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Six things you should know before getting a tattoo

Beauty By Audrey Masitsa

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Some people get tattoos to commemorate special moments in their lives. For others, it’s a spur-of-the-moment decision that they end up regretting.

Tattoos call for commitment. You will carry that piece of art with you everywhere you go. Thus, you need to be absolutely sure about it before you get it. Since tattoo removal is a painful, expensive process, make sure that should you look at it 30 years down the line, you smile at the memory.

Below are six things that you should know before getting a tattoo.

1. Do your research well

Before you settle on a tattoo artist, pick a few and do recon. Check out their work on their social media pages. Consult friends who have tattoos and find out if they can recommend someone. Pay a visit to their, the tattoo artist, shop and see how they do their work, their cleanliness and professionalism. They should wear gloves for each client and use single-use needles. You don’t want to come out of the shop with a botched tattoo and an infection.

2. Consult your doctor

Some people react to the red dye used in tattoo ink. Find out from your doctor if it’s safe for you to get tattooed.

3. Be certain about the design you choose

Before you pick a design, ensure it’s timeless. Getting a tattoo removed is painful and expensive so you want to make sure that you pick something that you will love in your old age.

Consult your tattoo artist about the design and be ready to make some adjustments at his recommendation. Between coming up with a sketch and a stencil, make sure the details, size and placement are what you want. Check wording for typos. Take your time with this because you don’t want to walk around with mistakes that you hate every time you see them.

4. Avoid alcohol before your appointment

Alcohol, as well as certain drugs, will thin your blood making you bleed more. You might think that they will help ease the pain of the tattoo but bleeding too much is bad for your health.

5. Care after getting tattooed

A tattoo takes about two weeks to heal. In the process, it goes through different stages; first, it looks perfect, then it dries out and peels. Don’t pick at the drying skin. Follow your artist’s instructions to keep it clean and moisturised. Avoid going swimming or to the beach until it has healed. At the slightest sign of infection, pay a visit to your doctor.

6. Tattoos fade

Depending on where you put it, your tattoo is bound to fade. Those on your hands and feet will fade faster since the skin there is shed faster than in other parts of your body. But you can get it touched up and made to look new again.

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