Getting Inked? Your Guide to Tattoo Safety

One in 5 of us is inked, so join the club. Here’s how to do so safely.

Woman receiving a tattoo
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Next comes the needle, which Campbell insists isn't so painful at all. "If it were that terrible, you would never see anyone with more than one tattoo," he says. In fact, the Pew study found that only 31 percent of inked Millennials have just one tattoo, while half of them have two to five, and 18 percent have six or more. Campbell points out that there are parts of the body that may be more sensitive, like the rib cage, but, "The range of how sensitive it is not so dramatic that it should affect your decision on where to get [the tattoo]."

You shouldn't be in too severe of pain when you leave the studio, which is also when the artist will give you a rundown of how to take care of your tattoo to prevent infection. While just about every artist gives a slightly different spiel on tattoo maintenance, "The most important thing is keeping it clean," says Campbell. "Treat it like any cut or scrape or wound." Fish adds that you should "leave the studio in a sterile, nonstick bandage."

[See Top Recommended Adhesive Bandages.]

After all, you don't want to spread your bloody germs when you go out for celebratory drink. Cheers for the one in five!