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Things to Consider Before Getting a Tattoo

Thinking of Getting Inked?

I have never gotten a tattoo unless you count the temporary henna kind, but it looks like I might be in the minority. About 25 percent of 18- to 30-year-olds have been inked, and 65 percent of them are women. If you've always wanted to get your fave butterfly etched onto your ankle, here are some things WebMD wants you to know before anyone puts a needle to your skin.

  • Pay the money and go to a shop that has licensed tattoo artists. Since getting a tattoo involves breaking the skin with a metal object and coming into contact with blood, you want to make sure the studio is clean, so there's the lowest risk possible for infection.
  • There are serious risks involved, such as contracting life-threatening HIV or hepatitis C from unclean equipment. You could also get other infections including impetigo, MRSA, or cellulitis. It's OK if you don't know what these are, just know you don't want them.
  • It's also possible to have an allergic reaction to the tattoo ink, so before getting an enormous fairy imprinted across your back, you probably want to do a small patch test on your skin first.

To find out what else you should know,


  • Also note that your skin will look a lot different at age 25 than it will at 65, so keep that in mind when choosing the design, size of tattoo, and area of your body.
  • The artist should thoroughly wash his or her hands before they begin, and wear gloves to prevent the spread of infection.
  • Be sure all needles are removed from a sterile, single-use package, and all equipment is sterilized after each use.
  • Make sure you don't drink alcohol or take drugs (including aspirin) the night before or while getting a tattoo.
  • If you're sick, wait until you're healthy to get your tattoo, since you'll need energy to heal.
  • Follow the after-care instructions so your skin heals quickly and without any complications.
  • After you've had a tattoo, you can change your mind and have it removed by a doctor, but know that your skin most likely won't look like it did pre-tattoo. The procedure tends to require a series of visits, it's expensive, and often the tattoo can't be completely removed.

Do you have a tattoo? Did you have any complications? Tell me in the comments section below.

Source: Flickr User geishaboy500

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