What Does A Tattoo Feel Like | The Tattoo Truth

What does a tattoo feel like
The true description of how a tattoo feels like during each step. Unique guide describing all feelings with the advice when you must see the doctor.

How painful is it to get a tattoo? What will I feel? How long will the pain last? Fear of pain is one of the most common fears before getting a tattoo. However, it is more due to ignorance. In this article, we want to give answers to all these questions. Know more about your enemy and do not be afraid of it anymore.

What does a tattoo feel like

There are different procedures while getting inked. They differ by pain level: while some of them you even will not feel the other may hurt you.

  1. The first step that tattooers make is cleaning the area of the future tattoo with rubbing alcohol. They will also shave hair from this place. This step is not painful.
  1. The next step is transferring the stencil. The artist will use water. This procedure also is not painful but you can feel the tickling.
  1. Then the linework begins. The tattoo artist will draw the outline of your tattoo. At this time you can begin feeling pain. It can burn like a sunburn or sting like a bee sting. Try not to move to minimize the fault opportunity.
  1. If you want a colorful tattoo, your artist will shade and color it right after the linework. Many people say that this step is less painful but it can vary depending on the tattoo placement. The list of less painful tattoo areas, you can find in our previous article.

Some people compare the pain from a hot needle with a cat scratch that just lasts longer than a pair of seconds.

Should I use numbing cream?

When the adrenaline goes away, for some people getting a tattoo can be a painful process. It is more common if the desired design is a complicated one. In this case, your tattoo artist can suggest you use numbing cream. It should contain 5% lidocaine.

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The cream will numb the skin and allow your nerves to chill out. You will feel the pressure but not the sting. Also, the cream offers a cooling sensation. It will relax you a bit.

What does a tattoo feel like after the procedure?

When you get a tattoo, the tattooer will give you aftercare recommendations. In general, they are about washing your tattoo, what clothes to wear, etc. You can feel different sorts of pain at the tattoo site from 2 weeks for up to 30 days. The first week the tattoo can be sore and swollen. The second week you can feel that your tattoo burns but it will not be so irritating. And then the pain will gradually decrease.

The extreme itch says that your skin is healing. Make your best not to scratch yourself. Some people also compare the pain in this period with a sunburn. It is normal if your skin is swollen, red, or tender. It should get less painful day by day.

Getting a tattoo can make your life unwonted for a couple of days but it will not influence your productivity at all. You can feel a bit lightheaded from leaking out all the plasma after getting inked. But if you have a good meal before it, you will minimize this opportunity. Also, maybe, you will want to stay in bed for the first hours. It is as normal as going to work afterward. If you get your tattoo on a bicep, it will not influence the work of your brain. You should listen to your feelings.

How to minimize pain after getting a tattoo

First of all, follow the aftercare instructions that your tattoo artist has given to you. If you want to continue using numbing cream, ask the tattooer. Avoid getting water on the tattoo for the first two weeks. During this time take only showers, no baths, hot tubs, pools, or lakes.

You should leave the tattoo clean and dry. For this clean it with a fragrance-free gentle cleanser. Then pat it dry and let it air out.

When to go to the doctor

It is important to take care of your health for the first time after you get a tattoo. There are two problems that you can face: infection and allergy. Please, pay attention to these symptoms and if you catch out any of them, see your doctor. 

The signs of infection are:

  • Your pain worsens day by day
  • Swelling of the tattoo
  • Oozing pus

The sign of the allergy is:

  • Rash on the place of a tattoo because, for example, you are allergic to tattoo ink.

Remember that it is better to be safe than sorry.

Summary

The most painful part of getting a tattoo is linework. At this time you can feel a burning or tingling sensation. The process of shading and coloring is less painful. Interestingly, some people compare the pain from a hot needle with a cat scratch. You can ask your tattooer for numbing cream. The cream will numb the skin and allow your nerves to chill out. Also, the cream offers a cooling sensation.

After the tattoo, you can feel pain. The first week the tattoo can be sore and swollen. The second week you can feel that your tattoo burns but it will not be so irritating. But the pain will be less day by day. If your pain worsens, see the doctor.

FAQ

πŸ₯΄ How painful is a tattoo?

Each person feels pain differently. But some people compare the pain from a hot needle with a cat scratch. You can read about all types of tattoo pain in our article.

βŒ› How long is tattoo pain?

After getting a tattoo, you can feel pain for up to two-three weeks. But the pain will be less day by day. If it worsens, see the doctor.

❓ Can you use numbing cream before tattooing?

Yes, you can use numbing cream. It should contain 5% lidocaine. We recommend testing the cream 24-hours before tattooing.

πŸ€” What does a tattoo feel like with numbing cream?

The cream will numb the skin and allow your nerves to chill out. You will feel the pressure but not the sting. Also, the cream offers a cooling sensation.

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Mark Arago

Founder of Ink-Match,
CEO of the Foundation for the Rights of People with Body Modifications

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