Make sure skin is free of sunburn, scrapes, fresh scars, open wounds and excessive dryness. If the skin is dry, apply moisturizing lotion starting one week prior to when the tattoo is applied. Refrain from using topical numbing creams on the skin. If the skin is excessively hairy, trim or shave it so the artist does not have to spend time doing it.
According to the Inkwell Tattoo Company, healthy skin receives ink the best, and this eases the process of applying and receiving a tattoo. It is in a client's best interest to inform the artist of any skin condition or other condition he may have so that the artist can make accommodations. In some cases, an artist may refuse to tattoo someone with a certain condition because it may pose health risks.
The Inkwell Tattoo Company strongly advises against taking aspirin or pain relievers before getting a tattoo. These medications can thin the blood, which causes more bleeding during the tattooing process. They also prolong healing and may even damage the tattoo itself. Drinking alcohol before getting a tattoo can also thin the blood and have the same effect. Being well-rested, well-fed and relaxed is ideal during a tattooing session because that helps the body cope with, and heal, from the strain of getting a tattoo.