Sunday, 3 July 2011

it hurts like a mutha: let the healing begin

I need to tell you how painful the tattoo process was. At least to me.

A couple of my friends told me that getting their tattoo was a breeze. I didn't believe them, obviously. I'm afraid of needles (the medicinal one, I love sewing, on the other hand) and so aside from the Abdomen Ultrasonography (USG), I also dreaded getting my blood taken during last year's medical check-up.

I've read many websites for tattoo virgins (first-timers), the fears of getting inked, the aftercare, etc. Now it's time for me to share my own story.

First, I gotta tell y'all: it hurts. It *#$&@#!(* HURTS. There were moments when I felt like I almost fainted from the pain. Call me a wuss, call me hypersensitive. I don't care. It was so painful that I almost told Froggy, the tattoo artist, to stop for a while, but I held myself and had the job completed in approximately one hour. It felt like a knife happily slicing my back. I remember the needle drilling into the skin of my back - the worst moment was when the vibration of the drilling machine reverberated all over my skin.

So, yeah. The slicing sensation was dreadful.

Also, despite my boyfriend saying that he didn't see any blood, I felt Froggy repeatedly wiped something away from my back. I've seen YouTube videos and I know that the act of wiping must have something to do with blood.

When the tattoo was done and I was shaking from the pain (yup, I really was shaking from the pain), it was covered with Saran and I was told to take it off after one hour. The place was out of tattoo aftercare lotion but the front desk guy told us that we could buy an ointment called Bepanthen (an antiseptic). A friend told me to purchase Bioplacenton. So off we go to the nearest drug store to buy the two of them.

"Do you have Bepanthen?" my boyfriend asked the lady behind the counter.

"Yes, yes we do," she replied and turned to her friend, "Could you pass me Bepanthen?" her friend quickly walked to the shelf to retrieve the ointment.

"Bepanthen is good for rashes and skin irritation, it is also used for tattoo aftercare," said the countergirl's friend.

"How could you tell I just got a tattoo?" I jokingly asked. The friend didn't say anything. She just stood there, poker-faced, looking at my boyfriend as if I weren't there.

Oh, well. At least the ointment works (I'm using Bepanthen). I think. So far there has been no blood. Now I have to make sure that there's no scabbing.

After all, I don't want to have a polka-dotted tattoo. I mean, it's not that it's going to look awful, I also don't think I can afford (financially, physically, and psychically) getting a touch-up.

ADDENDUM: I also read somewhere that you should treat a new tattoo like a third-degree burn. That is: no swimming, no bath-tubbing, absolutely no sea water (unless you're a hardcore masochist). When we finally arrived home, my boyfriend gently peeled off the Saran wrap, washed his hands, rubbed his palms with alcohol, and washed the wound with soft cotton balls dipped in warm water. Finally, he generously applied the Bepanthen ointment.

It's day two now and although I can still feel the pain at times, it's greatly subsided.

Again, I hope scabs won't appear.


  1. in my experience, a lot of people who get small tatoos (1,5 hour or less of time needed to create it) are the "it doesn t hurt one bit" group that doesn t quite realise what they re talking about. :D

  2. You're right! My tattoo was done in an hour, though, but I almost passed out from the pain.

  3. Replies
    1. They have to wipe away the excess ink so that they can see what they are doing. If they don't then there would end up being a hot mess. Also a little scabbing can be normal and as long as you don't pick the scabs you shouldn't have a problem. Where you get a tattoo has a big effect on the pain factor. That and your tattoo artist makes a big difference. Some are more light-handed than others. The one I go to is very light-handed, but not too light-handed. I have 3 tattoos. One on my inner forearm, one on top of my foot and one on my shoulder blade. My forearm (which was done by a different tattoo artist than my other two) hurt the worst. The foot is supposed to be one of the more painful places to get a tattoo and it wasn't bad at all. There are a lot of factors to how a tattoo will feel for you. 1 Your pain tolerance 2. The location of your tattoo and 3. How heavy/light-handed your artist is.