If you've never gotten a tattoo before, then you don't know what it's like, which leaves a lot to the imagination. It's because of this that some information has inevitably crept into our lives that isn't accurate. Don't believe everything that you hear about getting inked. Here are nine myths that deserve to be put to rest once and for all.
1. The ribs, arms, etc. hurt the most
While there is some logic and science as to why some parts of the body might hurt more compared to others, every person is different. You've probably heard plenty of people say: The ribs hurt the worst. However, only the individual – you – can know for sure which tattoos will hurt or won't. There's no need to psych yourself out prior to your appointment, as this will only make you more tense, and then you better believe that it's going to hurt.
2. Tattoo artists can fix bad work
Don't just assume that if you don't like your ink that you can just have it fixed up in no time. If you go to a place that did an awful job on your new piece of body art, do you really want to let them have at it again? Think about this long and hard. It may be in your best interest to pay a little extra money to find a new artist who can do better next time. The upside is that you don't have to live with tattoo regret. You can just get laser tattoo removal.
3. A tattoo is forever
This was true at one point, but not anymore. Thanks to laser tattoo removal, you can rid yourself of any spontaneous ink decisions that you made during your youth. People no longer need to live with the fear that they can never rid themselves of a bad or unwanted mark.
4. Tattoo artists are all the same
Some people view the profession of tattoo artist as they would an office job. While you might be under the impression that all tattoo artists can do the same work, this isn't the case. Their sources of inspiration and training vary greatly. Picking out your artist may be the most important decision you make when getting inked. It's right up there with picking out your tattoo design. If you meet with an artist to discuss your idea and he or she doesn't sketch something that you like, you're not bound to anything. You can politely decline and shop around until you find what you're looking to have done.
5. Body art makes it hard to find a job
Traditionally, tattoos made it tougher to secure work, however, these days, that's not really the case. The New York Times reported that some offices allow their employees to show off their tattoos, depending on the industry and place of work. Note that not everyone has come around to tattoos. You'd be hard-pressed to find a law office with an open tattoo policy. However, several industries are increasingly encouraging their employees to express themselves through body art. As pointed out in the Times story, certain positions that are viewed as free-spirited are artsy may come with some dress code freedoms.
6. You can't donate blood or organs
Wall Street Journal contributor Sue Shellenbarger debunked this myth. Someone had written into the publication inquiring if tattooed people could donate blood and organs. Shellenbarger pointed out that the process is simply deferred by one year from the day you get a new tattoo if you live in a state that doesn't regulate tattoo parlors, or if you get work done by an artist who doesn't have his or her license. Otherwise there's absolutely no difference between having fresh ink and having no tattoos. The rationale behind these instances is to reduce the risk of blood-borne diseases.
7. Stick-and-pokes are outdated
Just because the tattoo industry has become so big over the last decade doesn't mean old-school techniques are obsolete. You'll still find people from time to time, artists included, who have done some work on themselves or to their friends the old fashioned way – by heating a safety pin then dipping it in ink. This method is often referred to as the "stick and poke" and it's still very much alive.
8. You can't go swimming with a new tattoo
Don't put off your tattoo until winter time just because you're worried about not being able to swim on your trip to Cancun. To err on the side of caution, The Ink Underground explained that you should wait about one week before getting into any pools, saunas, hot tubs or other bodies of water.
9. You shed a lot of skin after getting inked
You might end up with a flaky patch of skin, but anything more could indicate an infection. Many tattoos don't peel at all. You'll find that it all depends on your skin and tattoos.