First tattoo: things to keep in mind?

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
661 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

Tattoos on places near bone without a lot of fat (“padding”) hurt more in my opinion, but everyone has a different pain tolerance. That tattoo looks fairly straight forward so it shouldn’t take too long! Make sure you listen carefully to their instructions on how to take care of the tattoo after it’s done because that will affect how it looks in the long run. You’ll have to wash it with antibacterial soap in a few hours after and maybe put on ointment. Tattoos will scab over as they heal and it may get itchy. Don’t scratch 🙂 and keep it out of the sun as best as you can. Depending on the artist they may also instruct you to use a type of lotion as well every so often after using the ointment. Also just be careful not to have the tattoo area rub up against anything as it’s healing. 

Post # 3
301 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015 - The Vineyard and Winery at Lost Creek, VA

Its going to hurt a little – I have one on my foot, it’s one word so nothing overly fancy – anything with curves and lines hurts more than, since it has to be done in one smooth motion to not look chopped up!

It shouldn’t be too crazy painful since it’s fairly small – just like Aimerxoxo said though – be careful with rubbing while its healing – socks/shoes/pants etc will all affect the healing and the longetivity of the ink

Post # 4
521 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Good luck, they become addicting! I started with a small mickey mouse behind my ear and how I have 3, one of which is pretty large on my side.

Things to ask them

– if they take cash only or card, because most places are cash only. Also, they will give you a straight dollar amount (for something your size maybe $50) and be sure to add on to that substantially for a tip.

Things to consider

– on your ankle, you won’t be able to wear socks or shoes that hit it for 1-2 weeks! So make sure your work and life can accommodate. I have one on my foot, and didn’t wear ‘real’ shoes, only ballet flats, until it healed

– as PP said, it itches and peels a lot but do not scratch it, that will mess with the healing process

They do hurt, not going to lie, but it depends on the location and size. I have two of the worst spots tattooed, my rib cage and foot, and they did hurt like hell but it is worth the pain. Also, your seems small for your first which is good! Shouldn’t take more than an hour at most. Good luck!

Post # 5
783 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016 - Wedgewood Las Vegas

Other PP have already given some good advice.

If they don’t mention a specific type of ointment, just ask what they would recommend. Some ointments may or may not affect the pigment.

Lotion will be your best friend after the first couple of days. It will itch as it heals, but make sure you resist as best as you can. Don’t pick or mess with the scabs.

Don’t be scared if it seems blotchy or has ink ‘missing’ after it has healed. Everyone’s body is unique, and some will ‘reject’ ink easier than others. Don’t be afraid to go back to the salon in order for them to retouch their work. Professional artists will understand if it needs to be redone, and this is usually free.


Post # 7
16 posts

My tattoo hurt a lot – I was even thinking to give up midway, but I would have left with half my back tattooed…

Also, be careful with the after care – make sure you clean it properly and keep the area moist – I used an alchohol free cream after.

My tattoo is on the back, upper left shoulder… and sometimes I wish I didn’t have it. Especially when I need to go to ceremonies and I always look for dresses that would cover it.

Post # 8
2332 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

It’s going to hurt…… I have one on my foot and yikes!!!!!!! 

Theyll probably tell you to use A&D or Aquaphor. Make sure you use it! 

The design you want doesn’t have any real shading and that’s what hurts the most so you’ll be ok. It shouldn’t take too long. 

Tattoos are addicting! I started with the foot and now I have 3. Already aching for another. Lol

Go for it. You only live once (I refuse to say Yolo!)

Post # 9
1038 posts
Bumble bee

I agree with PPs that they ARE addicting!!!  I have 5 now: my daughter’s initial inside my left wrist (my first tat), a french phrase on the left side of my back/ribs, three small bird silhouettes on my left shoulder, a bee on my upper back between my shoulder blades, and birds on a branch on the top of my foot.  I have to say that the one on my foot was the only one that really hurt.  And i had it touched up a few months later and that really hurt.  The others were more uncomfortable than painful.  Yours is so small and not a lot of detail and no shading or fill in so it should be a breeze.  Good luck!  Enjoy!  And get ready for your next one!  LOL.  

Post # 10
933 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I have a lot of tattoos and swear by Aquaphor as a healing ointment. It’s clear so you won’t have to worry about pigment issues and it seems to hydrate skin better than most regular lotions. 

Avoid sun exposure on your tattoo as much as possible and if you are going to be in the sun (once it’s healed, of course), use pretty hardcore sunscreen. I usually put SPF 70 on my tattoos and it helps with fading a lot. 

Also, when you go to get the tattoo, definitely take the artist’s advice on size. With all the black lines in your design and it being on a body part that moves a lot, it’ll eventually turn into a black blob if it’s too small. 

Post # 11
196 posts
Blushing bee

Look at the artist’s work before you make the appointment. Remember that they’re the experts, but you’re the one who has to wear it for the rest of your life. What I mean is, take their suggestions and input seriously and consider it, but don’t settle for anything you’re not happy with. Honestly the tattoo in the picture looks rough. I don’t know if it’s the angle or what, but I’d hope the artist would notice and bring that up. If not, I’d bring it up to them.

Post # 13
116 posts
Blushing bee

mrs2014 :  Why have you decided to get a tattoo?  What’s so exciting about it?  I really don’t get the trend.  Not to knock your inspiration photo, but I just don’t get why you would want something like that on your body for the rest of your life.  If I were to paint that on a canvas and give it to you, you probably wouldn’t even hang it in your bathroom above the potty, let alone carry it for the rest of your life.

My advice: don’t do it!

Post # 14
3485 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course

Second the Aquaphor recommendation for healing, although with my last tattoo the artist recommended plain Jergens lotion and that worked just as well. It may or may not hurt depending on your pain tolerance. Tattoos don’t hurt me its the needle noise that bothers me more than anything but I put my buds in and turn up the music. 💃 #1 piece of advice >>> don’t scratch! Whatever you have to do to fight the urge please do it bc the itching during the healing phase may drive you nuts. 

Post # 15
1151 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2021 - City, State

Please be mindful of lotions, some block pores and aren’t helpful with healing, do your research on your artist: I can’t stress that enough, as PP mentioned a small tattoo can bleed pigment a lot, you want a good artist for something like this – avoid “scratchers”.


make sure you eat before you go in and have some water also, it may only be a small piece but it will bleed and dependant on you it could leave you lightheaded, I always use it as an excuse to have a cookie 

good luck 🙂

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