If you’re considering body art, you should know this before you tattoo your muscles. First up, don’t rush it. You need time to think about what you want needled into your skin. How badly you want it on your muscles and how to get it done safely. Read this starter’s guide to inform every decision you make make about the emblem you’ll wear for the rest of your days.

Some body parts are more painful than others

Everyone has a different type of pain tolerance when it comes to tattoos, but most seem to experience the least amount of pain in the arm and thigh areas. These areas of the body have more fat tissue and less nerve density, which in turn causes less discomfort. The most painful will have to be the ribs, feet, and middle chest. There is less fat, the skin is very thin, and the bone is closer to the surface of the skin, allowing one to feel the sensitivity of the needle more.

You’ll have an immune response

Basically, ink is being deposited and penetrated into the dermis layer of the skin. The pigments are too big to be fought off by our white blood cells. They’re effectively poison. So, they just pretty much stay in the dermis layer of our skin forever.

Be clean and prepared

Wash the area of the skin or take a shower before coming in to get the tattoo. Although it’s an artist’s job to make sure the area is cleaned, cleaning up beforehand does help reduce the risk of other unclean body parts contaminating the clean area.

Healing time may vary

Tattoos need about two weeks to heal, on average. Sometimes it can take more time, depending on skin and how long it took to complete the tattoo.Bandages stay on for 8-12 hours, because it allows plasma to regenerate skin tissue. Once the wrap is taken off, use a fragrance-free antibacterial soap to wash the tattoo. There are other products that may help. Use lukewarm water—never hot water. After washing the tattoo, they have to pour cold water on the skin to close up the pores.

Be ready to dish out TLC

You’ll need to your own ambo. Wash the tattoo twice a day for the first three or four days. Tattoos are pretty much an open wound at this point. After washing, pat it dry with a paper towel. Wait 15 minutes and apply a light coat of moisturizing ointment with clean hands. Apply the ointment twice a day (morning and night) for two days. Less is better. Using too much ointment will cause problems with healing and fade the tattoo. After the second day, switch to a fragrance-free lotion and apply 3-5 times a day depending on the consistency.

Maintenance is needed

It really all comes down to how they take care of their tattoos and if there were any scabs that have formed. If there were any issues during the healing process, then you will be able to tell within two weeks whether or not a tattoo needs to be touched up. If there are no issues, then a tattoo can hold up well for 10 years before seeing that it needs to be brand new again. As you get older, so does your ink. If you are always in the sun it will dull out the ink in your tattoo way sooner than someone who is never in the sun.

Choose a legit artist

You can tell by their recognition, their portfolio, how long their wait is, and their prices.

Removal isn’t easy

Laser tattoo removal is a painful process and requires many sessions. The healing process is also rough, and could potentially take years, depending on how big the tattoo is or how big you plan to grow your muscles.