Frequently Asked Questions on Tattoo aftercare in Anniston

Oral Piercing Tips

 EATING:

  • Slowly eat small bites of food that you put right onto your molars.
  • Don’t eat spicy, salty, acidic, or hot temperature foods or beverages for a few days.
  • Be extra careful of your jewelry when eating crunchy food.
  • Cold foods and drinks feel good and help reduce swelling.
  • Foods like mashed potatoes and oatmeal are hard to eat because they stick to your mouth and jewelry.
  • For tongue piercings; try to keep your tongue from twisting in your mouth when you eat because you can bite the jewelry when your tongue turns.
  • For lip piercings: be careful not to open your mouth too wide because your jewelry can catch on your teeth.
  • Each body is different and your healing time may be a lot longer or shorter than your friends’. If you have any questions, contact your piercer.

WHAT TO AVOID:

  • Do not play with your jewelry. You will cause permanent damage to teeth, gums, and other oral structures.
  • Avoid talking too much when your piercing is new. This could make ugly, uncomfortable scar tissue form, and make your healing take longer.
  • Avoid using mouthwash that has alcohol in it. The alcohol can irritate your piercing and delay healing.
  • Avoid kissing or contact with others’ bodily fluids like saliva while you are healing.
  • Avoid chewing on gum, fingernails, pencils, sunglasses, tobacco, and other foreign objects that could have bacteria on them.
  • Avoid sharing plates, cups, forks, and spoons.
  • Avoid stress and recreational drug use, including too much caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.
  • Avoid aspirin as long as you are bleeding or swelling.
  • Avoid putting a healing piercing in a lake, pool, hot tub, etc. To protect a lip piercing use a waterproof bandage.
  • Don’t smoke! It increases risks and lengthens healing time. 

General Tattoo Aftercare

 Tattoo Aftercare - 10 Quick Tips

#1 - Leave your bandage/ wrap on until told by your artist: While some artists may ask you to leave your bandage on for only an hour, others may ask you to keep it on for a whole day. Your artist knows which length of time is best for you and your tattoo, so ensure you listen to their advice.​
#2 - Wash your tattoo well after removing the bandage/ wrap: Wash your tattoo thoroughly (but carefully) ​using warm water and a fragrance-free soap to remove any excess/ dried blood and plasma.
#3 - Pat your tattoo dry after cleaning it. Use a clean paper towel to dry your tattoo by gently PATTING the area. DON'T RUB.
#4 - Apply a small amount of lotion after cleaning your tattoo: ensure the area is COMPLETELY dry before applying a very thin layer of your chosen aftercare product/lotion to help moisturize and nourish the area.​
#5 - Wash your tattoo regularly: Continue to use a fragrance-free soap and lukewarm water to clean your tattoo at least twice a day​.
#6 - Repeat the cleaning process until the tattoo is fully healed: Remember that your tattoo isn't completely safe from germs and bacteria until it has COMPLETELY finished scabbing and peeling. Continue to wash the tattoo until this point (usually 2-4 weeks).​
#7 - Don't pick and pull at the flaking/ scabbing skin: Picking away at your healing tattoo can delay healing, cause fading, and increase the chances of infection.
#8 - Stay away from the sun: Don't expose your new tattoo to intense sunlight and don't apply any sun lotion to the area until it has fully healed.
#9 - Stay away from water: All bodies of water can contain nasty bacteria that which will ruin a new tattoo if you're not careful. Stick to short showers until your skin has fully healed, and don't go swimming.​
#10 - Continue to look after your tattoo once healed: Once healed, keep your tattoo well protected from the sun and ensure you continue to moisturize the area regularly. Healthy skin means a healthy looking tattoo. 

General Piercing Care

 

CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS FOR BODY PIERCINGS • WASH your hands thoroughly prior to cleaning or touching your piercing for any reason.• SALINE soak for five to ten minutes once or more per day. Invert a cup of warm saline solution over the area to form a seal. For certain piercings it may be easier to apply using clean gauze or paper towels saturated with saline solution.• If your piercer suggests using soap, gently lather around the piercing and rinse as needed. Avoid using harsh soaps, or soaps with dyes, fragrances, or triclosan. • RINSE thoroughly to remove all traces of the soap from the piercing. It is not necessary to rotate the jewelry through the piercing.• DRY by gently patting with clean, disposable paper products. Cloth towels can harbor bacteria and snag on jewelry, causing injury. 

ORAL PIERCING HINTS AND TIPS 

JEWELRY:  

• Once the swelling has subsided, it is vital to replace the original, longer jewelry with a shorter post to avoid intra-oral damage. Consult your piercer for their downsize policy.  

• Because this necessary jewelry change often occurs during healing, it should be done by a qualified piercer.   

• With clean hands or paper product, be sure to regularly check threaded ends on your jewelry for tightness ("Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.")   

• Carry a clean spare ball in case of loss or breakage.   

• Contact your piercer for a non-metallic jewelry alternative if your metal jewelry must be temporarily removes (such as for a medical procedure).    

• Should you decide you no longer want the piercing, simply remove the jewelry (or have a professional piercer remove it) and continue cleaning the piercing until the hole closes. In most cases only a small mark will remain.  

• In the even an infection is suspected, quality jewelry or an inert alternative should be left in place to allow for drainage or the infection. Should the jewelry be removed, the surface cells can close up sealing the infection inside the piercing channel, resulting in an abscess. Until an infection is cleared up, the the jewelry in! 

Why Plastic wrap is a NO- NO...by Peggy Sucher

   The use of plastic wrap to cover fresh tattoos may have gotten it’s start at biker events. I can remember first seeing it used in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s. Newly tattooed people were peeling off their bandages to show their bro’s their new ink and untrained tattooers came up with the ‘see through’ idea of plastic wrap. No need to peel that bandage back anymore. Blood wasn’t much of an issue in those days. Unfortunately some of our uneducated brethren have failed to see the dangers today and have continued this error-filled practice. What's the Problem?The problem is that plastic wrap creates an occlusive seal meaning that no air gets in and no air gets out. This keeps all of the body fluids pooling on the skin surface. That surface builds up body temperatures to nearly 103 degrees which is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Your new tattoo has just been turned into a petri-dish for bacterial growth. Nice, huh?  That pooling of body fluids--all liquids must go somewhere and that is to the bottom of the plastic wrap. Body fluids leak out and run down the body where people will brush against other people or surfaces thus creating a multi-contaminated field. And putting a piece of paper towel at the bottom does nothing to stop the oozing and temperature buildup.  Care to Rub on Someone's Body Fluids?I recently visited a neighboring studio and witnessed a plastic wrapped client sitting in their waiting room with body fluids running down his arm into the fabric sofa. Talk about a contaminated field! Ugh! If such an unfortunate individual enters our studio we ask them politely to leave, as we don’t want their body fluids on our chairs, racks, counters or floors. I also give them a copy of this article to take back to the tattooers who obviously aren’t educated in blood borne pathogens.  It's Not Only Gross, It May be Illegal. Most state tattoo regulations such as ours here in Hawaii specifically state the appropriate type of dressing to use. Hawaii Department of Health Regulation 11-17-10-H “the entire area covered with a piece of sterile dressing and secured with proper adhesive”. It’s even one of the questions on our tattoo licensing test!  Not only is the use of plastic wrap illegal in most regulated states but it is a cheap insult to a client who deserves a better start with their new tattoo. What price is proper bandaging? How do you put a dollar sign on contamination prevention?  Use of plastic wrap is forbidden in many quality tattoo conventions. National Tattoo Association and the Alliance of Professional Tattooists have outlawed its use in their shows. It’s time that all convention promoters educate themselves and make this ban an industry-wide policy.  Protect Yourself before you, as a client, get your next tattoo, observe the practices in your chosen studio. If plastic wrap bandaging is one of them, seek another tattooer who cares to educate themselves on proper procedure. Think - if they don’t have bandaging correct, what other errors in procedure are they committing?
  Written by: Peggy Sucher Skin Deep Tattoo Waikiki Security Director, National Tattoo Assn Member, Alliance of Professional Tattooists 

The Tattoo Process

 When the big day arrives, surprises are not welcome. From the moment a customer enters the tattoo shop to the moment he or she leaves, there is a typical process that is virtually scripted in the minds of many tattoo artists, and it helps a prospective tattooee to know in advance what that script involves.  Several steps of preparation involving the workstation, equipment, and pigments take place and may mean some waiting time spent idly gazing at flash or watching somebody else get tattooed. The design is prepared with either a transfer or a stencil.  The skin, no matter the part of the body involved, is shaved and given a short inspection and cleaning. A temporary ink outline of the design is placed on the surface of the skin and checked in a mirror. And all of these steps take place before a single part of actual tattooing begins.  This article is designed to relieve the natural anxiety that any new experience brings, by demystifying it and laying it bare. Knowing exactly what to expect, in the order it will likely happen, and the amount of time it will likely last, can mean the difference between a nerve-racking experience and an enriching one.  This article advises tattooees of some of the potential regulations involved, their responsibilities, the responsibilities of the tattoo shop or artist, and the requirements of payment up front and signing contracts. In addition, the prospective tattooee will learn that tattoo artists also have their own expectations, and that fulfilling these can make for an even better experience and better tattoo. 

 Before You Get There  You’ve done all your research, made all your decisions, and have your appointment … what, no appointment? Part of the decision-making process was picking your tattooist someone in whose technical and artistic skill you have confidence, with whom you have some rapport—someone that you trust. Will he or she be at the shop that day or not? Assuming so, will he or she he busy when you arrive? If that is the case, are you going to wait? How long? But why leave any of this to chance? The first thing, then, that you need to do before you actually arrive for your tattoo is to have made an appointment beforehand. (It’s not as spur-of-the-moment as some tattoos, but the perfect tattoo rarely is.) The second thing to do is to take a bath or shower. Whether you’ve had your bath for the week already or not, be clean and presentable. Don’t come directly from the gym in your workout clothes or after you’ve been digging trenches in the hot sun. Your tattoo artist is going to sit close to you and work with your skin. Don’t give him or her a reason to hurry.  On your checklist of things not to do before your tattoo appointment is taking any aspirin or drinking alcohol. In both cases, the blood is thinned, which makes for more bleeding and possibly impaired healing. In the second case, though, it’s simply poor form to show up shit faced. You are entering a tattoo artist’s place of work and creativity. Is that how you’d want somebody to come to your place of work? Save the drinking for later, when your friends take you out. Besides, you wouldn’t want to miss out on a single part of your tattoo experience. When you look back on it, you’ll know that you earned your tattoo the way millions of people have for thousands of years.  Dress appropriately for the placement of your tattoo, which you should have already discussed with the tattoo artist. If you know you’re getting a tattoo on your upper arm, then wear something sleeveless or with sleeves that can be rolled up high enough. If you’re getting something on your lower leg, then wear shorts. If you’re getting something on your lower back, then wear a shirt that you can lift and pants that are low enough or which can be lowered enough. If you’re getting something on your back, girls, consider wearing a button-up shirt which you can then wear backwards and leave open in the back. All tattoo shops will have at least a bathroom where you can change your clothes. Tattoo shops also have areas with more and less privacy. The front of the shop will almost always have a chair or two but also, usually there will be an area that is screened off from the view people in the front and the general public who are looking at flash. If you have questions about what would be good to wear, ask your tattoo artist. You don’t want to wear clothing (like briefs or a bra) that will leave an impression in your skin in the exact place where you’re planning on having a tattoo.  With all of that in mind, do your best to dress comfortably. There’s no point in complicating matters by wearing something in which you can’t breathe. Keep in mind the possibility that some stray ink might get on your clothes. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen. Some people who are in the process of getting a very large tattoo, over the course of several sessions, may even have a certain set of clothes that they wear for tattooing and may even bring their own towel or pillow for extra comfort. For most people getting their first tattoo, though, this would probably be completely unnecessary. Don’t even think about bringing your teddy bear.

  What to Bring  Make sure that you bring some form of identification with you, no matter your age. Depending on local regulations, many tattoo shops will have a contract for you to sign. As with any contract, you should read it. Unlike most, it’ll probably be pretty brief. You can expect issues of responsibility to come up (for example, allergic reactions to inks aren’t the responsibility of the tattoo artist) or the legal age limit for tattooing (different in different areas).  In essence, the tattoo shop and tattoo artist are going to limit the amount of responsibility that they are willing to accept to things that they can control: a sterile environment, satisfaction with the work, and the like. They are not going to take responsibility for things that they can’t control: your allergic reactions, the particulars and peculiarities of how your skin heals ANY medications you may be taking, prescribed or not. In order to sign a contract with you, they have to know who you are. The identification that you bring will be used to that end, and to verify your age if you look close to the legal limit.  Bring your money. You’ve already discussed your design in detail with the tattoo artist. Once the artist has seen the design, and knows how big it will be and where on your body it will go, he or she can give you a price. Body location will change the price since some parts of the body simply mean more work and time for the artist than others. You know what forms of money they’ll take: cash, maybe checks (but you should ask), and credit cards. Make sure to bring enough with you for the tattoo and your tip, if you’re thinking of giving one after being pleased with the final product. You may be asked for the fee upfront, so that they can be sure you’ve got the money.  Be on time for your appointment. Not only is it courteous and good business practice—it also helps to have as much time as possible for your tattoo. There may be more appointments after you. Even if you’re on time, though, prepare yourself to wait anyway. Tattooing is a people business and people can be unpredictable. Some tattoo clients may need more breaks during their tattoo process than others or may simply need to take the whole thing a little more slowly. Others simply sit down, sit like a rock, and get up when it’s done. Of course, even if everything is on time, waiting during preparations is part of the normal process.  

Preparations  The following scenario can only be a general guideline since it will most definitely vary from place to place and artist to artist. But in its broad outlines, this is pretty much what you can expect.  When you arrive and are greeted by your tattoo artist, he or she will confirm the tattoo with you (design, placement, colors), see your ID,have you sign the contract, take your money, and then make the preparations. You can watch, you can look at flash, or you can probably watch somebody else getting tattooed. You might have seen all of this before when you made your grand tour of local tattoo shops or when you looked at your artist’s portfolio. Your artist will now create the artwork for the outline of your tattoo design, if it hasn’t already been done. A simple, clean, black-and-white version of the outline of your tattoo will be drawn or traced. This paper version might be held up against your body for position and placement, helping with that final visualization process of how your finished tattoo will look. Don’t have any ink or temporary tattoos at all in the area where you’ll be getting your tattoo. Once the outline is finalized, the tattoo artist will make a transfer,essentially xeroxing the outline onto special transfer paper.  At this point, tattoo artists prepare the work area by wiping the chair or table down with a disinfectant. They may also use Saran wrap to cover these same areas. Then they’ll do the same for the surface on which their equipment rests, again wiping it down with a disinfectant and putting down Saran wrap, especially over anything in the area that might be particularly sensitive (like the power supply for the tattoo machine, for example, if it happens to be located on the worktable—you wouldn’t want to get any liquid on that sucker). At some point your artist will don sterile latex gloves. These are worn at all times when touching your skin or anything that will be touching your skin. If your artist has to answer the phone or fetch more ink or whatever, he or she will need to put on new gloves each time before sitting down to tattoo you.  Next,the equipment is brought out to the work area. The tattoo machine itself, unopened packages of sterilized tubes and needles, and a disposable razor are placed on the disinfected worktable. You’ll be invited to assume the position—take a seat or lie down, whichever is appropriate for your tattoo placement. Before the transfer can go on, your skin will be cleaned with a medical grade cleaning agent,using new tissues or paper towels, and then it will be shaved. No matter if you’re a guy or a girl or what part of the body we’re talking about (since there is body hair everywhere, even though it’s hard to see), your skin will be prepared by removing as much body hair as possible with a single gentle shave. The artist will wipe down the area with the cleaning agent (usually green soap or alcohol) and place the outline of your tattoo, now on the special transfer paper into contact with your wet skin. When the transfer paper is removed, it leaves behind a purple outline on the skin that your artist will use as a guide to create the outline of the tattoo. You should check this in a mirror. What you’re seeing is a very close approximation of how your finished tattoo will appear in the context of the rest of your body—although it’s a far cry from the black outline and shading that will obliterate the transfer ink. Also,don’t worry if the transfer seems messy. It’s not permanent ink and it only serves as a guideline. If, at this point, you want something changed about location, size, or design, now is the time to say so.  If the transfer looks good to you both, you’ll be asked to resume your position. The artist will then set up a palette of inks. Generally a sterile tray serves to hold the inks that will be used for your tattoo. Inks are stored in sterile plastic bottles with conical tips. The inks for your tattoo will be dispensed from these bottles into new and disposable plastic caps. A mound of Vaseline can be placed on the plate with a sterile wooden tongue depressor and the caps may be dabbed in it so that they stick to the palette. The cap of an ink bottle is removed and wiped with a tissue, and then ink is squeezed directly into the small cup on the palette. Although this process might be repeated later, generally an artist will put down enough cups to hold enough ink for the entire tattoo if it’s a small one. Then the tip is wiped again and the cap and bottle replaced. The palette with Vaseline and inks will be placed close at hand at the worktable.  Once the palette is in place, it’s time to load the needles into the tattoo machine. While you may not see the inks dispensed the most important part of the sterilization procedure should he done in front of you: opening the autoclave bags. The tubes are first removed from their autoclave bags and fitted into the opening in the tattoo machine. Many artists have particular favorites among tube styles and they likely own their tubes, matched to their machines, and they may purchase and manufacture their own needles as well (soldering needles to the bars). The needles are removed from the autoclave bag and inspected by the artist. They are inserted into the tubes and attached to the machine.  Finally,the machine is hooked up to the power cord, which generally has a foot switch in it for the artist to turn the tattoo machine on and off, hands free. Once the machine is turned on, the artist may fiddle with it or the power supply, and you’ll hear it make a distinct buzzing sound—not so loud that a normal conversation voice is not easily heard above it. though. When the machine is running to the artist’s satisfaction, he or she will dip the running machine into the first ink cup (generally black to create the outline) and let you know that things are about to start and that you’ll be feeling a brisk sensation.  The style of different tattoo artists when interacting with customer varies greatly, but this is why you spent some amount of time considering them in the first place. In addition, many tattoo artists will modify their approach or style and tailor it to their clients’ needs (a first-time customer may need much more time than a repeat customer). They may offer you a moment to reconsider the tattoo before they begin … or not. They may ask you if you’re ready to begin … or not. At this point, or at any time really, if you feel nervous or anxious, that’s perfectly natural. Just let your artist know. Artists help hundreds if not thousands of people through the process of getting their first tattoo. Because you’re embarking on something that will permanently be displayed on your skin for the rest of your life, it’s not uncommon for that realization to come to you in that moment. Rather than worrying about pain, you’re worrying about your decision. However, the point of this article is to make sure that you’ve done everything that you can to be prepared for this moment. Anxiety and nervousness are just a part of the tattoo process, part of the ritual in a sense, and part of every important ritual in the most universal sense. If, however, you’re having serious second thoughts, say so. If your gut instinct is that you’re making a mistake, then stop. Tattoo artists have seen that happen as well. You need to feel good about what you’re doing in the big picture, even if you’re nervous at the time. If you need to cancel, then do it, before the outline begins. There’s always another day.  Let’s assume that all systems are go. Your tattooist may begin with a small line, just a little bit of the outline, and then check on you. Do your best not to move, but don’t hold your breath either. At this point, after that first bit of outline, you’ve felt and now have experience with the pain level. This is the pain, whether you experience it as a stinging sensation or a rubber band snapping against your skin, that you will likely be experiencing for the rest of the tattoo process depending on the size and complexity of your design. It is a pain that the majority of tattoo clients would describe as manageable or moderate. Many first-time tattoo clients are actually relieved at this point to know that this whole tattoo thing is definitely doable. A smaller percentage grit their teeth and start a breathing exercise. If, however, you decide that the pain is manageable, then your tattoo artist will proceed, taking the tattoo machine away only briefly for more ink. Longer breaks will come as the needles need to be changed (different needle configurations are used for different parts of the design) and also to change ink colors(generally achieved by rinsing the needles in clean water in a small disposable cup set aside for that purpose).  Your job now is to sit like a rock, without flinching or squirming. Go ahead and talk if you like, but don’t whine. Most tattoo artists are quite used to chatting with their clients during the process. If they need you to be quiet, like when they’re doing the eyes on your pinup cutie, they’ll let you know. Generally your tattoo artist will also let you know when the outline is done. Most people find the outlining more painful than the shading which follows. As the tattoo process proceeds, however, you may find that you need to take a break, maybe because of the discomfort, maybe to switch positions, or just to have a cigarette. Perhaps your tattooist will need a break as well, to take a phone call or see a client who has stopped by the shop. If you want a break, then ask for one. It’s part of the routine. Your artist will wipe off the excess ink and body fluids,smooth on some Vaseline, and you can get up and check out the work in progress and have some water or your smoke. The position in which you sit or lie for your tattoo may not be the most comfortable. But your tattooist needs to get the right angle on your skin to do the tattoo well. Be as understanding as possible when it comes to being in an uncomfortable position. Tattooists battle repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and sore backs like everybody else.

The Party’s Over  Well,despite how much you’d like the hot needle massage to continue,eventually your tattooist announces that your tattoo is finished, just when you were getting into the Zen of the whole thing. Finally you get up and look at your finished tattoo in the mirror. Don’t be surprised if your skin is red and a little puffy. Lymph fluid and blood may bead up, ever so slightly. The colors often look darker and have more contrast at this early stage than when the tattoo is completely healed. The reddish swelling of the skin is one contributor to that darker effect. Also, the epidermis is full of ink as well, but we know that eventually the epidermis layer will be replaced with a new clear one, just as before. As you look in the mirror, though, what you see is pretty much your new tattoo and how it will look for many years to come. If you’ve done your homework and you’ve picked your design, body location, and artist well, then you’re likely not looking at just any tattoo, but the perfect one—for you. No matter the size of your tattoo, you have joined the tribe as fully as it can be joined. Welcome and well done.
 

Commonly Asked Questions

 How long will it take  As a general guideline, time estimates per (average) body part are as follows:

  • Full back piece: 40-80 hours 
  • Full-Sleeves: 25-50 hours
  • Half-Sleeve: 12-25 hours
  • Quarter-Sleeve: 6-12 hours
  • Full ribs/chest:: 25-35 hours
  • Full chest: 20-25 hours
  • Lower leg/calf: 10-15 hours

  (avg cost is appx $100 per hour{this does not mean that the clock starts when the work is begun and an artist may get into a groove and work for 3 hours only charging you for two})   Of course, it is nearly impossible to say with certainty how long a specific project will take – it depends on many variables from the type and complexity of the design chosen, whether the work is in color or black and grey only, the physical size of the client and how well the client can sit for appointments.  By the Piece.   For smaller pieces that can be completed in under a few hours,  you get a ‘quote’ for finishing the entire piece. Obviously to accurately price a Tattoo, it is necessary to see the design you want, whether or not it needs to be modified and to discuss the style, size, color and placement on your body. Some designs are simple and straightforward -- and obviously others can be more complex and time consuming. It all depends. Custom Work.   Larger projects – especially those that will require more than one sitting, are usually priced at an hourly rate. The hourly rate varies from a minimum of $50 to up to $200 per hour or more depending on the artist.   The cost of a project is related to the time it takes to complete and includes four main factors: color vs. black & gray vs. heavy black Tattooing; body type/area; whether the piece is new or covers a previous Tattoo/re-works a Tattoo/is a cover-up; and size of the project. Can you tattoo this?  Other than “flash” work (“flash” is sheets of already-designed Tattoos that typically hang on the wall in most Tattoo Studios) that may be incorporated into a design or reproduction of other source material (such as a band logo or military emblem, etc.) in a Tattoo, reputable Tattoo Artists respect the original design elements of another Tattoo Artist’s custom-designed work. If you have a photo of a Tattoo that you like, that can be the inspiration and starting point for creating a custom-design for you, but generally a Tattoo Artist will not want to reproduce an exact copy of it for you.  As the popularity of Tattooing has increased, more and more people have sought out Tattoo Artists to create unique and original Tattoos for them. Often times a lot of work, research and planning has gone into the process of creation by both the Tattoo Artist and the client – and of course many photographs are published these days in Tattoo magazines and on the Internet showing off their amazing work. But getting a Tattoo that was originally created for someone else is almost always a bad idea. A Tattoo that others can spot as having been stolen or ripped-off may lead the wearer to embarrassment at such a discovery. And while you might think no one else has seen the picture that you brought in to be copied that you clipped out of some magazine – you might be unpleasantly surprised someday when someone unexpectedly calls you out on it.  Unfinished work  The first question is why the Tattoo is unfinished.  Poor Work. If the reason your Tattoo is unfinished is because the Tattoo Artist you went to did obviously poor work and you don’t have confidence in their completing your project, I can fix it – no problem.  Other Work. If you have a piece that you started by a reputable, good Tattoo Artist, but is unfinished for other reasons, an evaluation needs to be made. Working on another Tattoo Artist’s Tattoo project brings forth the introduction of industry politics and can lead to a touchy situation. If the Tattoo Artist is still Tattooing and has a respectable reputation, then courtesy in the Tattoo industry usually dictates that you should first try to personally seek permission and/or inform the Tattoo Artist of your intentions. They will eventually learn of the situation. If that presents an uncomfortable situation, I would, of course be happy to discuss with you what I can do to help, but each case must be dealt with on an individual basis. Is it going to hurt? Of course it will! What you really want to know is HOW MUCH does it hurt. Well, not nearly as much as some people would like you to believe. That said – pain thresholds vary from person to person – everyone handles it differently. Also, the amount of pain involved can vary greatly depending on the part of the body that is being Tattooed. Generally, the places that hurt more than usual include those parts of the body with a high concentration of nerve endings (hands, feet), erogenous zones like inner thigh or areas right over a bone like the ankle or the top of the foot. All in all, there is only one way to find out – GET TATTOOED! (And I'm willing to bet it won’t be as bad as you imagined it would be!). And hey – if you do it long enough, I can virtually GUARANTEE YOU there is some part on your body where it's going to FEEL REAL GOOD. CAN MY OLD TATTOO BE COMPLETELY COVERED BY A NEW TATTOO? Is it a SOLID BLACK Tribal? If not, you probably can.  Some Tattoo Artists might just tell you no or discourage you saying it’s a bad idea rather than undertake the work. BUT, a clever and talented Tattoo Artist maybe able to do something AMAZING. Of course, it is absolutely necessary to see the work that you want covered-up – so if this is your situation, give me a ring to see what the possibilities are. ** NOTE: Depending on the work you're trying to cover-up – even a solid black Tattoo, you might benefit from first having your Tattoo "lightened" with laser treatments. Lasers are not completely effective in removing all Tattoos and rarely are able to restore skin to a completely unblemished state -- but they can be extraordinarily helpful in lightening a dark Tattoo so that an impossible-to-detect cover-up is possible.