Forums Discussions I really want a tattoo

  • I really want a tattoo

    Posted by shammon5 on March 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Ok, so I’ve been dying to get a tattoo for a while. I want a henna-style permanent tattoo on my upper back, between both shoulder blades. Unfortunately, I’ve been putting it off because of pole-dancing classes. I’m going roughly 5 times a week for an hour and a half, and I’ve been working up to some more advanced moves (knee hold, shoulder mount, superman, etc). I’ve read some of the other threads about tattoos, but opinions seem to vary as to the average length of time I would need to wait before being able to take up my regular practice sessions. I’m going on vacation in a week, and thought about getting it done right before that so that I’d have 9-10 days to heal up before going back. I know nothing about tattoos or how long they take to heal. When i come back from vacation, do you think I would be able to do *some* moves, if not the more advanced ones, without ruining my tattoo? Since it’s henna style, there would be more little pieces as opposed to lots of lines and shading. Anyway, your thoughts? Thanks!

    glitterhips replied 14 years, 2 months ago 9 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • Runemist34

    March 13, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    Hey there,
    I’ve wanted to get a tattoo for years, and unfortunately, I haven’t found something quite right for me yet. The tattoo itself will determine where I get it, so this is somewhat important to me, as well. One day, I’ll be doing advanced moves, and also one day, I might finally find "the thing."
    However, what little knowledge I have tells me that healing time depends on your body! For example, I have two ear piercings in each of my earlobes…one pair by the needle, and one by the gun. Needle ones (done professionally, of course) took barely two weeks. Gun ones, well…they infected within days, and still give me problems. But, the most telling thing? I’ve had cartilage piercings for more than three years, and they STILL haven’t healed! I don’t have keloids, but the skin is doing some weird thing where it’s trying to grow over the original jewellery…so my piercer and I are trying different things to help it along.
    Thus, I know…healing is specific to each person. I have heard many people say that you have to be very careful about movement, things such as moving that part of your body (in your case, your shoulders, neck, and back) too much too often, because you may cause the ink to spread to places you don’t want it. I don’t know about the specifics of that one, but it would be something to look into. Also, your tattoo (from what I saw of my sister) will itch like crazy, require a lot of cream, and will make your skin go insane. She developed a patch of dry skin that looked uncannily like a scab without the blood, which eventually came off and the whole thing relaxed.
    So, here’s my suggestion: Find your tattoist, and talk to them. Ask them every question you can think of. Look it up on the internet, do your research, find out all the information!
    That way, if you have issues, you know how to deal with it…and issues will become a lot less likely if you know what you’re getting yourself into!

    Let me know how it goes, when you do it? I’m a big baby when it comes to stuff like that, so I’m curious to know how various people take it!

  • Journey

    March 14, 2010 at 12:54 am

    I’m going to agree with Runemist – everyone heals differently, and as far as it effects your poling, I think it’s going to depend on where you get the tattoo.

    I have a cross tattoo on my ankle, and the tattoo artist didn’t say a word to me about limiting activity (because it’ll make the ink spread?) But then again, the side of your ankle isn’t a muscle like your back is (you did say you’re getting it on your back, right?). If I remember correctly, mine cleared up in a couple weeks – like it stopped peeling and itching and all that unpleasant stuff. But once again, that’s just me.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say if you want to get the tattoo, get it before your vacation. Because if you end up having to take time off pole to let it heal, at least there’s a vacation attached to your pole break and it won’t feel as long. Plus it’s going to be really sore and you’re probably not going to want to pole even if you were home. However – one thing to keep in mind – if your vacation is going to involve swimming, then I wouldn’t. You’re not supposed to swim with a new tattoo.

    I would go to a tattoo artist and talk to them about all this. A lot depends on where you’re getting it, how big it is, and what their aftercare procedures are. Different artists will tell you different things and all of them insist that they’re right The guy I got mine from said absolutely no ointments because it doesn’t allow your skin to breathe and heal, and most others say use a thin layer of ointment to help it heal and keep it from being infected (and some say it’s to help hold the color). But washing it with soapy water twice a day helps it heal and takes the scabs off (because you’re not supposed to itch or pick at them) and using lotion helps with the dryness and itching. And you will be sore for a few days or so. But definitely go talk to a tattoo artist.

  • jellycat1

    March 14, 2010 at 5:21 am

    One thing to remember, new tattoos and sun are a no-no. I made that mistake. I think I had to keep mine on my shoulder out of the sun for the first month. Of summer.

    So while everyone was busting out the tanks and halters. I was wearing hoodies. It was mega-lame. Worth it, but still lame. My next tat will be in the dead of winter. I know I had to keep it lubed up for at least a week or so. (Super lubed up, used aquaphor ointment.)

    Good luck and congrats!

  • Danielle Tillie

    March 14, 2010 at 7:36 am

    My tattoo was healed up in two weeks. Basically what I was taught, and did successfully, was to let it scab naturally (takes about 2 days), using vitamin E and aloe ointment. Make sure you don’t scratch at the scabs because if you break any off early you run the risk of removing ink. This is the time that you cannot pole, because any friction from the pole will cause a problem. Be sure to keep the area thoroughly moisturized with unscented lotion (Curel is fantastic!). This whole time I am washing the tattoo gently with gentle soap and water. After about a week to a week and a half the scabs should fall off naturally and you’ll be left with your healed tattoo! I felt like it was worth it to wait for a few extra days just to be certain, and then poling is just fine.

    Hooray for tattoos! If you decided to get it, please post a picture!

  • Runemist34

    March 14, 2010 at 7:55 am

    englann86, I think this is how my sister was told to deal with her tattoo, as well! She would come home from work on her lunch break and beg me to put the ointment on, ’cause it itched so much! Hers looks great, though, and I think she’s really happy with it!
    And I agree…pictures!

  • poledanceromance

    March 14, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    My artists have all had me use plain, unscented lubriderm lotion on my ink because it’s really, really important that you not have enough lotion or anything that it just sits on the surface. If you have enough ointment on the surface that it looks shiny or slippery, you’ve got too much. If you keep the surface too wet, you lose ink (same reason they tell you not to take a bath or go swimming/completely submerge it in water while it’s still open.) This was my mistake with my first tattoo which was delicate lettering with very thin lines, and I lost a lot of ink on it keeping it too moisturized. Sometimes with other ointments like E oil, if it’s your first tattoo it’s easy to overdo it because they are oil-based and slower to sink in. They can also be very comedogenic (pore-clogging); the severity of the acne response will depend on the location of the tattoo.
    I’ll now give a little info on why the plain unscented lubriderm lotion is best. If you do this properly, you very likely won’t scab, bur rather go straight to a hard peel, like the peely skin that’s underneath a scab (that’s the idea, by using a water-based lotion in small amounts you’re keeping the top layer of the scab from growing while encouraging softer new skin). This is what you want because the more the area scabs, the greater the risk you’ll lose color when those scabs come off; and with detailed lines or lettering, scabs can severely affect your end result. Never use anything with petroleum in it, including ointments advertised for tattoo aftercare that contain it. If it’s got petroleum, you don’t want it. It is highly comedogenic, meaning it will clog your pores and acne over ink=losing ink. This includes trible-antibiotics like neosporin. They are a no-no for sure. I’ve seen good healers use all kinds of lotions and ointments that aren’t ideal and heal it just fine, but if you happen to be a person who has a healing problem with ink you don’t yet know about, using the wrong ointment will encourage that problem and ultimately affect your end result. Lubriderm also works wonders on the itching when properly applied.

    That said, once your tattoo is no longer in an open, bleeding state,and it is comfortable to do so without ANY pain doing firm rubs with vitamin E and aloe is a fantastic idea because the rubbing motion combined with the oil may be able to break up the growth of scar tissue, and the less you scar the more vibrant and painted-on your new ink will look.

    I don’t say this to discredit anyone (since I know I’m contradicting a few things said above me) and that’s not my intention. I only say this because, as a former corresponding writer/editor for a body modification publication and the proud owner of 9 piercings and a few tats, I have spent hours countless hours researching and studying not only the various healing methods but WHY they work on the body how they do, and I’ve become quite the expert in mod aftercare, up to and including surgical procedures. The key is always to listen to YOUR body above the aftercare sheet your artist gives you. And if you see something on their aftercare sheet that you’re not sure about, research it. Seriously whether or not you will have a good experience modifying your body is 100% dependent on how well you research and arm yourself with knowledge before you go in.

    As for poling, if you do a good job on the lotion and don’t scab, you will probably feel some tension in the piece as it starts to heal, where pulling on it causes you discomfort; listen to that. Wait until the skin over the ink "feels" normal again. You’ll know what I mean once you get it; the area will be a little bit hypersensitive for a while. Just listen to your body.

  • Runemist34

    March 14, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    PDR, I have some questions:
    First, Lush products are what I normally use for things like moisturizers and such, and I was wondering if their lotions would be good for a tattoo. They’re all natural, and if you like, I could send you the ingredients list! It’s right on the jar.
    Next, what would you say about Emu oil for the "scarring" portion, instead of Vitamin E and Aloe? Just curious. I heard this stuff is really, really awesome for the prevention and cure of scars.
    Last, and this is more of a question for me…have you ever seen cartilage piercings that have skin growing over the jewellery, but no keloids? Keloids, I’m told, should be hard, round, and practically impossible to remove. My cartilage piercings have skin, and it swells and recedes, depending on if the planets are aligning in such a way, or if Japan got an earthquake recently (not really, I have no idea…they just get irritated). It’s soft and not round. My piercings haven’t healed in just over 3 or 4 years (I can’t remember exactly). This is why I ask about Emu oil, because that’s what my piercer suggested. I found some Emu oil cream (the only thing I could find, actually) and have been using it every evening for about a week. Obviously, I don’t expect results right now, but I was wondering if you had any other ideas?

  • poledanceromance

    March 14, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    First, Lush products are what I normally use for things like moisturizers and such, and I was wondering if their lotions would be good for a tattoo. They’re all natural, and if you like, I could send you the ingredients list! It’s right on the jar.

    I’ve heard of that brand, never tried it. I’ve heard good things, though. The most important elements are that it’s non-comedogenic, preferably water-based, and contain no fragrances. I would say testing a little spot to see how it felt wouldn’t be a bad idea. It should be something light that doesn’t leave anything on the surface of your skin. If there’s anything on the label warning about irritation/contact with mucous membranes, I’d be doubly careful.

    Next, what would you say about Emu oil for the "scarring" portion, instead of Vitamin E and Aloe?

    I’ve heard of people using it and swearing by it, I think I would try it on another scar before trying it on a piercing or tattoo. Really, what matters most in the rubs are heat and pressure. What ointment you use is more personal preference, but the good rule of no petroleum and no triple antibiotics applies because a piercing is essentially a puncture wound, and if you read the label on the neosporin it actually says not to use it on puncture wounds. It tends to collect inside it and become a good media for bacterial growth. That said, I’ve heard good things about emu oil, and vitamin E. A couple minutes with a heating pad and then rub away. To be used on totally healed mods only.

    Last, and this is more of a question for me…have you ever seen cartilage piercings that have skin growing over the jewellery, but no keloids?
    Yeah, there’s a fancy word for that type of soft scarring but it’s particularly common with cartilage piercings done with a piercing gun, and it does flare with irritation. It can even be a predictor of getting sick or getting your period. In an established piercing doing rubs should be one of the best things you can do for it. If you’re wearing 14g or larger in it I would downsize one to take the pressure off if it’s flared really uncomfortably. Use internally threaded jewelry so threads won’t drag on it. If you’re wearing standard studs, consider switching from the butterfly backs to something with fewer places for piercing gunk (the shed skin and oils that seep from piercings because it can’t flake off like elsewhere on the body) to collect.

    Lovely stomach turning stuff really

    *Disclaimer, having a good combo of a mod-friendly dr. and an artist who are willing to communicate back and forth is the best security for aftercare, I’m not either. Read my advice accordingly, it’s not medical advice, just tips from someone who’s been around the block in the mod field.

  • verucablue

    March 15, 2010 at 2:28 am

    I have multiple tats and lots of tattoo artist friends…we all swear by H20 Ocean Tattoo Foam" onclick=";return false;

    works really well – is very light and it seems to really help with cutting down the itching and or peeling

  • Sparklie

    March 17, 2010 at 3:23 am

    Well, I am a tattoo artist worst nightmare when it comes to aftercare because I have super sensitive skin. During the first six sessions of my tattoo I found that I was allergic to or couldn’t use A&D ointment, aqauphor (sp?), lubrderm lotion, aveno lotion, etc…. What I used was bag balm in a think layer once a day (twice if needed), and when peeling a mixture of bag balm and emu oil. After it was done peeling I could then use lotions. I don’t know how sensitive your skin is but I would suggest using it around the peeling stage or in conjunction with bag balm because it does absorb into your skin fast. Also keep in mind that a tattoo is a scar no matter how you look at it.

    My heal and peel time is very short compared to most people. I was back on the pole with in 3-5 days when I got my leg done. With my ribs it was more like 1-2 weeks because I bruise when getting tatted. I was healed in a few days, but my ribs still hurt from the underlying bruise.

  • glitterhips

    March 17, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    I won’t go into healing methods since everyone’s covered them but I would stay away from getting tattooed near going on vacation, you aren’t supposed to expose a new tattoo to sunlight and I don’t think pool water either, so I don’t know how fun your vacation would be

    I have tattoos on a few places that come in contact with the pole pretty often and ive never had a problem but everyone does heal differently like everyons been saying….good luck and post a picture if you get it!!

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