Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Tattoo Experience

I thought I’d share my tattoo experience for all to read :)
Warning: A lot of reading.

The Design:
I composed the piece myself, by first off tracing the paisley design, then tracing the camera, sewing machine, film and cotton reels on top, in positions I felt comfortable with.
It took me a couple of go’s to get something I was really happy with, but in the end I loved the final design :)

I chose to go to a local tattoo shop, it’s the same place I got my nose piercing, and my brother and my friend have both got their tattoos from there, so I knew it was all hygienic and safe and proper, and the tattoos were of good quality and the staff are very friendly and professional.

The Pain:
So initially it really hurt quite a bit, but after a while I found that I sort of got used to it.
The first hour was the worst, I kept twitching and my leg was spasming and it was pretty horrific, I was terrified that I’d look down and there’d be loads of jolts from my crazy leg movements, luckily that was all imagination. It felt like what I can only describe as a really hot scratch, literally like someone is scratching off your skin. But like I said, you get used to it after a while. 

The Length:
For some odd reason, I thought I’d go for a four hour session as my first tattoo. As I sat down in the chair I realised that it might have been a better idea to go for something a little smaller, just to see if I could stand the pain. Anywho, here I was, ready to roll, and as the needle first sank into my skin I was thinking dear god what have I done? four hours of this?! The first hour was the worst, mainly due to the leg twitches, and the straight lines that seemed to go on for ages, but after that the time seemed to fly by, and it didn’t bother me too much. However in the last half an hour the twitching came back, my tummy was rumbling and I was pretty restless and numb and full bladdered. 

The Healing Process:
So I got patched up and paid and awkwardly walked away, with a slight limp due to numbness. After about an hour and a half I took off the tissue paper and clingfilm, and washed the whole area really gently with warm soapy water. This took a while because there was a lot of gloopy black inky bits, that didn’t seem to want to come off my skin. Then I patted it dry with tissue, before covering in a very light layer of Bepanthen (nappy cream), which is what was advised by the tattooist. I then spent the evening with my leg stuck out of the duvet, watching Big Bang Theory.

So the first night was pretty scary, I managed to find three sleeping positions that were comfortable, and had the least duvet-skin touching. I sort of alternated these throughout the night, and my sleep was pretty broken, but my duvet didn’t really stick to my leg at all.
When I woke up my skin felt extremely tight, like someone was pulling it from either side, and there was a massive graze in the middle. And when I stood up and put pressure on my right foot, my thigh felt as if it had been punched a lot of times. I gave it another wash to get rid of black ickiness and rubbed in some Bepanthen.

First Day:
As it’s pretty cold out, I wore some knee high socks and a maxi skirt. This meant minimum contact and rubbing was caused, and made it easier to get to my tattoo to rub in some cream.
I applied cream to it once in the morning, twice in the day and then once again before bed, after a quick wash. In the evening it was noticeably swollen, and the thick black parts were very raised, and somewhat crispy, after a while of having the cream put on. It was also pretty red raw.

First Week:
So the first week is probably the most annoying. The first few days my leg felt pretty dead leg-ish, and I had a bit of a limp etc etc. I showered as normal, but kept my leg out of direct flow of the water, and I applied Bepanthen on average 4 times a day. I found it really awkward at first, mainly because I was terrified of touching the area, but after a while you get used to it. It scabbed over pretty good. The thick black bits are just solid scab, which then started to flake a little, and they got caught on my clothing sometimes. Most of it’s still scabbed, but you can see that the scabs have started to shrink, and some bits have fallen off revealing a silky sort of finish to the ink underneath, I’m still wearing maxi skirts and baggy trousers, but I can sleep pretty comfortably without much trouble.

Second Week:
The scabs pretty much all fell off within about 2-3days, and I was able to wear tights and normal clothing again. The area wasn’t sensitive or raised where the scabs had fallen off and it was pretty much like normal. Still applied bepanthen but not as often.

Third Week:
All the scabs have now fallen off, wearing tights pretty much everyday as they are my go to outfit staple. The area pretty much feels like my own skin, like it’s been there forever. That is until I went back today and got it filled in! I had another 3 hours done today and it is finished! Beautifully shaded and extremely sore. At least I wrote a very detailed description of what to expect! I’ll post pictures when its fully healed :)