Most Common Myths and Misconceptions About Tattoos and Tattooed People

We love tattoos and believe they’re for anyone and everyone who wants one, but that hasn’t always been the case. Over the years, many myths and misconceptions about tattoos and the people who get them have existed.

Today, we’ll debunk seven myths about tattoos and tattooed people because getting inked should be an inclusive option for all.

Myth 1 – Getting a Tattoo is Extremely Painful

Pain is the first thing that comes to most people’s minds. Remember, everyone has their own pain threshold; some can handle a lot, while others can’t bear the mildest ache. 

Let’s be upfront about it. Yes, there is a level of discomfort as a needle is going into the body. While some people claim it’s akin to childbirth or having a burning knife cut into them, it’s more like that feeling of scratching a sunburnt body part. Uncomfortable for a short term, sure, but excruciating? Not really.

Myth 2 – Drink Alcohol or Take Aspirin Before Getting a Tattoo

Some people with low pain thresholds may think that if they drink alcohol to calm their nerves or take a pre-pain reliever like aspirin, they’ll enjoy the experience more. At the outset, this sounds plausible; unfortunately, this approach has a downside.

Getting a tattoo may cause a little bit of bleeding, and alcohol and aspirin are blood thinners, which means that if bleeding occurs, it might get excessive. As a result, this would cause a lot of discomfort for the person and for the tattoo artist who has to keep wiping it away or quit until it stops. 

Myth 3 – Only Bikers, Sailors, and Criminals Have Tattoos

At various points in the 20th century, bikers, gang members, criminals, and sailors were the primary demographic who sought out tattoos. This perception has changed since the turn of the 21st century, and tattoos have become much more mainstream. It’s a growing industry, and a survey suggests that one-third of Americans have tattoos.

Tattoos aren’t just for guys, either. These days, many women wear them with pride too. People with a higher education are fast becoming the number-one demographic for tattoo wearers. We see people from all walks of life choosing to get a tattoo, and we applaud each and every one of you.

Myth 4 – Tattoos Bring Bad Luck

Like with any other symbol, some people think tattoos bring bad luck. One to avoid is a partner’s name; what happens if there’s a breakup — Wynona Forever, anyone? If not done correctly, religious symbols could bring on adverse feelings of faith. The sign of the beast ‘666’ is also one to steer clear of.

Alternatively, while not one of the best strategies and tips for beginners, some professional gamblers believe having a casino tattoo on their body will bring them good luck in the form of winnings. Cards, dice, stars, poker chips, and lucky sevens are popular. A common belief is that angels, dragons, and four-leaf clover tattoos bring good luck to anyone with one.

Myth 5 – Tattoos Fade and Wrinkle

Advances in ink quality used to create tattoos mean they’re less likely to fade than those done 50 years ago. People with older body art that’s faded can get a tattoo artist to touch it up with better ink, and it’ll last a lifetime.

Tattoos don’t wrinkle; skin does. Ink is applied deeply, past the first layer of skin. Over time, due to age and time spent in the sun, the skin can wrinkle, which causes the artwork to change. Keeping this part of the body well-nourished and out of direct sunlight may help reduce wrinkles. 

Myth 6 – A Tattoo is for Life

We all make choices in life that we sometimes wish we hadn’t. In the past, tattoos were for life. However, with advances in technology, there are now numerous ways to remove them. Laser-removal centers are all over the US; it takes several visits, but it works. Alternative options include dermabrasion, surgical procedures, and vanishing creams.

Removal techniques take a long time and can be expensive. Before getting a tattoo, a person should consider how it may affect their life later. Strategically placing it or making it smaller than initially planned may negate the need to remove it. 

Myth 7 – Anyone With a Tattoo Gun Can Give You a Tattoo

We’ve heard this story too many times. A group of guys and girls get drunk, and one of them pulls out a tattoo machine and starts giving free body art. A week later, they’re all in hospital dealing with severe blood and skin infections.

For this and other reasons, only a licensed and certified tattoo artist should be the one to give you ink. They’ve learned their craft from other experienced tattoo artists. Every state of the US has its own regulations regarding tattoo shops, and most are under the health department’s jurisdiction. These rules assist shops in following the best sanitary and safe practices. 

Time to Get Inked

There you have it. We’ve debunked seven common myths about tattoos. Yes, there is a low level of pain involved, but it’s not the same as childbirth, and we don’t recommend getting drunk beforehand to numb the pain. 

Nowadays, tattoos aren’t just for bikers or sailors; people from all demographics wear them proudly, and they’ll only bring bad luck if the person makes a poor choice of artwork. Only ink that is over 50 years old will show signs of fading. Tattoos don’t wrinkle; skin does. 

Tattoos are no longer ‘for life,’ as many ways exist to remove them. Choose your tattoo artist wisely, and show off your ink for all the world to see.