The fear of needles may seem irrational at first, but it makes sense to be resistant to the idea of something foreign poking your skin and potentially drawing blood. Of course, most uses of needles are completely safe since they are in the hands of professionals such as doctors, nurses, and tattoo artists. If you are preparing to get your first tattoo, here’s how you can briefly overcome your fear of needles and stay calm.
Get Excited About Your Tattoo
One of the best ways to soothe your nerves about tattoo needles is to concentrate instead on your vision of the final result. Picture the tattoo already complete and think about how it will feel knowing you sat through the discomfort to get this art on your skin.
Bring Someone You Trust
Ask someone you find to be a comforting presence if they will attend your tattoo appointment with you. Most tattoo artists and studios don’t mind their clients bringing along one friend or family member for support. Even simply chatting to this person could be enough to take your mind completely off the sensations of the tattoo. For extra support, consider asking someone who already has a tattoo and can commiserate with your experience and pain.
Ask Your Artist Questions
For some anxious tattoo clients, it can be helpful to ask the artist questions before and during the process. Gaining an understanding is sometimes the way to overcome fear. The artist can explain the different tools being used, such as the needles, the tattoo cartridges, and the tattoo machine itself. You may find this doesn’t help much, but it may also be just what you need to stay calm. You will also learn some interesting facts about tattoos while you’re at it. No questions are too silly to ask, so be brave and ask whatever it is that springs to mind.
Use Numbing Cream
Talk to the tattoo artist about the possibility of using a numbing gel or cream before the session begins. This is intended to remove all feeling from the area of skin about to be tattooed. Unfortunately, not all tattoos work well with numbing cream, so your artist will need to have the final say.
Pause If Necessary
It’s normal to take breaks during a tattoo session, especially if it’s a particularly complex or large tattoo. You’ll be able to catch your breath and calm down when the session is broken into smaller chunks compared to enduring a longer session in one sitting. It is better to ask for a break when you feel like it’s too much rather than fidgeting, moving, or flinching. These actions can cause the artist to make a mistake or even cause you harm.
If you are genuinely excited about having a tattoo, then don’t let your fear of needles stop you from getting what you want. By anticipating the final result, communicating with the artist, bringing a friend, numbing the area, and pausing as needed, you will be able to get through the session without stress taking over.