A tattoo is a form of body modification, made by inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment. The word tattoo, or tattow in the 18th century, is a loanword from the Polynesian word tatau, meaning "correct, workmanlike".

Many tattoos serve as rites of passage, marks of status and rank, symbols of religious and spiritual devotion, decorations for bravery, sexual lures and marks of fertility, pledges of love, punishment, amulets and talismans, protection, and as the marks of outcasts, slaves and convicts. The symbolism and impact of tattoos varies in different places and cultures. 

Tattoos may show how a person feels about a relative (commonly mother/father or daughter/son) or about an unrelated person. Today, people choose to be tattooed for artistic, cosmetic, sentimental/memorial, religious, and magical reasons, and to symbolize their belonging to or identification with particular groups, including criminal gangs or a particular ethnic group or law-abiding subculture.

These are the ten truths you should know before you get that tattoo job done.
1. You could contract incurable diseases
The chance of contracting HIV is pretty high if you’re worked on by a tattoo artist who uses unsterilized tattoo equipment. Other diseases such as syphilis and hepatitis B and C can also be spread.
Remember, it only takes one contact to become a carrier.

2. Complications may result in amputation
There are usually complications. This, however, depends on the individual. Some people just try out one, tiny tattoo. While others, like Lucky Rich (the world’s most tattooed person), want 100% of their body covered with tattoos. Many of the complications are as a result of the ink colour used in printing the tattoo. Certain colours like red, pink, etc. tend to cause more problems compared to other colours. Red ink has even caused skin and flesh damages so severe that amputation of a leg or arm has been necessary.

3. Itching
Be prepared for minor troubles after getting the tattoo done. Emerging from under the tattoo machine sadly isn’t the end of the pain. Some tattoos have been known to become itchy or worse, become lumpy that they may have to be removed to cure the condition. Unfortunately, this annoying itchy feeling can crop up years after getting the tattoo.
4. Laser treatment for tattoo removal
While tattoos are generally considered to be permanent, it is actually possible to remove them, fully or partially with laser treatment.
Yeah, it’s good news, right? Right? Wrong!!!
The expense and pain associated with removing tattoos are typically greater than the expense and pain guaranteed with applying them. Pain is the keyword here. The laser surgery used in removing tattoos can be likened to little dots of hot grease being applied to the skin. Be ready for something meaner than your mama’s whip.
5. Black is the easiest colour to remove
It is not uncommon to find people stop the tattoo job midway into the process and ask for the one half-done to be removed. Even more widespread are the instances where someone is fed up with his tattoo, dislikes the location of his tattoo or embraces a new religion which forbids tattoo. And the decision is made to have the tattoo cleaned. Peradventure you may fall into any of these groups in future, know now that black is the easiest colour to remove. Though, green and red may seem cooler, they are way more difficult to remove.

6. Where do you want the tattoo?
You may not know Lucky Rich, but if you’ve seen Michael Scofield in Prison Break, then you’ll know there’s practically nowhere on a human skin that a tattoo job can’t be done.
Even inside the eardrums!!! But where do you want yours?
Tattoos done on elbows, knuckles, knees and feet are infamous for fading fast. That’s because not all skin on the body is the same and, therefore, will not take tattoo ink the same. The most popular spots for tattoos are: the lower back, wrist, foot, armband, arm, chest, breast and neck. Make your pick.

7. Tattoo is for those who have a high pain threshold
Answer this question first: How much pain can you bear?
If you are the type who cries every time mummy spanks you, then may be tattoo is just not for you. To get a tattoo, the skin is pierced between 50 and 3,000 times a minute by a tattoo machine. The pain can be hellish, understand that. It’s like nothing you have ever felt before. Pain is a part of the process.

8. The most painful areas
While the amount of pain experienced while receiving a tattoo depends on the individual, typically the most painful areas to tattoo are over the bone such as the ankle, collarbone, the chest ribs and spine.
Those are no-go-areas then if enduring huge pain isn’t one of your core virtues.

9. Tattoo symbols have meanings
Now, you don’t want to start running around town with your tattoo screaming that you are a gangster when you’re but a gentleman. Don’t go get tattoos that make you look like a crime lord if that’s not your intention. Every tattoo done signifies something.
Angels and Cherubs are symbols of protection. Bluebirds and Swifts mean good luck. Bull represents power. Butterfly stands for youth and femininity. Cards and Dice stand for chance. Cherry is fertility. Chrysanthemum (gold flower) equals perfection and simplicity. Daisy connotes innocence. Dove denotes peace. Dragonfly implies power of light. Jasmine suggests love. Rose intimates true love. Skulls signal death.

10. Aftercare is essential
When it is finally done, you need tips as to how to care for the tattoo. Usually, your tattoo artist will give you a few of these helpful tips. The common ones however are
  • gently wash your new tattoo with warm water,
  • Keep your new tattoo clean and
  • Avoid exposing your new tattoo to the sun.

Note:  Never neglect tattoo aftercare!