Category Archives: Ink Tips

Ink Tip #3

4 days away from my tattoo appointment I am coming down with what I assume to be a cold. My throat hurts, my body aches, and I’m extremely tired. This raises the question: Is it okay to get a tattoo while you’re sick?

Getting inked is hard for your immune system, doing “damage” to your skin that makes your immune system kick into high gear to heal it. Having a cold can occupy your bodies immune system, either causing your tattoo to heal a bit slower or make your cold last longer than usual. When it comes to major illnesses such as battling cancer, consulting with your doctor first is a must. Some tattoo artists require or would like to have permission from a doctor before performing a tattoo.

The bottom line? Yes, you can get a tattoo while you have a small cold. The experience of getting inked may be a little more painful, and it may not. It depends on the circumstance. Expect to take longer to get over your cough or bug. Other than this mild raise in discomfort, there is no reason your body can’t handle a tattoo and a cold at the same time. If you ever have a doubt about the safety of getting a tattoo with your health problems, consult your doctor openly about the subject.

I scheduled this appointment back in November of 2011, so I’m going to be a trooper and go through with finishing my back piece. Lots of Vitamin C and rest will hopefully get me a little better before then!

Stay healthy and happy inking!

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Ink Tip #2

While getting a tattoo, big or small, it can be difficult to find things to distract your mind from the constant sting. Many people suggest reading or watching a movie, but I have found these to be a bit too complicated for my mind to handle after sitting for a few hours.

The solution: Music, Conversation, and Food.

A fully charged IPod or Smart Phone with a special playlist for your session can be the difference between cringing in pain or singing your favorite song in the middle of the tattoo parlor (trust me, your artist won’t mind your singing if it means you are sitting still).

Having someone new to talk to about your tattoo helps, but only for about an hour until the relevant topics run out. During my exceptionally long sessions I told friends and family to come at 1 hour intervals. This gave them the chance to feel involved in my inking and me the opportunity to have fresh, distracting discussions every hour or so. Parents, Grandparents, close friends, neighbors, almost anyone would be interested to see your tattoo process and design (Be sure to ask your artist if they are okay with visitors, they may find them distracting while putting permanent ink in your skin… we wouldn’t want that).

Finally, the fail safe means of distraction and means of avoiding boredom: Food. Candy, crackers, cookies, sandwiches; almost anything will work, as long as it doesn’t take a lot of movement to enjoy it. Things like carrots, celery, cut up apples, and oranges are a perfect healthy alternative, especially if you have a tattoo buddy to help you. My personal saving grace was Vitamin Water. With the aid of a straw I drank away my pain with Strawberry Kiwi goodness (of course I had to take a few extra breaks after doing so). Hydration drinks like Vitamin Water or Gatorade are perfect, but try to stay away from caffeine, which could induce more shaking or wincing during your session.

If you smoke, don’t be afraid to ask for a smoke break if you need it. (Just three minutes of standing and smoking a Prime Time helped me get through the rough patches along my spine in my last session). The key is distraction, but the kind that a simple mind in pain can handle for a couple or more hours.

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Ink Tip #1

The anticipation of pain before a tattoo can be overwhelming, especially if it’s going to be your first one.

The quick “solution” to this problem is usually to get drunk to dull that pain. As effective as that might be, having alcohol in your system thins your blood, making bleeding a for sure problem during your ink session. Excessive bleeding can make the ink difficult to control, leading to a not-so-perfect tattoo (now we wouldn’t want that!)

The correct solution? Ibuprofen. Or Advil. Helping to keep swelling down and ease the pain, taking a noninflammatory half an hour before your ink session is the sure fire way to help with the tattoo burn and tingle.

(If you are getting ready for a long tattoo session, 3-6 hours, make sure to take ibuprofen when time allows to avoid a sudden on-come of pain)

Good Luck and Happy Inking!

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