Whether it be your first or just a little banger to fill some space, tattoos are an amazing art form and an amazing way to show your personality. I’m not even close to being covered in tattoos, but I am usually the friend who has a little more ink than everyone else in the group. In my day I have found there are some great tattoo experiences and not so great experiences. So here are some of the stages of panic I have experienced both in the past and with my most recent tattoo

1.) Why does it itch so much?!?!

We don’t give our bodies enough credit, but it does so much to naturally heal itself. Yes, you do have to clean a tattoo on a regular basis, but for the most part you have to let your body do the work. I’m not sure how medically accurate this is, but I’ve been told that itchiness is part of the healing process for all wounds. DON’T SCRATCH YOUR TATTOOS, PEOPLE! Just keep it moisturized and realize how much self control you actually have

2.) Am I a snake??

Having a decent amount of melanin in my skin I haven’t had that much experience with sunburns, but I do know that they can peel. #same, tattoos can peel too! When I got my biggest piece done I asked the artist why tattoos peel! Her answer was pretty basic and simple she told me your skin is healing up after a wound that pierced it and jeopardized its normal growth cycle.

3.) Keep it clean, guys. Gotta keep it clean

Tattoo artists are cool people who want you to take care of their artwork that is now on your skin forever. If it's your first or even second tattoo they’ll give you a handy dandy pamphlet on aftercare. With my first tattoo and my most recent I have been so crazy about keeping them clean! I went out and bought the special anti-bacterial, Aquaphor and even paper towels! My first tattoo was just that, my first tattoo! So I definitely went right by the book to make sure the healing process was perfect! My most recent tattoo has been weird and I’ve debated amputation (that was very dramatic, but I’m not sure what’s up with this tattoo right now).

Moral of the story, take care of your ink. It’s okay if it itches, its okay if it peels, but if you’re worried don’t hesitate contacting the artist who did the tattoo and they’ll put your mind at ease. Also, don’t take advice from other people about how to take care of your tattoo! Listen to your artist and follow THEIR instructions! I don’t care if your friend is covered in tatts, LISTEN TO YOUR ARTIST!!