comfort with Dr. Numb®
Make your tattoo journey yours! Dr. Numb® numbing cream may help enhance comfort during tattooing for a smoother experience.

Getting a tattoo is an exciting decision, but there are essential factors you should consider before making up your mind. These factors can significantly influence your tattoo experience and your satisfaction with the outcome.

Purpose of the Tattoo

The reason or symbolism behind getting a tattoo can vary significantly from person to person. Some everyday purposes include:

  • Personal expression.
  • Commemorating a loved one or an important milestone.
  • Commemorating a personal accomplishment.
  • Religious or cultural traditions.
  • Covering up scars or birthmarks.

Design and Size

When it comes to the design and size of your tattoo, it is vital to choose something meaningful to you and fits nicely on your body. Consider the following tips:

  • Choose a design that has personal significance or represents something you are passionate about.
  • Think about the longevity of the design. Will it still be relevant to you in twenty years?
  • If you need more clarification on the size, start small and move to larger tattoos.


The placement of your tattoo can vary depending on your personal preference, but here are some essential factors to keep in mind:

  • Choose a location that can be easily covered up, primarily if you work professionally.
  • Keep in mind that some areas may be more painful than others.

Pain Tolerance

Getting a tattoo does involve some level of pain. It is crucial to remember that everyone's tolerance level is different. Here are some tips to help alleviate discomfort during the tattooing process:

  • Take deep breaths and try to remain calm.
  • Consider taking over-the-counter pain medication before getting tattooed.
  • Ask the tattoo artist for a break if you need one.
Turn Up the Volume on Your Tattoo Art
Let your tattoo design be the star! Dr. Numb® numbing cream may help minimize discomfort during tattooing.

Time and Money

Getting a tattoo is a process that takes time and effort. Keep in mind:

  • Prices can vary based on the size and complexity of the design.
  • It may take several sessions to complete a giant tattoo.
  • Be prepared to invest both time and money into the process.

Health Risks and Safety Precautions

Getting a tattoo involves puncturing the skin, creating a risk for infection and disease transmission. Here are some safety precautions to keep in mind:

The Design Process Before You Get a Tattoo

Designing your tattoo is essential to the process and can make all the difference in the outcome. So, before you commit and get that ink, consider the following elements to ensure the perfect design and a positive experience.

Ideas and Inspiration

Regarding ideas and inspiration for your tattoo design, the possibilities are endless. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Look for inspiration in art, literature, or nature.
  • Consider getting a tattoo that represents a personal accomplishment or goal.
  • Research traditional designs and meanings to find something that speaks to you.

Choosing a Tattoo Artist

Choosing the right tattoo artist is critical to getting a quality tattoo. Keep in mind:

  • Ask for recommendations from friends and family.
  • Research the artist's portfolio and ensure they have experience with your desired style.
  • Schedule a consultation to discuss your design and get a feel for the artist's communication style.

Communication and Collaboration

Communicating and collaborating about tattoo design before you get one

Clear communication with your tattoo artist ensures you get your desired design. Here are some tips to make the collaboration process successful:

  • Be upfront about your expectations and the specifics of your plan.
  • Be open to the artist's suggestions for improving the design.
  • Ask for updates during the tattooing process to ensure you are happy with the direction of the tattoo.

Preparation for Getting a Tattoo: 3 Steps

Getting a tattoo is a complex decision to make. It involves careful planning and preparation to ensure a safe and successful experience. Before getting inked, it is crucial to consider the necessary steps to prepare your body and mind for the tattoo session.

Proper Hygiene and Skin Care

Taking care of your skin is essential regardless of getting a tattoo. Preparing your skin plays a vital role in achieving a good result. Here are some steps to consider for proper skin care before your tattoo session:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure, tanning beds, and sunburn, which can affect the ink's quality and color.
  • Keep the area tattooed clean by washing it daily with soap and water.
  • Avoid using creams or lotions that could clog pores or irritate the skin.
  • Shave the area to be tattooed, as hair can interfere with the tattoo process.
Feeling Jittery About Your Tattoo? Dr. Numb® May Help
A little nervous about getting inked? Dr. Numb® numbing cream may offer temporary relief from discomfort for a smoother experience.

Pre-Tattoo Consultation with the Tattoo Artist

Meeting with your tattoo artist before the tattoo session ensures you share the same vision. The consultation lets you discuss your design, take necessary measurements, and ask questions or concerns. Below are some things to consider before your consultation:

  • Consult with a tattoo artist with a reputable work portfolio who welcomes consultations.
  • Research the artist's experience and reviews.
  • Bring reference materials, such as photos or sketches, to help illustrate what you want for your design.
  • Ask questions regarding the design, size, placement, and healing process.
  • Discuss any relevant medical issues or allergies with your tattoo artist, as some people may be more susceptible to infections.

Mental Preparedness

Besides having a clean and healthy body, being mentally prepared before getting inked is vital. Getting a tattoo can be an enriching and fulfilling experience, but it's also a significant commitment, which can sometimes be painful. Here are some considerations before getting a tattoo:

  • Choose a design that is significant to you or at least resonates with your personality.
  • Have realistic expectations of the tattoo process. It may take some time to complete, and pain is expected, depending on the placement and size.
  • Take deep breaths or try relaxation techniques to help calm your nerves during the session.
  • Abstain from alcohol, drugs, or painkillers that can affect your physical responses.
  • Always be open to communication with your tattoo artist.

Know Before Getting a Tattoo: The Process

Before getting inked, it's essential to understand the process, from start to finish, to make an informed decision and ensure a safe and pleasurable experience. In this blog post, we'll focus on the tattooing process and its crucial steps.

Applying the Stencil

The Process of Applying the Stencil Before Getting a Tattoo

Before creating a tattoo, the artist will apply a stencil to your skin as a guide for the design. Here are some crucial things to know about the stencil application process:

  • The artist will use a carbon copy or soap transfer to create the stencil.
  • They will place the stencil on your skin and ensure the design is aligned and positioned correctly.
  • Once the stencil is in place, they will use ink to trace its lines onto your skin.
  • The artist will remove the stencil; you can look at the design before the tattooing begins.

Sterilization and Needle Safety

Tattooing involves puncturing the skin with a needle, which can transmit infections and disease if not handled correctly. Here are some vital points to know about sterilization and needle safety:

  • The tattoo artist must use a single-use, sterile needle and dispose of it afterward.
  • They must use a new needle for each client and not reuse needles.
  • The artist should wear gloves and change them frequently during the process to prevent contamination.
  • The equipment and work surface should be cleaned and disinfected between clients to prevent cross-contamination.

Pain Management Techniques

Tattooing is not pain-free, but artists use some pain management techniques to minimize discomfort. Here are some standard methods used:

  • Numbing creams: These numbing creams, like Dr. Numb are applied to the skin before tattooing to reduce pain.
  • Distractions: Some people find it helpful to bring music and talk to the artist to keep their minds off the pain.
  • Deep breathing: This technique helps to relax muscles and reduce discomfort.

Aftercare Instructions

After getting a tattoo, you need to take care of it to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of infection. Here are some aftercare instructions that you should follow:

  • Keep the area clean. Wash the tattoo with warm water and mild soap 2-3 times daily.
  • Apply a thin layer of moisturizing ointment or unscented lotion to hydrate the tattoo.
  • Avoid exposure to direct sunlight, swimming, or soaking the tattooed area for at least two weeks.
  • Don't pick or scratch the tattoo; it can lead to infections and scarring.

Potential Risks and Complications

When considering getting a tattoo, one must know the potential risks and complications to make an informed decision. Here are some of the most common ones.

Maximize Focus During Your Tattoo Session
Stay focused on your tattoo! Dr. Numb® numbing cream may help maximize focus during your session by minimizing discomfort.

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions are more common than you might think. People who have never had an allergic reaction can experience one when getting a tattoo. Allergic reactions can be caused by the ink or materials used during tattooing. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  • Swelling.
  • Redness and itching.
  • Rashes or hives.
  • Difficulty breathing.

Infection and Blood-borne Diseases

Getting a tattoo involves needles and skin punctures, increasing the risk of infection and blood-borne diseases. Bacteria, viruses, and fungi can cause infections and can occur during or after the tattooing process. Signs of an infection include:

  • Swelling, redness, and pain around the tattooed area.
  • Pus or discharge.
  • A fever.

Blood-borne diseases that can be transmitted during tattooing include:

  • HIV
  • Hepatitis B and C.

Scarring or Keloid Formation

Scarring or keloid formation can occur when the skin is damaged during tattooing. Keloids are raised, thickened areas of scar tissue that can be difficult to treat. Some people are more prone to keloid formation than others, and it's essential to be aware of this risk before getting a tattoo. Scarring can also occur if the aftercare instructions are not followed correctly, and the tattoo becomes infected.

Before You Get a Tattoo: Removal Options

One crucial factor that often goes overlooked is tattoo removal. Whether it's due to a change in personal taste or a professional requirement, knowing your options for tattoo removal is crucial. We’ll take a closer look at the two most popular methods: laser removal and cover-up tattoos.

Laser Removal

Laser Removal Options Before You Get a Tattoo

Laser removal is the most common method for removing tattoos. It involves using high-intensity light to break down the ink particles in your skin, which are absorbed by your body and eliminated through your lymphatic system. Here are some key things to keep in mind when considering laser removal:

  • Laser removal can be painful, but most people find the discomfort manageable.
  • The number of sessions required for complete removal varies depending on the complexity and size of your tattoo.
  • It's essential to choose a trained and licensed professional with experience in laser removal to minimize the risk of scarring or skin damage.
  • Laser removal can be expensive, with the total cost depending on factors such as the size of your tattoo, the location, and the number of sessions required.

Cover-Up Tattoos

Cover-up tattoos are another option if laser removal doesn't appeal to you. This involves designing a new tattoo that effectively covers up your old one. Some things to consider:

  • Cover-up tattoos can be a great way to turn a negative experience into a positive one.
  • It's essential to work with a tattoo artist who has experience with cover-ups, as particular techniques and designs may be required to hide your old tattoo effectively.
  • Based on how big and complex your old tattoo, a cover-up may require multiple sessions and be more expensive than a standard tattoo.
  • Be sure to carefully consider the design of your new tattoo to ensure that it meets your style and taste preferences and any professional requirements you may have.
Explore Options for a Comfortable Tattoo Experience
Discuss ways to make your tattoo experience comfortable! Explore the possibility of using Dr. Numb® for temporary relief with your artist's guidance.

The First Tattoo: Potential Issues & Solutions

The decision requires a great deal of consideration and preparation. Here are some essential points you should know about before going for a tattoo:

Potential Issues with Your First Tattoo

Despite the excitement, getting a tattoo is more complex than picking a design and sitting in the artist's chair. Some potential issues may arise:

  • Skin Reactions: Some individuals can have skin reactions to the tattoo ink, causing itchiness or inflammation.
  • Healing Time: Tattoos take time to heal. Until then, you can experience discomfort and should avoid specific activities like swimming or heavy workouts.
  • Permanent Decision: Tattoos are permanent. This can be an issue if you no longer like the design or if your personal or professional life changes.

Preparing for Your First Tattoo

To ensure a smooth tattooing process and avoid potential issues, you should take some steps to prepare:

  • Research and Plan: Understand what kind of tattoo you want. Look into the different styles, artists, and care techniques.
  • Skin Care: Prepare your skin by keeping it hydrated and healthy.
  • Consult: Speak with a professional tattoo artist. They can provide valuable insight and answer any questions you may have.

Remember, a tattoo is a long-term commitment. Thus, it's vital to take the time to research, plan, and prepare to ensure you're happy with your decision. Choosing the right artist and understanding potential issues can make your tattoo experience less daunting and more rewarding.

Solutions to These Issues

  • Research and Preparation: Gather as much information as possible about tattooing. Speak with those who have been through it and gain insights from their experiences.
  • Pain Management: Understand that some level of discomfort is expected. However, you can discuss numbing options with your tattoo artist beforehand.
  • Safety Measures: Ensure your tattoo artist follows all necessary safety protocols, like using new needles and sterilized equipment, to avoid potential health risks.
  • Choosing the Right Design and Artist: Spend substantial time finding a design that resonates with you. Research artists thoroughly and choose someone whose style matches your vision.


If you're considering getting a tattoo, it's essential to go into it with a clear understanding of what's involved. While tattoos can be beautiful and meaningful art, they require careful thought and preparation. Hopefully, this blog post has given you a better idea of what to expect before getting a tattoo.

By taking the time to carefully consider your options and work with a reputable tattoo artist, you can create a tattoo that you'll be proud to show off for years to come. So express yourself through ink just be smart about it.

Our recommended Product - Dr. Numb® 5% Lidocaine Cream - 30g
Matt Callard
I am a passionate traveler, as if traveling were my full-time job. I like to change my surroundings and environment, like changing desktop wallpaper. Nature increases the concentration in my writing, which helps brainstorming flow in my blood. I have a cat named Kitana. She is the most desperate about traveling, more than any other cat. How do I know? If I miss any tour in any week, she literally destroys my clothing with her wolverine nails.

I and my cat also participate in extreme activities like surfing, biking, hill tracking, paragliding, boating, etc. She was always there in my accidents, injuries, and stitches. She always sits on my lap when it hurts me most. The funniest part is that she has experienced all my tattoos. She sleeps on my blanket when I go through any painful experience.

My hobbies and lifestyle added many pain and injuries to my life. That is why I have a lot of experience in dealing with different levels of pain and burn. It influenced me to become a pain expert and share primary suggestions to handle any unwanted situations that hurt.


  • What should you avoid before getting a tattoo?

    A month before your tattoo session, you should not have tanned, fake tanned, chemical peeled, sunburned, or sustained significant cuts or scrapes in the area of the tattoo. Avoid extreme workouts a couple of days before your tattoo appointment to prevent unnecessary swelling and soreness.

  • How should I prepare to get a tattoo?

    Avoid alcohol and blood thinners, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, before getting a tattoo, as they can increase bleeding and prolong healing. Before your appointment, make sure you stay hydrated and eat something. Bringing a friend or relative for support is also a good idea.

  • How do I care for my tattoo after getting it?

    The artist should provide aftercare instructions after a tattoo is applied. Wear loose clothing to prevent rubbing or irritation, and keep the tattoo clean and moisturized. Seek medical attention if you notice any signs of infection or abnormal healing.

Back to blog
More Content