You've planned it all out and you think you are finally ready to put that deposit down on your new tattoo.
Whether it's your first, second, or even tenth tattoo, you might be nervous about the placement of your soon-to-be tat.
Many say that the worst place to get a tattoo is on your rib cage. With the needle grinding in-and-out of your skin hovering over your rib cage, of course it's not going to be painless.
However, having had experience with getting this type of tattoo, I can say it's all about your tolerance for pain, how well you prepare, and your mindset during the time you are on the tattoo ink bed.
Here are some helpful tips and tricks to help you prepare for your tattoo:
Get a good night's rest.
Sure, this may seem obvious... but you never know when those late-night nerves might start to creep up on you. Getting a good night's rest will help you to stay healthy and alert when getting your tattoo, and help you maint a strong mindset.
Eat a healthy breakfast.
Once again, this may be an obvious point, but eating a filling, healthy breakfast is always a good idea, and especially on the day of your tattoo appointment. There is nothing worse than a grumbling stomach while a needle is digging holes in your skin. Yikes.
Drink more water than usual the day before you get your tattoo.
Staying hydrated is important to prepare your skin for the procedure, and allows your skin to better absorb the ink. It's also reported that drinking water will help your skin during the healing process. Water works wonders, ya'll!
Bring comfort items (listed below).
1. A small pillow. If your tattoo takes as long as mine did, you will be laying on your side for around two hours. Typically, a tattoo artist provides a small cushion to place under your side, however bringing a small pillow for your head will make your experience 100 times more comfortable.
2. Headphones. Bring those tunes, baby! Time seems to fly by when jamming out to your favorite songs.
3. Your favorite soda or energy drink. Getting a tattoo is HARD on your body. During the process, blood sugar tends to drop. To keep this from happening, drink a energy or sugary drink before and at intervals throughout the process.
So, you got your tattoo… and now you're heading home thinking about that fire tattoo picture you're about to upload to the 'gram. What next?
Besides any special directions from your tattoo artist, typically you are going to need unscented lotion or a healing ointment. I like to use Aquaphor healing ointment or Lubriderm unscented lotion.
When you go to wash your fresh ink, you will want to use fragrance-free soap, and pat it dry with a paper towel (as regular bath towels harbor bacteria). For the first two to three days, you will want to wash it two to three times a day, and apply either unscented lotion or healing ointment each time. On the third or fourth day, you can reduce this process to only one to two times a day.
Like with any tattoo, your rib cage tattoo with flake, itch, and possibly scab while healing. Never scratch or pick at the scabs!
Last, but not least… the pain. Did it hurt?
Well, it doesn't feel nice, but I firmly believe that if it's something you really want, you will love it and bear it.
Having distractions such as music served as a wonderful aid for relieving the pain. Go in with an excited mindset. but be careful not to overdo it.
Working yourself up will only cause you to catch "nerves," and will not help when you try to to be relaxed as possible. When getting my rib tattoo (which took about two hours), the pain was maybe a 7.5/10. Totally bearable. If anything, it sort-of tickled.
My best advice… remember that it is only temporary pain, for something that will bring you long-term happiness.