Ilona has worked as a tattoo artist for 15 years. She once had a studio in UK, now she is in Lithuania. She loves tattooing her own designs.
Think It Through!
As a tattoo artist, I answer a lot of questions. I have clients asking for advice every day. If you are seriously thinking about getting a tattoo and want to avoid some common mistakes, I invite you to read on.
A big part of my work is covering up tattoos. Unfortunately, some ink cannot be fixed, and all I can do is recommend laser removal, a procedure that takes a long time and is very painful and expensive. Although the laser will fade the tattoo so that it can be covered, the skin will never be spotless again.
It's much, much smarter to get what you want to begin with. Below, I include all the topics you'll need to consider to make sure you get a tattoo you'll be happy with. Get it right the first time around!
How to Make Sure You Get a Tattoo You'll Love Forever
- Avoid these ten rookie first-tattoo mistakes (see the list below).
- Research, design, and decide exactly what you want (with links for inspiration).
- Learn the language and proper, accurate terms to describe the type of tattoo you want.
- Consider a list of questions to ask yourself before you get a tattoo (and what to discuss with your artist before you get started),
- Find the best tattoo artist for the tattoo of your dreams.
- Prepare your skin for the big day (and take care of it afterward).
- Calm yourself and control the pain while you're getting tattooed.
Each of these ideas is described fully below.
Step 1: Avoid These 10 Most Common Tattoo Mistakes
- Don't get a tattoo too early in life. Getting a tattoo before the age of 18 is almost a guarantee of regret. For one thing, it's unlikely that a professional tattooist will do it, so you'll have to take a risk with an amateur. If you are young and want a cartoon character tattoo, picture one of your parents with a Yoshi tattoo and think again. It is worth it to wait. There is no rush.
- Don't be cheap. It's the art that you want, not a bargain.
- Don't go to just any tattoo shop. If you don't do your research, you may end up with an artist who does poor work.
- Don't tattoo a person's name on your body. Not even your child's.
- Don't leave a tattoo unfinished. Save up and make sure you can pay for the full tattoo at the outset. It is not cool to walk around with an unfinished tattoo.
- Don't get a tattoo by a random tattooist. Even if you're on vacation and the tattooist is on the beach. Not a good idea.
- Don't take tattoo aftercare advice from friends. Get your advice from a reputable tattooist.
- Don't get a tattoo from a friend. Letting someone practice on your body is very kind of you, but it's a recipe for disaster.
- Don't get a tattoo while intoxicated. Although it's unprofessional, some tattooists will do the work as long as you pay. Don't take anything that will cloud your judgment or delay your healing, or you'll be sorry.
- Never tell the tattooist to do whatever they want. You are the one who will wear it, so think for yourself. If you see something you don't like while they're working, don't wait to say something. The mess will only get bigger and more difficult to fix.
Step 2: Know Exactly What You Want!
If this is your first tattoo, here's my best advice: Take your time deciding what you truly love. It doesn't really matter how much it costs or how much it hurts or how soon it can be done. Do not ask for tattoo advice from your friends unless you want to have something they like. If you want a tattoo you'll love forever, do not go for the easiest or most obvious choices (like your own name or initials or those of your boyfriend or girlfriend). Fashions come and go. Tattoos stay.
To begin brainstorming ideas for a first tattoo, sit down with a pencil and paper and start sketching out ideas. Nobody can do this for you, but it's a crucial first step. You have to do this task yourself, using your own brain power. While you're at it, you'll start to get a clearer picture of what you really want.
Questions to ask yourself before you get a tattoo:
- Why do I want a tattoo? (Don't skip this question: It's important!)
- Do I want it fast or do I want it good?
- How far am I willing to go and how much am I willing to pay?
- Do I want a unique tattoo?
- Do I want to design it myself? (I recommend this only for those who are very good at drawing and design.)
- Do I want my selected artist to design something special for me?
- Does it matter if somebody else has the same image already?
- Does the tattoo have to mean anything and if yes, then what?
- Where is the best place for me to have it? Do I want it visible or easy to hide?
- What is the size that I imagine it to be?
- What colors am I considering?
- What styles of tattoos appeal to me most (old school, minimal, realistic, etc.)?
- What if my tastes change?
If you have a tattoo already, take a close look at it. Are you completely and totally happy with how it turned out? Could you benefit from reworking or covering something that is looking old and tired or maybe done not-so-well? Before starting on a new tattoo, fix the old one and you will feel ten times better.
Step 3: Research and Design Carefully
Once you have ideas about what you want, the next step is research. Create a file or folder full of things you like. You'll bring this with you when you go to meet your tattoo artist for the first time.
How do I search for and research tattoo design ideas?
- Instagram, Pinterest, Google Images, and Deviantart are good places to start. Another place to look for inspiration is tattoo magazines. You will find them in shops and also online. These magazines include up-to-date tattoos and artist directories. You can also look for a design in the tattoo shop; it could be something from the artist's portfolio, flash designs, tattoo magazines, or online.
- Online tattoo design websites (like TatRing, Tattoo.com, Tattoon.com, and Tatoodo.com) are very good for ideas, and you may find your dream tattoo there. Scrolling through many different tattoo ideas will open your eyes to more possibilities.
- Let's say you want a dragon tattoo. Type "dragon tattoo" into a search engine to see what other people have already done, but if you do not want to copy someone else's tattoo, then leave off the word "tattoo." By just entering "dragon," you will see dragon artwork, statues, figurines, jewelry, and fantasy art. If you search "dragon drawing" or "dragon illustration," you'll find many different styles and designs. This is all great material to help you create your own unique dragon.
- Let's say you want flowers. Be specific. What kind of flower tattoo? Search for images of particular flowers in specific colors.
- Print up the images that you like or save them to a folder.
- If it is writing, a quote, or text that you want, play around by putting the words in different fonts and sizes.
- Print it up, cut it out, and place them where you want the tattoo. See how the design fits on your body, how it really might look, and if it's all good.
- Do not just print a thumbnail and ask your tattooist to work from that. Most of the time, the quality of the picture is too blurry and the detail will be lost.
- You are getting closer! Take your research seriously, as the more thought and time you put in it, the more special your tattoo will feel to you. Do not think about what you should have, but rather what you want. No matter how old you are, you should be getting the tattoo for yourself, not for your parents or friends.
- Style is important, as we tattooists each have our own. Often, tattoo artists prefer one style over another. If you choose a tattoo artist based upon their style, then the best thing is to let them do what they like the most. However, you will still need to know what you want and give guidelines to your artist.
- You'll want to know which style of tattoo you want. Learn the words for the style or technique that appeal to you so that you can communicate effectively with your artist.
Read More from Tatring
Tattoo Drawing Styles
Black and Grey/Shaded
Step 4: Find the Right Artist
This is the most important step. Take your time with this one, and remember: the artist is not the same as the shop. An artist is a person. If somebody recommends a particular shop, ask them for the name of the particular artist they like. Sometimes people go to a recommended place and get tattooed by an apprentice or guest artist that has very little experience. Avoid being disappointed!
- The best place to find a tattoo artist you love is by word of mouth. If you see a tattoo you love, don't hesitate to ask where they got it.
- The second best place to look for an artist is on the Internet. A professional artist will definitely show their work on a website. The easiest way to recognise a great artist is by the "wow" factor. If the work is not impressive, then don't expect miracles. Also, note that the photos you see on the artist's online portfolio are the best ones he has done and most likely are touched up with Photoshop.
- Look through photos of tattoos the artist has already done. See if their style is what you are looking for. Somebody who loves doing tribal may not be perfect for a portrait job, for example.
- Beware of imposters. If you see in an artist's bio that he studied at an art academy, but he can't draw, then he won't be able to give you a piece of art.
- Look for photos of healed tattoos in the artist's portfolio. If all photos are of fresh tattoos and none of them healed, it may be because they did not heal as intended and only look good while fresh.
- If you need to travel to get to the artist you like, then do so. "I want a tattoo now" is not the right mindset when getting something for life.
- Do not always automatically take your friend's tattoo advice. See for yourself. Please do not trust your friend with a tattoo machine to practice on you. Sometimes tattoos done by friends are beyond repair, and that can end a friendship.
- When you meet an artist, take a moment to notice how you feel around them. Do you trust them? Are you comfortable? Are they listening to you? If not, leave! Do yourself a favor: Do not go against your gut feeling. Intuition knows best. If you feel that you are in the right place, make an appointment for a consultation.
Step 5: Share Your Ideas With Your Artist
Avoid asking questions like:
- "How much for a 4x8 angel?" (This question has no answer.)
- "How much does it hurt?" (No one can tell you exactly how much something is going to hurt.)
- "Can you give me a cheaper tattoo?" (This question is both dumb and insulting.)
Before talking to the artist, you should have a more-or-less clear idea of what you want. You will need to bring some examples of images with you so you can demonstrate what you like and what you don't.
What should you discuss with your tattoo artist?
- Discuss idea, size, placement, color, and style. Ask about how much time your project will require and how much it'll cost. Ask the tattooist if he/she feels comfortable doing this tattoo design for you: They may recommend somebody else more suitable for the job. You should ask every possible question before you start.
- Listen to your tattoo artist's advice, as he/she is the expert who knows best what is possible.
- Do not ask your tattooist what you should get. It is your own body, so it is your own decision. No one knows you better than yourself. You can ask for professional advice and feedback about which design would work better if you have to make a choice between a few designs. Also, the size of the tattoo will need to be negotiated, as it depends on its detail and the placement on your body.
- Once you agree on the details, make an appointment. This gives you another chance to rethink and get ready. If the chosen artist has a waiting list and you're willing to wait, that is a good sign.
- Ask your artist about tattoo aftercare. Every artist has their own instructions, based upon experience with what works. Not every shop sells healing cream, so you may need to get it yourself. If you get it before the session, you will not need to worry about it afterward.
Step 6: Prepare Your Skin
A couple of words about skin: The better the canvas, the better the drawing. That means if you have dry, flaky, or damaged skin, the quality of your tattoo will suffer.
Condition your skin for a couple of weeks before your appointment by using moisturizers, lotions, body butter, or whatever works for you. This way your skin will be softer, more elastic, and more likely to heal smoothly.
Sunburnt skin cannot be tattooed, so make sure you leave enough time after your holiday in the sun to let your skin recover. If you are quite hairy, it's a good idea to shave the area before you meet your artist.
Step 7: Remain Calm During the Tattooing Session
- Stay calm and relaxed. It will hurt, but the intensity of the pain is less if you are relaxed.
- Getting a good night's sleep and eating a big meal right before the tattoo session will also make it easier.
- There is no point in thinking too much about what it's going to feel like. Worrying too much about pain will leave you drained before it is even started. If you know that you want it, go for it. You will see that it is not as bad as you imagine.
- If you are really scared, do everything you need to do to calm down as much as possible.
- Stay away from alcohol for at least 24 hours before your appointment. If you consume alcohol, you will bleed a lot. Alcohol thins the blood and it makes it more difficult for the tattooist to put the ink into your skin. Your healing may be complicated.
- Bring a sugary drink, a bar of chocolate, or something else sweet to keep your sugar levels up.
- Consider buying some aftercare cream before your tattoo session so you do not need to worry about it later. I recommend Bepanthen, a baby care cream that works magic on tattoos. Ask your tattoo artist what they suggest. In my experience, creams described as "tattoo healing creams" may not be the best option. They may smell nice, but that is not why you should choose a cream.
- Remember, the more relaxed you are, the better it goes. If you are too tense, too tired, or too afraid, there is a good chance that you may pass out.
How can you control tattooing pain?
Staying relaxed and being prepared will help, but It is also worth investing in a numbing cream if you know that you have a low pain threshold. I recommend Ametop cream, which you get from a pharmacist or chemist. Apply it two to three hours before the session. Dab it on, cover the spot with cling film, and seal it with tape. It usually works well for about one to two hours before wearing off.
Step 8: Follow Aftercare Advice
Listen to your tattooist. They know best. Here are some general tips to keep in mind:
- Your tattoo will be covered with cling film and secured with micropore tape. The morning after the session, remove the cover and wash your tattoo with warm, soapy water. Shower gel is fine.
- Be gentle; do not rub. Pat dry with the towel and wait for a few minutes until it dries completely.
- Apply a very thin layer of Bepanthen cream. Make sure to remove any excess with a tissue. It should not be white once the cream is applied.
- Put another layer of cling film on, fix with the tape, and keep on until the next morning.
- If it's comfortable to do so, repeat these steps again one more day. If it gets too irritating or hot, do not recover it for the third time.
- Wash your tattoo daily and apply the cream twice for the rest of the week, morning and evening. If it feels dry, apply a thin layer in the afternoon. Do not use the Bepanthen cream for more than two days total. You may apply some normal moisturiser or lotion after the first week, but that is not necessary. The skin will heal by itself.
- The tattoo will peel like sunburned skin. Just let it heal. Do not pick or scratch.
- Do not soak in water. No baths, no steam rooms, and no swimming until it heals. Quick showers are fine, as are daily washings.
- Do not expose a new tattoo to UV rays for as long as four to six weeks. Sun will make it fade. Later, if you go out in bright daylight, apply sunblock.
- One of the biggest mistakes people make is putting too much cream on their new tattoos for too long. This delays healing.
- Follow your tattooist's advice thoroughly.
|Yes, I would use numbing cream.||No, I wouldn't.|
"I say hellz yes I'd use numbing cream!!! I recently got my first tattoo on my back and hurt way bad, so bad I'm nervous about getting it finished. Some people have a high tolerance for pain and I'm not one of them."—Anonymous
"No way, it's part of the experience. I just got my first tattoo on my foot (which everyone says is very painful) and I wouldn't trade it for anything. It didn't hurt, it was just slightly uncomfortable... my tattoo was worth the pain."—Anonymous
"Yes, I am a wimp with pain but I know I want the tattoo!!!"—Anonymous
"Personally, no. Getting through the pain is part of the tattoo process and it feels like I've earned the design."—Anonymous
"If it has no negative effects, why not?"—Anonymous
"No, numbing cream only affects the top of your skin while the tattoo goes deeper than that so no—because it's pointless."—Anonymous
"Yes every person is different and why have the pain when it can be easily avoided?"—Anonymous
"No—experience the needle through your skin. See it as a ritual the pain in your body is the price you have to pay to your new tat."—Anonymous
"I used to think it was cheating, but we don't get tattoos for the pain, we get them for the art."—Anonymous
"No, if you can't handle the pain, don't get tattooed. The pain is part of the experience, and you will be much prouder of your ink if you sit through the pain instead of wussing out."—Anonymous
"I have four tattoos that I got 100% sober and without numbing cream. However, I am considering purchasing it for my next one. It really depends on where you get your tattoo: Some places are just much more painful than others."—Anonymous
"I would not not not use a numbing cream! A tattoo is an experience. The pain is part of it & why take away from the whole? For a few minutes of pain, you get a lifetime of beautiful art!"—DeniseDurham2011
"I'm planning multiple tattoos, as a set. Some, for example, the first two should be medium sized, on fleshy areas (upper arms/shoulders). However the tattoo for my back, with spine & shoulder blades, is probably worth the numbing cream, depending on what my first two experiences were like. "—Anonymous
"Tattoos are not that painful. Right now I am in the process of learning how to be a tattoo artist and we have people come in all the time asking to be numbed. We do not offer numbing cream where I am at. The discomfort of it is a price you pay to have a piece of art on your body."—Anonymous
"Sure, why not? Especially the area is especially sensitive.and it helps keep you in control of the pain so the tattoo artist can do their job."—ferbscosmetics
"Sometimes I like pain... wouldn't want to miss out if that gets triggered. ;)"—Anonymous
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2008 Ilona Ciunaite
Helen Manongyao from Philippines on February 22, 2020:
This article is very helpful. Helped me decide whether get a tattoo.
Christine Rudolph on December 11, 2019:
Hope you are having a wonderful day. I have read most of your articles and they are really interesting, meaningful at the same time. I'm really impressed by the information you have on your site and beside this.I would like to write an article for your site related to "skin treatment".
I also have some ideas in my mind and would love to share with you, and i assure you that my articles over trending topics will entertained the readers. I would highly appreciate if you could allow me to proceed.
I look forward to your response.
Ironbuzztattoos on November 20, 2019:
Nice Idea and Amazing Tattoos. Now I am thinking to try something like this. Thanks for sharing with us.
KttyKrvtz on October 27, 2019:
Are you ever too old to get a tattoo?
Kate on September 16, 2019:
Great rundown, thanks for the practical advice. I have a few small tats but am planning a more major one and even tho I’d like it done yesterday, I know I can’t treat it like buying a new outfit. Well aware but reading this reinforced it. I haven’t found what I’m looking for, inspo-wise (want it unique & cant draw even a little) so I’ll def check out the resources you suggested. And I like the idea of flipping thru ink mags. *The dolphin-turned-lily is pure brilliance. Amazing work.
Franklin from Humboldt on August 23, 2018:
Been tatting myself for a bit and I tried tattooing myself above the wrist and the ink didn't stay. I have never had a problem before. Whats a good ink to use and what is best for aftercare
Honeyuk on February 16, 2018:
I have a couple of tatoo in diferent part of the body on my neck I have a honey bee and small flower. on my waist i have a belt of flower unfinished, and on my back I have a old small lion that i want to cover, what would be the best approch and good idea to blend more tatoo on the ones i alread have make it look like one tatoo only . nothing too big as I am girl and like feminine tatoos. maybe a ideas of shades , the tatoo i have at the moment are collor in between green and pink I was think blend new one in only black and white shade. any advise?
Ilona Ciunaite (author) from Worthing, UK on January 04, 2018:
That sounds really nice!
Dolly on January 02, 2018:
So I've got a tattoo of a dream catcher on my hip, would it be tacky if I got a big tattoo of angel wings on my back
Rachel on July 26, 2017:
I've had a cover up and went back as some of the original colour was coming through. He rectified it with the colour which was coming through and not colour it is supposed to be, now I don't know what to do!
Joe on March 08, 2017:
If my tattoo starts itching does that I have to put some more bepanthen on it
Ilona Ciunaite (author) from Worthing, UK on April 08, 2014:
@preston-andrews-73: hi preston,
thank you for contacting me. i have joined squidoo on Feb 21, 2008, that
was when this lens was published.
preston-andrews-73 on April 06, 2014:
I would like to use this information for a presentation in my communications class. Is there any way you could tell me the date that this was published?
Ilona Ciunaite (author) from Worthing, UK on August 15, 2013:
@anonymous: Don't get them.
anonymous on August 15, 2013:
I hate tatoos
Ilona Ciunaite (author) from Worthing, UK on May 13, 2013:
@anonymous: Nice place for a small design. But it is not that hidden. You can not see it, but others will from the back. If you want it hidden, nice place is inside arm too. But tattoo looks best if it fills the area. The bigger the area, the bigger tattoo, small tattoos look like stickers. Depends on taste, of course.
anonymous on May 13, 2013:
I have wanted my tattoo for a while now. I know what design, and why I want - it means a lot to me. I would like to get it at the bottom of my neck - where my spine meets my neck, as I want it to be quite hidden. Is this quite a good spot for that? And the design is very simple, does that make it more likely to look amateurish? Thanks!
anonymous on March 24, 2013:
@anonymous: I had a huge tattoo on my rib. It was my first tattoo. Ribs are said to be one of the most painful parts for a tattoo. I had two sessions of 8 hours each. There were times during the sessions that I actually fell asleep and times that the pain was intense. Whatever the pain was, I can assure this:
As soon as it was done and i had a look at the amazing work that my artist had done I could not even remember the pain! I was smiling and gave my artist a hug!
If you really like the tattoo do it whatever the pain (you think it) is.
Ilona Ciunaite (author) from Worthing, UK on March 18, 2013:
@anonymous: Who cares how much it hurts, the only concern is where it should be sitting for the rest of your life. If you can not handle pain, don't get it. If you really want a tattoo, no pain will stop you. And it always sounds scarier in your head, then actual sensation of it, it is not as bad as you imagine it to be.
Ilona Ciunaite (author) from Worthing, UK on March 18, 2013:
@hatebeingsingle19: Swelling is normal. If it gets inflamed, red, sore, burning, smelly- that would mean an infection, otherwise the swelling is going down in a few days and there is nothing to worry about.
hatebeingsingle19 on March 18, 2013:
i got a tattoo done on my leg yesterday and now it is sore, swollen, and there is heat coming off swelling. is this normal i have 2 other tattoos and they didn't do this they are on my wrist and neck what can i do to reduce swelling and pain.
anonymous on March 16, 2013:
Hi I really want to get a tattoo but I'm not sure where. I was thinking my ankle maybe , but I'm not sure about the pain so on a scale 1 to 10 how much will it hurt there .
anonymous on March 04, 2013:
@ICtheLight: BagBalm works great and that's what I use on all my clients..
anonymous on February 11, 2013:
so thought about taking pain medication while getting work done? I take pain medication daily for back problems when I first got my arm done I was not taking it but now I take vicodine almost daily.
anonymous on February 10, 2013:
I have gotten a tattoo by a guy who has tattooed lots of ppl i know and i loved his work but he did mine the outline was uneven and bumpy then in a second sitting did color and some color is blown out and he added colors asking me while in the middle of doing it i trusted him and right now it looks like something just slapped together he wants me to go back to finish it and i don't know what to do
lynsmfraser on December 11, 2012:
Hey, I have just had my first tattoo done yesterday. I asked for the Nirvana In Utero angel in black and grey shading with skin. I know it is not original but I love Nirvana and I thought with skin it will just look like an angel anyway. I did research the shop and the artists and found one where I liked all the work and I did not find any bad reviews. I had popped into the shop and discussed beforehand, they advised me to get it slightly bigger than image I had brought in so it didn't end up looking like a cartoon. Anyway I got the tattoo done and was so excited, its taking me years to pluck up the courage to commit to it, but I do not love it. I do not like the hands the arms or the face plus the outline looks too dark compared to the shading. The hands look like cartoon ones as he has tried to put too much detail in for the size of it...which he said he wasn't going to do. The arms look to straight, stick like and the head has been outlined along the neck instead of shaded and the face hasn't been shaded greatly. Does this sound like something that can be fixed? Its at the top of my back in the middle. The wings and some of the shading is great but I would really like it improved so I can truly love it as just now I feel a little embarrassed about it. Do you have any advice? Many thanks
anonymous on November 28, 2012:
Ive designed my very own tribal tattoo but my question is, can tattoo artists replicate my design and make a temperary tatt/non permanent ink so i can see what it looks like first before permanantly tattooing it on?
anonymous on November 19, 2012:
Hi. I have been thinking of getting a tattoo, and I already know the desing and place. I'm rather chicken when it comes to pain, and I was thinking this numbing cream.. Do you have any advice of what kind of numbing cream I should take(I live in Finland)
Ilona Ciunaite (author) from Worthing, UK on November 04, 2012:
@anonymous: Hi Donna, usually tattoo artist advises what works for his customers. I would not recommend baby lotion or other creams, as I don't know them. I recommend bepanthen cream, but I don't know what you can get in your country.
It may be wise to google and see what other artist in the area recommend.
Ilona Ciunaite (author) from Worthing, UK on November 04, 2012:
@anonymous: Different artist have their own advice on aftercare. No cream at all sounds a bit strange. Skin heals by itself, cream makes it a bit more comfortable. Would not put just any cream, but definitely would use some. See if you can get bepanthen in your country.
Ilona Ciunaite (author) from Worthing, UK on November 04, 2012:
@anonymous: Some people bleed, some don't. Would not worry about it. Just take good care of it while healing.
anonymous on November 03, 2012:
I took a tattoo but while i was taking it it did not bleed should i be worried?
anonymous on November 01, 2012:
hi just had a cover up job done and been advised no cream..a lot of blue colouring and on sholder blade.. just a bit worried ??? a lot of bold lines and block colouring.. as it covered a very old tattoo 20yrs.. that was all out line left ..thankyou..
anonymous on October 31, 2012:
My tattoo artist has advised me to use baby lotion on my tattoo, and to wash with dial antibacterial soap twice daily. Now everybody is telling me that is wrong, I'm to use aquaphor and lubiderm lotion. I'm hesitiating on who to listen to, please advise!
anonymous on October 30, 2012:
Fantastic advice. Have been very confused regarding aftercare but your advice has really helped. Many thanks
anonymous on October 22, 2012:
If you have a small tattoo, about the size of an american half dollar, and it is a rework (touched up slightly redone) how often should you be applying cream? and how long is a projected healing time on it? it seems to be doing well already, but I just want to have an idea. How long should one spend outside of a pool, or water?
anonymous on October 15, 2012:
I want to get some writing tattooed on my side (just above the panty-line) but I have some faint stretchmarks in the area... should I avoid it? I've heard that if stretchmarks are quite old and faded there is less of a problem going over them....
anonymous on September 22, 2012:
i had a tattoo done 8weeks ago and it is very dry can i use e45 cream on it?
or can i use any lotion/moisturizer?
also i had my second tattoo done just over a week ago and as the scab as come off so has the tattoo which looks horrible i will be getting it gone over again but its like its got a second scab to it but its white flaky round the edges of the tattoo is that ok?
anonymous on September 19, 2012:
hi i had a tattoo done 1week ago on the top of my wrist and noticed that it has been more painful healing and the top of my m looks more dipped in then the rest of the lettering like they have gone to far in, it also feels painful from my tattoo down my hand like numb feeling (hope that makes sense) plus the ink has come off with the scab so will need going over again once im completely out of pain. can you give me some advice please i am going back to my tattooist as my other 2 tattoos r ok and didn't go like this one. thank you
Ilona Ciunaite (author) from Worthing, UK on September 13, 2012:
@anonymous: You can get it touched up, perhaps it's not the shirt's fault.
Ilona Ciunaite (author) from Worthing, UK on September 13, 2012:
@anonymous: In such care, don't touch the scabs. When they fall of, it will be fine, but if you pick them the ink will come out too. So be very careful and let the skin heal on it's own. I would not apply anything on them. Let the body do the healing.
Ilona Ciunaite (author) from Worthing, UK on September 13, 2012:
@anonymous: You have overused the bepanthen cream. It is only good to use it for a week or less, not more. Stop using it imediately to prevent further damage. Let the skin recover, do not apply anything else. It may settle and get darker, if not, then one way only is to get it redone, and then look after it properly.
Hope this helps.
anonymous on September 09, 2012:
oh gosh, i came to the tattoo store wanted to have my own tattoo then i came back with a a bonus one: a star, which is too popular now i read this and start to feel real bad
anonymous on August 28, 2012:
Hi I would like some info because not sure if this is normal .. I have had tattoos before but I have had a new one done 5 days now and its scabed over but quite thick scabs and don't want to tattoo to be ruined can anyone give me some help with my dilemma
anonymous on August 11, 2012:
I have just got a phrase written/tattooed on my left upper arm's inner side, last saturday and see now that the first word's some letters are kind of fading, it's heart breaking. What should I do about it?
I wanted my tattooed to be hidden but I should be able to read it, hence that place but now this.. :(
I wore half sleeve shirts as I work so i realize that maybe due to the sweat and fabric this might have happened. I am upset now. :(
anonymous on August 07, 2012:
I just got a tattoo on my foot about 4 days ago its only lettering, but unfortunately going out i have to wear "thong" sandals but i have now noticed that half my tattoo is darker than the other half and i don't know if it is because my sandal is rubbing against half my tattoo and not the other half,what do i do about this problem?
Ilona Ciunaite (author) from Worthing, UK on July 31, 2012:
@anonymous: I would get it done after the holiday, you need to protect it from Sun as while skin is still healing, the ink fades the most. I advise no sun for at least 6 weeks.
anonymous on July 31, 2012:
hey i am getting a tattoo tomorrow on my foot, im going away to spain a week on friday for the weekend will that affect my tattoo ?
anonymous on July 25, 2012:
What about inside mouth tattoos? I see so many people with them now, it seems like the recovery and numbing cream you mentioned would not help with those at all.
anonymous on June 15, 2012:
I live in NYC, i paid $250 for a tattoo to symbolize my past miscarriages. But the tattoo artist did not color all of the tattoo, i have pictures to show that my skin complextion is not dark so there is no excuse as to why any color would not show up. But i noticed a lot of these shops charge high prices for poor and low quality tattoos, if you are going based on size you had better be good and know what you are doing. I wouldn't mind traveling just to find am excellent tattoo artist, all i want is for my tattoos to have moore color and definition to them, my tattoos are fading really badly. I draw my own designs and bring them to the shop, so all of my tattoos are custom made by me, the thing i don't like is when the color fades,and when the artist does a piss poor job. The sad part is the shop i went to the artist did not finish coloring in my tattoo because i wouldn't have sex with him in the bathroom, i had to curse him out and left immediately. Never again, if anybody would like to see pictures please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you can also forward me to a good parlor or artist i would greatly appreciate it.
Drnumb05 on June 15, 2012:
Numbing cream is very useful during all minor surgeries, body piercing, tattoo making etc. it is like a miracle to offer instant relief....Great Information
Kalberti on June 12, 2012:
is there anyway of posting current tattoo and what was expected to see what people think/if it could be fixed. If itâs possible I would travel anywhere, but I instead let the artist do what âthey wantedâ for part of it but am not sure if it can be what I want. Is there anyway of posting pictures?
DeniseDurham2011 on June 01, 2012:
Nice tattoos. Good lens. Yay!
anonymous on April 13, 2012:
@anonymous: It depends on where you have the tattoo if it's in an awkward place where it's constant being rubbed you will know if it's infected
anonymous on April 12, 2012:
I got a tattoo about a month ago on my ribs. It is a 21 word quote in lowercase old english font. Now that it is healed I have noticed that some words are really blurry. The lettering is fairly small and for example all the "w"s are grey in between the lines and some of the outlines are fuzzing out a lot already. Can I get that blurriness fixed?? What should I do?
anonymous on April 08, 2012:
I just really appreciate the guy who did this, when people have no one there to help them out, this was seriously great. Thank you so much for taking your time to do this, I appreciate it.
anonymous on March 15, 2012:
hi i got my tattoo done nearly a month ago and i have been following aftercare instruction but it is stinging and tingling a little? how would i know if i have an infection?
ferbscosmetics on February 01, 2012:
Really great lens and advice! Very informative. If you don't follow steps 1 and 2 you might want to check out our tattoo cover up lens for different ways to cover a tattoo. :)
anonymous on October 05, 2011:
I'm getting my tattoo for my 18th (I know it's young but I designed it a year ago and I'm still absolutely sure about the design, I've thought everything through) but I'm having a birthday party two days after it. It's going on my ankle, and I was just wondering if anyone knows if it'll be fine to dance/stand the whole night in a crowded room? I know I'll sweat, but will it be okay seeing as it's on my ankle?
Ilona Ciunaite (author) from Worthing, UK on September 24, 2011:
I recommend one week no sports, sweating at all. After tattoo heals is fine..
anonymous on September 24, 2011:
can we go gym after applied the tattoo
anonymous on August 25, 2011:
thanks! i wanna design my own. i'm an artist, so i'm very anal about how it will look. this helped me narrow down how i will design it
anonymous on July 24, 2011:
Thank You for that information!!! It really jumpstarted me in the process of getting my idea from my head to paper as Im not an artist.. Thanks again..
anonymous on June 22, 2011:
i was thinkin about getting a tattoo on my ankle and i wanted to know if anyone had any advice im probs not gonna go get it fir a while but it is going to be my first tattoo and i have no pain tolerance but i really want this tattoo because its something i designed and i put a lot of work into it and it means a lot to me
anonymous on April 09, 2011:
Thanks for the great advice! I'm looking forward to get my first ink soon. but i am not getting the perfect design. which i want..
anonymous on September 10, 2010:
My tattoo artist pressed on mine after he was done, that did make it bleed a bit. why would he do this
LotusMalas on February 05, 2010:
Fabulous information in this lens! I have a backpiece that I have treasured since the moment the process began! This lens is very accurate to my own process and the fact that I am so pleased with my tattoos. Thank you for sharing this great info!
And your tattoos are VERY LOVELY!
anonymous on September 02, 2009:
wicked advice...when i had my first tattoo i found that preparation H cream works wonders too as it gets rid of any swelling really really quickly!
anonymous on August 28, 2009:
My first tattoo was done by ilona, having carefully followed her advice and aftercare, I have a great tattoo which has been much admired. I am looking forward to seeing her again before too long for some more work.
anonymous on July 15, 2009:
I suggest (for design anyway) something lines that give an allusion of depth with curves and movement, which will help the name to become, hopefully, less obvious! And, if you like flowers, I would suggest you consider something with them, because flowers come in all shapes and sizes, with shading incorperated really anywhere you please and the lettering can be made to look like all kinds of different stems (ie. tribal vs. realistic)
Good luck! I hope your cover up is something that you love and that this time around, its here to stay :)
anonymous on June 27, 2009:
so of course i'm sure everyone has heard this but i got my husband's name tattooed on my lower back as a special wedding present when we got married. well we are getting a divorce now three years later and... i want to cover it up w something else! any helpful pointers anyone?... :)
anonymous on June 02, 2009:
Beautiful work! A word of advice on numbing creams, if you have super sensitive skin, you could have a reaction to the cream which will swell your skin and make it hurt more than the tattooing process itself, so you might just want to suffer through the pain of the tattoo instead because the pain goes away when the tattoo is finished, whereas an allergic reaction can take days.
anonymous on June 01, 2009:
Great Advice, its answered a lot of my questions. Im booked in this weekend coming :)
anonymous on May 14, 2009:
I am getting my tattoo done tomorrow, your adivice is very helpful, the pain factor was something that was worrying me, I have requested to use AmeTop numbing creame when getting my tattoo done. I hope that it works as i do not know my pain threshold and wether getting it done without numbing creame would be too much for me. I really want this tattoo, however i had wanted to get it done at the beginning of the week so obviously gettting it done tomorrow i have had time to research into it, however i have also had more time to wonder what it will feel like, Hopefully it will be a success and I can show it off. I have been debating a tattoo for 2 years now so i feel quite happy with my decision, once i've gotten one if I enjoy it i'll be lookin forward to getting another tattoo hopefully :)
tdove on April 29, 2009:
You have some very nice tattoo designs and info. Thanks for checking out my foot tattoo lens!
Kpretorius LM on April 02, 2009:
Great lens, really enjoyed reading through it and both of you do really stunning work.
have a look at my lenses on tattoos
anonymous on March 12, 2009:
hey, i`m just about to go book an appointement for my first tattoo. Ur advice was really helpful. thanks:)
anonymous on October 16, 2008:
Ilona did my tattoo last year and I was really pleased with it...and I still am! She really made me think long and hard about what I wanted and I thank her for that as I am totally happy with what she did for me....my other tattoos done previously by other 'artists' however need extra work doing to them as I'm still not satisfied! Follow her advice...it's well worth it! :-)
Amanda Blue on September 09, 2008:
Anyone who is considering being "inked" should first read this lens as you offer very sound advice. And I like your stated enjoyment, and I would think pride, at leaving your mark on people; were I to be tattoed I would want to come to you!
anonymous on July 18, 2008:
Cool tattoos..great lens you made..nice photos and designs..
5 stars for your tattoos...
Do you believe that when your relationships work, everything in your life works? =D
anonymous on July 05, 2008:
I was drawn to your website through your names as my boyfriend is Lithuanian and also called Mantas!
Your work is excellent! Wish i lived closer to Brighton as i'd be down there for my first tattoo in a second!
Excellent advice, Ilona. I know i'm ready now, i just want to make sure i get the right artist! Thanks!
tdove on July 01, 2008:
Thanks for joining G Rated Lense Factory!
anonymous on June 11, 2008:
Thanks so much for this advice. I am very impatient and was thinking of just getting a tattoo cover up quickly. Now i will have a deep think of what I actually want and take my time. My friend Jamie has had 2 cover ups by Ilona and they looks amazing. I will definatley come to you once I have planned roughly what I want. Thanks again xx
anonymous on April 23, 2008:
This is great advice, you've really helped me to think thoroughly about my tattoo design.
Expect to see me on my birthday!
anonymous on April 11, 2008:
Thanks for this great tattoo advice. It really made me thinking and I am ready to get my first tattoo! I know it will be a good one!
anonymous on April 04, 2008:
Excellent advice for beginners and the initiated alike. I think it's made me trust you and I'm going to come in to see you tomorrow as a result!