Tattoos are an incredibly popular form of body art and it is estimated that over 45 million people in the US alone have at least one. While tattoos can be beautiful, they're also painful to get and you may need to manage your pain effectively.
Getting a tattoo done is generally not fun. It's painful and uncomfortable but necessary if you want something permanently etched on your skin. To make matters worse, most people don't know how to deal with the pain so they moan about their suffering instead of taking action! This guide will help you manage any pain associated with getting a tattoo without having to take drugs or other potentially harmful substances during this process.
What does tattoo pain feel like?
You have already decided on a tattoo. It's hard to say what you will feel because tattoo pain is different for everyone. Some people may not even be aware of the needle plunging into their skin and others could think acid is slowly melting away their skin or the gun is penetrating their soul. It varies with each person so there's no way of predicting how much pain you'll experience during this process. However, most tattoos tend to hurt more than getting a shot or piercing your ears. Because it’s repetitive, and larger areas mean more hours of repetitive pain. You may feel some stinging and throbbing but that will fade away once the artist has finished with his work.
How long does pain last from tattoos?
The pain is only temporary and it will go away as soon as the artist has finished. The initial discomfort may last for a few minutes but the soreness could stay for up to a week depending on your body type and how fast you heal. This is why some people experience bruising or swelling, which can make the area more sensitive than usual.
What can I take before a tattoo to ease the pain?
There are some drugs that may help you get through the pain associated with tattoos without breaking too much of a sweat. Some people swear by over-the-counter medication like Ibuprofen or acetaminophen but these won't work for everyone. Ibuprofen or Asprin will have little to no effect. Alcohol is not a good idea because it thins your blood. Some people even go to the extent of taking prescription strength pain killers. The best option, is to temporarily “shut off” your nerve receptors. This is accomplished with numbing anesthetics like Painless Tattoo, or other creams or sprays recommended by your artist. Though Painless Tattoo is by far the most effective at eliminating pain. You could try using numbing creams or sprays recommended by your tattoo artist.
Instead of worrying about the pain while getting your tattoo, take some time out to pick a tattoo artist and this will make it much easier for you when the time actually comes for the process to begin! Your artist should be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have so don't be afraid to speak up during this process.
If you're still worried about the pain then try doing some exercises that increase blood flow in your muscles before or after getting your tattoo done. This is why athletes tend to experience less pain compared to others because their muscles are stronger and bigger than average. Some people recommend yoga but it's something that needs practicing regularly so it may not be the most practical of options.
Last but not least, always remember to get enough rest before or after getting your tattoo so you heal faster and don't end up hurting yourself by overexerting yourself afterward.
How can I manage pain from tattoos?
If you're set on getting a tattoo then it's important that you learn how to manage the pain associated with this process. Below are some techniques that others have used in the past when trying to cope with the pain during this process:
1. Breathe slowly while visualizing having stronger skin - Some people find it easier to deal with pain if they focus on something else entirely while their body is getting pierced by thousands of tiny needles! You could try thinking about your favorite memory, an imaginary place or just breathe slowly and deeply to forget about the pain for a moment.
2. Look forward to the end of it - This may seem obvious but some people find tattoo pain so unbearable that they can't hold out long enough! If this is you then try visualizing how your body will look after the artist has finished and all of his hard work shining on display. You'll be so happy once it's over so try sticking it out till the very end before you let yourself feel relieved.
Instead of resisting the pain & fighting it, try to find acceptance for it. Become one with it. It’s happening, and it’s okay. Realize it’s temporary. Often times reference it as “ink therapy” because of the mental exercises you go through when you’re under the needle.
3. Talk to your artist - Communication is important when getting a tattoo done because you need someone who understands exactly what kind of pain you're going through during this process! it gets too much then don't be afraid to tell your artist. He should try to work around this and accommodate your needs as best he can. Find ways to distract yourself and you should be fine.
4. Do a breathing exercise - (Don’t stop breathing, ever. For most, when they experience pain - they hold their breathe. The best way to “deal” with pain, is to breathe through it. Hence why women giving birth are always told to “breathe”.) Every time you feel a sharp pain then take a deep breath in through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth or the opposite way around if it makes it easier for you. This helps calm down your nerves and slow down your heart rate so you don't end up fainting from the pain!
5. Get enough sleep - It's a good idea to get plenty of rest before you go in for your session so that you have enough energy while getting your tattoo. Although it may not seem important, being tired while going through this process can make things even more difficult than they already are and you may end up making some mistakes along the way.
6. Eat light snacks - Try eating something light before or after getting your tattoo done because eating the wrong type of food could slow down the healing process afterwards. Stick with fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods like nuts and seeds if you want to avoid feeling sick during the entire tattooing process. (never get tattooed when you’re hungry and or dehydrated)
7. Don't focus on pain alone - If you're easily distracted then try focusing on anything but how much your body is hurting. Watch TV, read a book or just talk to your artist if he's not too busy to listen to you! Disconnect from the pain so it doesn't overwhelm you anymore than it already has.
8. Try taking painkillers - Most tattoo artists will recommend that you take some sort of painkiller before getting inked but this is something that should be discussed with your doctor beforehand . Although they can help reduce the amount of discomfort associated with getting tattoos, there are certain side effects that could make everything worse when used excessively which is why numbing topicals are the BEST option.
Preparing For The Tattoo Pain
The first step you need to take is to do your homework and find a reputable, experienced tattoo artist. This is one of the most important steps as an inexperienced artist will make it even worse for you by doing the artwork incorrectly or not taking necessary precautions. Once I've picked my artist, I ask them what kind of numbing cream they use so I can gauge what's in store for me during the session. Most artists are more than willing to disclose this information since their main goal is good customer satisfaction.
Choosing The Tattoo Location
If it's your first time, arms are the best place to get tattooed as they're the most forgiving if anything goes wrong. Once you're very comfortable with getting tattoos then you can move on to other areas that will be more painful such as your lower back, chest and thighs.
What To Do During The Tattoo Process
Now that you've prepared yourself fully, let's talk about what you need to do during the actual tattooing process. This part varies depending on how experienced you are with enduring pain but most people tend to breathe quickly or hold their breath when they feel discomfort instead of breathing slowly and deeply through the pain! This results in passing out before they're even finished with one session so be sure not to do this! If you exhale slowly as the needle punctures your skin, you will experience less pain and feel a lot better. Plus you'll be able to sit through the entire session without having to take any breaks or grab a beer with your friends outside!
The great thing here is that you can avoid the pain altogether by using tattoo numbing creams. The pain doesn't go away completely but it does get a whole lot better! By using painless tattoo numbing creams, you can get your tattoo done without the discomfort brought about by needles puncturing your skin. This can also help in making the tattoo area heal faster.
Now that your tattoo is finished, it's time to clean up and care for it as per instructed by your artist. Some artists may even provide aftercare products which include lanolin ointment, anti-bacterial soap etc. You can also use some vitamin E oil as long as you don't have an allergic reaction. This helps prevent scabbing and leaves your tattoo looking fresh and new just like the day it was born! Lanolin ointments are usually favored more as they don't leave a greasy feeling on the skin. Just make sure you don't wash your tattoo for at least 24 hours or apply anything other than the products provided by your artist!
What To Expect During Recovery
Your first tattoo may be a little difficult to cope with, but if you follow the proper procedures and take care of it properly during recovery, you'll be able to enjoy it without any problems in no time. People who are used to tattoos will tell you that once their new tattoo is fully healed up, they won't experience pain like they did when getting it done because their body has gradually become used to the process over time. If this happens after only one session then imagine how much better things will be over time!
Once you have discussed with your tattoo artist what kind of anesthetic they use, combine that with the knowledge from this article to make sure you're as prepared as you can be for a painless session! If your artist offers numbing cream, it's a good idea to use it but never apply anything other than those provided by your artist. Stay healthy and happy!
Now that you know how to effectively manage tattoo pain, go out there and get inked without the added discomfort!