7 Things That Happen When You Get A Tattoo

by Lindsey Rose Black

Are you about to end your tattoo virginity? Make sure you know what to expect by learning all the things that happen to your body when you get a tattoo. The inking and healing process can cause some funky situations with your skin, and you won't feel weird or panic as long as you've done your research and you feel prepared.

I admit I didn't exactly do my research the first time I got a tattoo. I'd taken plenty of time to scan through inspiration like tattoo ideas for spiritual people and classic literary tattoos, but actually did very little reading on the full process of getting a tattoo. That was totally my bad.

After I got my tattoo, I called up my tattoo artist so many times as the healing process went on. "Is this normal ... what about this?!" I asked in a panic. He'd reassured me that everything was totally fine.

If I'd taken the time to learn a little more about what to expect after your body is inked, I think I could've saved myself a lot of unnecessary stress. While you should never feel bad about calling up your tattoo artist with questions, scan the list below to see if what you're experiencing is typical or requires extra attention.

1. There Will Be Blood

A tattoo needle is in fact a needle, and experiencing bleeding is 100 percent normal. As shared in Business Insider, "Modern tattoo machines pierce the skin at a frequency of 50 to 3,000 times per minute." Yeah, let those numbers sink in for a moment...

2. Your Adrenaline Will Kick In

Top Health News explained that the body experiences tattooing as a sort of trauma, and responds with a classic "fight or flight" kick of adrenaline. You can expect "a heady feeling that is sort of intense yet relaxing at the same time."

3. The Level Of Pain Will Change

If you're getting a larger tattoo, the ink will likely encounter pieces of your body with less fat, and others with more. Fattier tissue tends to be less painful for tattoos, whereas the top of your foot or ribs are don't have much to "cushion" tender veins and muscles.

4. Scabbing Will Occur

It might not look super pretty, but a healthy tattoo will scab over after a few days to a week after getting your initial ink. This is 100 percent normal and you definitely don't want to pick or you could accidentally scar.

5. You Might Experience An Infection

What isn't normal but can totally happen post-tattoo is an infection. If you experience excessive redness or your tattoo becomes hot to the touch, you'll need to call up your doc and tattoo artist to get the infection cleared asap.

6. You'll Itch & Peel

Another totally normal (but uncomfortable) sign your tattoo is healing is that it will become itchy and the scab will gradually peel. Again, flight all urges to pick or scratch and just let it be!

7. Your Skin Will Totally Heal

After a few weeks, that ink will be safe and secure in your dermis, it will be done peeling, and you'll be left with a gorgeous and smooth tattoo!

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Images: Drew Hays, Annie Spratt, Misty Pittman, Med Badr Chemmaoui, Annie Spratt/Unsplash; Pattaya Unlimited, mytat_2s, Shannon Archuleta/Flickr