The Beginner's Guide to Getting a Tattoo

Read this before you get inked.

Kristina Kohanova / EyeEm /Getty Images

Getting a Tattoo - Overcoming Pain and Fear Issues:

For a lot of people, the biggest obstacle to overcome when deciding whether or not to get a tattoo is the pain or fear factor. Does it really hurt that bad? Is it worth it? What can you do to reduce the level of pain during the procedure? The following links deal with issues of pain and overcoming your fears.

How Much Does Getting a Tattoo Hurt?
Numbing Creams and Injections
Which Hurts More - Outlining or Shading?

Getting a Tattoo - Moral, Ethical and Social Issues:

Maybe you can get a tattoo, but should you? These articles deal with helping you to decide if getting a tattoo is personally acceptable.

Tattoos and Blood Donation
Should Christains Get Tattoos?
Why Some Artists Won't Tattoo Faces or Hands

Getting a Tattoo - Choosing the Perfect Design:

Choosing a design that you will be happy with for the rest of your life can be quite a challenge. These articles will help you pick the right tattoo for you.

The Dangers of Foreign Languages
Copying Isn't Cool
Common Symbols and their Meanings
Choosing a Tattoo Design and Deciding Where to Put It
Beware of Name Tattoos

Getting a Tattoo - The Right Artist for the Job:

Choosing the right artist and the right studio go hand in hand. A stellar artist is worthless if the shop's santitation practices are lacking. Likewise, a super clean shop doesn't make up for an artist lacking in skill.

What to Expect From Your Tattoo Shop
The Importance of Regular Spore Strip Testing
How to Choose a Qualified Artist
Should Smoking be Allowed in Tattoo Shops?

Getting a Tattoo - What to Expect:

If you've never gotten a tattoo before, you may be wondering what to expect. Familiarizing yourself with the process can help you feel more prepared and less nervous.

Answers to Commonly Asked Questions
The Tattoo Process - Step by Step
Answers to Embarrassing Questions You Were Afraid to Ask
Should You Tip Your Artist?

Aftercare - How to Care For Your New Tattoo:

Taking really good care of your tattoo during the first couple of weeks is essential to the outcome of your artwork.

Aftercare Instructions
Why There are So Many Differences in Aftercare Advice
When is it Safe to Shave Again?

Aftercare - Keeping Your Tattoo Beautiful for Years:

The last thing you want to do is ruin a tattoo that you put so much money and care into. Here's how to keep it looking like new for many years.

Tatoos and Tanning - Natural and Artificial Sunlight
Weight Fluctuation and Stretch Marks

Other Related Information About Getting a Tattoo:

The more information you have before getting a tattoo, the better. Here are some additional resources that may be helpful.

The Best Time of the Year to Get Tattooed
You Get What You Pay For
What to Do if You Don't Like Your Tattoo
Medical Issues - When Your Doctor Says No Tattoos