What To Know Before You Get An Inner Lip Tattoo

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In 2007ish, it came to my attention that you could get the inside of your lip tattooed. It seemed brilliant. My friends and I immediately demanded our tattoo artist friends give us ridiculous lip tattoos for free. Not one of us got in the chair with anything remotely close to a plan. We didn't know if we wanted a cool word or a cute image, we didn't have a font preference, but we all agreed on one thing: It had to be hilarious. Thanks to the recent popularity of celebrity inner lip tattoos, this once strange location is becoming more popular and trendy, which is great, because in my experience, most respectable tattoo artists are wary of putting their "art" inside your lip. That means it's time to discuss what you can expect from your new ink. As someone who has experience with high-risk tattoos, I've learned from my mistakes so you don't have to. Fortunately for me and my pals, going in completely ignorant did not lead to infection and regret as it so often does with lip tattoos.

To be completely clear, I fully support lip tattoos — and the more ridiculous, the better. Show me a man with a lip tattoo with swears? I'm swooning like a teen with her first crush. It literally does not matter to me what it says (providing it's not a racial epitaph, of course). If you're considering getting your own inner lip ink, here are a few things to keep in mind before you book your appointment.

1. Nothing Lasts Forever

Especially not inner lip tattoos. Have you ever burnt or cut the inside of your lip and realized how fast the skin repairs? The same theory applies when it comes to tattoo ink. Fortunately, this means the person who gets "Get Fuct" on their inner lip won't have to live with it forever. The rate at which inner lip ink fades varies from person to person, but it's pretty much guaranteed not to last. This why I highly recommend getting something ridiculous tattooed inside your mouth and saving the more meaningful pieces for other spots.

2. Touch-Ups Can Be Risky

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According to sources at Skin Artists, frequent touch-ups to preserve the color and shape of tattoos can increase the risk of infections as opposed to when you first got your tattoo. Touch ups essentially re-open an old wound, so your skin is more sensitive the second or third time around. You'll have to touch up an inner lip tattoo quite a bit to keep it in tip top shape, so better to just get something you're OK with losing after a while.

3. Not Everyone Wants To Give You A Lip Tattoo

My sister and I once went to about seven different tattoo parlors to get our matching lip tattoos — and were denied at all of them. The reason tattoo artists can be resistant is because of the risk of infection and the potential for angry customers storming in wondering why their lip tattoo has faded after only one month. Or, as one artist put it to us, "Because it's stupid." Point taken.

4. The Pre-Care Is Key

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If you've had a bunch of coffee or chowed down an egg sandwich before you appointment, rinse out your mouth! According to sources at Buzzle, rinsing your mouth before your lip tattoo will reduce the risk of infections.

5. The Healing Process Requires Extra Care

If you get tattoos frequently, chances are you still have the last batch of ointment in your medicine cabinet. Well, you'll want to save that for a tattoo that isn't inside your lip. Your tattoo artist should give you a care sheet, but make sure you buy some mouth wash before you get in the chair so you are fully prepared for your recovery. You'll also have to cut back on acidic food while your ink heals.

6. The Kissing Freeze

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Just to be on the safe side, it's best to wait until your lips are fully healed before you find yourself in a makeout sesh. I know many people that have not and have been totally fine, but spit contains bacteria and that isn't what you want to put on a fresh wound.

7. Your Mouth Is Full Of Bacteria

According to sources at Global News, our mouth is filled with bacteria and that alone runs the risk of infection within your body. You don't need to have a kissing-fest to expose your new tattoo to contagious contamination, your mouth will do it for you. This isn't to talk you out of getting your new lip tattoo (your tattoo artist will probably do that anyway), but just be sure you know what you're getting yourself in to.