Your first permanent piece of body art is a big decision. Don't get swept away by the whirlwind of excitement that encompasses the experience so much that it clouds your judgment. If you're gearing up for your first tattoo, here are five things to think about first. 

1. Placement
That's right, you not only need to think about what, but where you're going to get inked. Pick a place that flatters you, and consider exposure limitations. For example, if you want to work as a school teacher or an on-air reporter, you may someday have to hide your tatts for you line of work. When in doubt, go for a spot on your body that can be covered up.

2. Pain threshold
If you didn't already know that hours of needlework to your skin is painful, then you're truly in for a surprise. Prior to your appointment, think about how long you can realistically withstand the pain, especially if you're getting a bigger piece. If you don't think you can take more than one session, consider a smaller design. 

3. Body hair
Whatever part of your body you chose for the tattoo location, keep in mind that you might not be able to shave it until the skin heals. If it's the middle of July and you're a shorts type of gal, maybe reschedule for a time during the winter. Unless of course you're completely comfortable spending a day at the beach with hairy legs. In that case, more power to you.

4. The artist
Now that you've already had so much to think about, you probably forgot that you have to pick the right guy for the job, and options are seemingly endless. The industry has grown to a colossal size, and back in 2012, it raked in $2.3 billion in revenue with over 15,000 parlors in the country, reported The Week. 

5. The buddy system
O.K., so you have an appointment, your artist and the design down pat. But what about bringing a friend along? Have you considered that? It's a very personal decision that can make or break your tattoo experience. If you do decide to recruit a buddy for the big event, be sure you find someone who's not going to freak out more than you once the needle starts buzzing. There's nothing quite as anticlimactic as an annoying friend at a tattoo session. 

If you haven't had the good fortune to consider these factors, and you're left with tattoo regret it's not too late for you. Consider laser tattoo removal and try again next time. 

Over 45 million US adults* are living with tattoos, but now permanent ink can be a thing of the past. PicoSure® is the world's latest breakthrough technology in laser tattoo removal providing faster results in fewer treatments. Visit to learn more and find a PicoSure Practitioner near you. * Source: Harris Interactive, 2012