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Whether you’re looking to get your first tattoo, or you’re already covered in ink, there are dozens of tattoo myths floating around out there.  Don’t let these myths hold you back, or make your experience worse than it has to be.

1) Take Painkillers Before your Tattoo

This is the most common and also the most dangerous myth.

 Do not take painkillers before your tattoo appointment.

Everyone will naturally bleed a little bit while being tattooed. Although painkillers may help relieve some of the pain associated with getting inked, they will also thin your blood and make you bleed more than you normally would.

Instead, take Ibuprofen 24 hours after your sitting to help reduce swelling.

2)  Chlorine will Fade your Tattoo

While you should not submerge your tattoo in any kind of water during the healing process, once healed, you’re free to swim anywhere your heart desires. Tattoo ink sits below the top of your skin in an area called the dermis. Chlorine will not penetrate that far below your skin.

However, what will fade your tattoo is sun. While you’re out enjoying the pool and soaking in the rays, be sure to apply sun tan lotion thoroughly!

3) You Can’t Give Blood

If you give blood frequently, getting a tattoo will temporarily hold you back from donating. Fortunately, will only have to wait 12 months before you can give blood again. Another stipulation is that your tattoo is completed at a licensed studio. Let’s be honest though, this is definitely a no-brainer regardless. 

Check out the Red Cross website for more information.

4) Getting a Tattoo is an Intimidating Experience

One word. Research

Finding the right tattoo artist is one of the most important steps in process, and you should not settle for a studio or artist that makes you feel uncomfortable.  Before picking an artist or studio, be sure to check out any available social media pages such as Instagram and Facebook, and look up reviews on Google.

Many artists will offer free consultations to review your ideas. During this time, you’ll be able to feel out the vibe of the studio and get to know your artist. You will also be able to ask any questions 

5) Tattoos are too Painful

Okay yes, tattoos are painful, especially if you have a very low pain tolerance. But in comparison to lets say, child birth, they’re not nearly as painful. If you’re worried, here is a short list of the best and worst spots to get tattooed.

Most Painful

  • Feet and Ankles
  • Hands
  • Thighs
  • Shoulders 
  • Calf
  • Upper/Lower Back

Least Painful

  • Forearm
  • Spine
  • Shoulders 
  • Inner Upper Arm
  • Ribs

To help reduce pain, make sure to get a full night’s sleep, eat a good meal a few hours before the appointment, and hydrate.

You can also ask your artist about skin numbing cream.

Don’t let these myths hold you back, or stop you from fulfilling all your tattoo dreams. Take the time to find the right artist, and embrace the pain. You’ll be glad you did once you see the final product!