Where on the body to put/ not put them? What skin preparation is needed?What are the post application effects? How long before swelling settles? Is it particularly painful?
Are there differences for males or females or differing racial skin types/ colour tones?
Any and all help appreciated, thanks.
Getting a tattoo is a very personal, and important decision…
You ask is it particularly painful… Depends on your pain threshold. Obviously, there are areas of the body more sensitive than others, (the sole of the foot is supposedly very painful… Lots of nerve endings!) but the level of pain will depend on you personally. I have 4… Back (shoulder), leg, arm and chest… The one on my chest was excrutiating, yet the one on my back (also the biggest one) didn't hurt at all! But placement should take a lot of thought… Are you going to want to be able to hide it? Are you planning to become pregnant? As the second would mean it would be advisable to avoid any areas that may 'expand'… Tattoos will spread naturally with age anyway, so this should too be considered.
No major skin preperation is really required… Though it is to be noted that generally, a tattooist will not ink on damaged/broken skin, or over any blemishes (moles etc)… They won't tattoo over moles due to the fact that if a mole did develop cancerous cells, the doctors can and will blame the fact you had it tattooed over (even though there is no evidence which states tattooing over moles and freckles adds to the risk of skin cancer) and thus you can sue your tattooist. It also makes the discovery/diagnosis of any potential problems harder.
The skin following a tattoo has in effect been damaged leaving you with an abrasion. On the skin, bacteria live quite harmlessly and are a normal part of life. However once the skin is broken there is the potential for the skin to be susceptible to these bacteria.
It's normal for your skin to to heal without any problems if you follow some basic aftercare principles.
Wash your hands with a simple, unperformed, anti-bacterial wash prior to touching or washing your tattooed skin, and before
applying any aftercare products.
Choose a good quality aftercare product that does not contain petroleum (vaseline) as this reduces an effective healing process.
Never share your aftercare products with anyone and only be responsible for your own hygiene.
Your artist will have given you aftercare instructions on how to wash and care for your skin after your tattoo. This advice can vary from place to place. Artists will generally have trialed many methods of aftercare over the years and will tell their customers the methods that work well for them. As the end user of this advice you have to decide on how to follow and interpret this information.
The position of the tattoo on your body and the experience of the Tattoo Artist will also affect the healing process.
It is quite normal to experience soreness, swelling and scabbing to the area, particularly in the first 7 – 10 days. This can be expected to last potentially up to 3 – 4 weeks, dependent on the size and colours of the art. There may also be peeling and flaking to the area. Avoid the urge to scratch or pick at scabbed/peeling areas. Not only will this affect the look of the finished art, but also leave you wide open to bacteria. Avoid sun bathing/beds and swimming until it is completely healed, and try not to 'soak it' (in bath for example) whilst it is healing.
Try and protect with sun block for the tattoo's life, as UV rays will fade the colours.
There is not a great deal of difference when tattooing on darker skin, only perhaps varying the needle depth. When deciding on colours, stay with darker colors such as blues, reds, greens and purples. Darker skin tone will show through the lighter colors such as orange, yellow and white. Depending on how dark skin is sometimes using a deep purple is better for the outline than using black. The darker the skin the greener black appears to look in the skin. Purple seems to appear black in real dark skin.
In response to the post below this… You will not have your tattoo 'pulled off' in the event of an MRI scan, although it is possible that you MIGHT experience an unpleasant (itching, burning) sensation around the tattooed area, as a result of the metal content in some inks. But this is quite rare and most doctors will deny it.