As I’ve explained in previous articles, a tattoo is a – medically – simple procedure, and if you’re getting it done by a professional tattoo artist – does not pose any health risk. None the less, there is a psychological aspect. A lot of you are probably nervous or stressed out before getting tattooed, which might cause side effects such as dizziness or nausea. These side effects are caused in most cases solely due to emotional stress you were under before getting tattooed, and not because of physical pain. Sometimes it happens simply because you found out it doesn’t hurt as much as you expected! Sounds strange? The explanation is simple: when you are scared or nervous, your blood pressure rises. After the first line of the tattoo, when you find out it doesn’t hurt as much as you thought it would, the blood pressure drops back down. Sometimes it drops at once, a phenomenon called “blood-pressure drop”, and the brain’s blood supply slows down a little. Then, you might experience dizziness or nausea.

Of course, a professional tattoo artist will know how to deal with such side effects and will easily resolve them, and worst case, the dizziness will become a blackout lasting a few seconds, and the nausea will make you throw up. Don’t worry about it, rest for a little bit, drink something, and it’s like nothing ever happened.

Yet, there are ways to prevent these side effects in advance. First of all, you should stay as calm as you can during the tattoo process. A good night’s sleep the night before – could help tremendously. Have a nutritional breakfast on the day of the tattoo, and drink a lot. Preferably something sweet, that will raise your blood sugar level. If you do those things, you’ll have much more energy to go through the tattoo process more easily, and even if it hurts a little – you’ll be able to have more fun dealing with the pain.

Also try working on the fear issue. Convince yourselves that it’s just a simple process, and that you’re going to go through it easily, just like everyone else. Perform a few breathing exercises and meditations before and during the tattoo process. It works, believe me.

You can bring with you soft drink, fruits or snacks you like. And also, a book, or music or a movie on your phone or tablet. It would help you relax and pass the time. Just don’t forget the earphones!

If you’re on any kind of medication, or suffer from various illnesses – tell the tattoo artist in advance. In extreme cases, such as with epileptics, it’s advised to get tattooed only after consulting with a physician.

In any case, don’t drink alcohol, not even a little, and don’t use drugs of any kind, a few days before getting tattooed. As I’ve explained in the article “Does it hurt?”, these substances will cause problems during the tattoo process, and will not help in any way relieving the pain.

Alcohol and certain drugs cause blood dilution and expand blood vessels, these cause stronger bleeding. In addition, those substances cause reflexes and involuntary muscle reactions, which will interfere with the tattoo process. And in any case, the tattoo artist needs to communicate with you during the process, which won’t be so easy, if you’re drunk or high.

It’s recommended to take a shower before coming to the studio. So it will be more comfortable for you and the artist, and also because many artists may ask you not to wet the tattoo area for a period of time after the process (usually 12 hours), so it’s better to do it in advance.
No need to shave the skin you plan to get the tattoo on in advance. The artist will do it himself.

In the few weeks before the tattoo you should avoid prolonged exposure to the sunlight unprotected, so you don’t get sunburned, leaving the skin sensitive or peeling the day of the tattoo.

Figure out where you want the tattoo to be on your body and try dressing accordingly in an outfit that will allow easy access to that area. In addition, tiny drops of ink sometimes spread during the tattooing process and may stain your clothes. Leave your Armani suit at home.

It’s recommended not bringing chaperones with you. They might get in the way and interfere more than help, and during the tattoo process you might find their presence stressing you out even more. If you don’t feel like coming by yourselves – bring one chaperon with you. It really is enough. Not to mention that most tattoo artists won’t even allow one chaperon to come into the rooms with you, let alone a group of chaperons. So, they might get bored outside, make noise, and bother both you and the tattoo artist.

If you didn’t pick out your tattoo from the samples in the studio but from a different source, don’t forget to bring the sample in a high quality. If it’s taken from a book, a magazine etc – try bringing it with you, and if it’s taken from the internet, find out if the studio has a computer, and if so, bring it, in a high resolution as much as possible; on a CD, a USB stick, on your phone, or send it yourself in email and then open it at the studio. Of course, a tattoo artist will be able to use even a bad print out and improve it, but if “sticking to the source” is important to you – it’s preferable that the source is in high quality.

It’s much recommended to set an appointment in advance. A good artist would be usually busy, especially on holidays and weekends, and many artists work by appointment only. If you’d like to make sure you’re in their schedule, without waiting too long – call them in advance. It’s important to say, that even if you’ve made an appointment and came on time, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get in exactly when you step into the studio. If the tattoo that before you got longer – the artist won’t throw them away and get you. Come with no pressure of time and clear some spare time for that. Don’t press the artist. You wouldn’t be happy if someone else presses him while he’s tattooing you…
It would be a good idea to purchase the cream for the tattoo aftercare in advance. On some sorts of tattoos, you will have to apply the cream the next day, and it’s better not to wait with the purchase to the last moment. At Pentagram-Tattoo we recommend on Bepanthen Plus. Can be purchased in any pharmacy without a prescription.