Tattoo Questions... We have the answers.

Here are some come common answers to your tattoo questions. If you cannot find your answer on this page, please contact us with your question by sending an email to Thank you!

Where are you located?

Defining Skin has two conveniently located shops... Westerville is located off of I-270 and Cleveland Ave behind Sirens. The address is 6172 Cleveland Avenue Columbus, OH 43231. Parking is available in front of our studio. Downtown is located off of 315 South and West Broad Street. The address is 575 w Broad Street Columbus, OH 43215. Parking is available in front of the shop... no meters.

What are your hours?

We are open Monday thru Saturday from noon to 7pm and on Sunday for appointments only. Walk-ins are welcome or you can call 614.899.0440 for the Westerville shop or 614.641.7100 for the Downtown shop to make an appointment. All deposits are non-refundable.

How old do I have to be to get a tattoo?

If you are 18 years or older, just bring your state or government issued photo identification. We can tattoo minors that are 17 years old with parent present and proper Id's at our downtown location. Minors must provide: state ID, driver's license or passport, AND parent's state ID, driver's license, or passport (parent must be present). If the last name and addresses do not match on both of the identifications, we will also need a birth certificate for further proof.

*Sorry we do not tattoo minors younger than 17 years of age.

**This is a MUST and is required by our Health Department. Sorry, NO EXECPTIONS!

***Tattooing minors is left up to the artist discretion and they will make the final decision about tattooing a minor or not. Please verify with your artist before booking an appointment. Thank you!

Can I schedule an appointment?

We accept walk ins and appointments Monday thru Saturday noon to 7PM. Sunday appointments are reserved for larger tattoos. Walk in clients are accepted on a first come first serve basis and are subject to artist availability. This is not a guarantee to get tattooed, so come in as early as possible! A $40 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your appointment date and it is applied towards the total balance of your tattoo when completed. However, we will accept appointments over the phone if you would like to pay your non-refundable deposit with a credit card or online.

How much do tattoos cost?

Tattoo prices vary according to the size and tattoo designs. A more complex design will cost more than a simpler one and you will also need to factor in size and placement. Since there are so many factors that go into pricing a tattoo, the best thing to do is to ask. You can call us at 614.899.0440 and describe it or bring in your design and Defining Skin will be able to quote you a price right away.

How can I get a price on a tattoo?

We have a $80 shop minimum and our pricing goes up from there. For your convenience we now offer you 3 options to obtain a quote for your tattoo:

  • Stop by our studio and speak to one of our artist (best option)
  • call us 614.899.0440 for the Westerville location or 614.641.7100 for the Downtown loccation and speak with one of our artist
  • Send us an email to or the artist of your choice. Please include size (inches), body location, color or black/grey and any reference photos.

Is a quote a guaranteed price?

The purpose of your quote is to give you an idea on the cost of your tattoo. The more details you give us the more accurate we will be in our pricing. Please note, if you change the details after a quote is given the price will change too. All inquires will receive a quote within 48 hours.

How do I schedule an appointment with a particular artist?

The schedules vary from artist to artist so if you are interested in contacting/getting tattooed by a particular artist the best way would be to go to our studio website tattoo artist page and select from the artist menu. Many artists also have their email addresses available in the artist section beside the bio photos along with a link to view their tattoos.

What forms of payment do you accept? And, do you sell Gift Certificates?

We accept cash or credit (Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express). No checks. For your convenience we are now accepting gold, silver, and platinum as payment.

Yes we do sell Gift Certificates! Stop in the studio at any time to get one for whatever value you prefer for any occasion!

How safe is it to get a tattoo?

If you come to Defining Skin where the proper tattoo equipment is used, getting a tattoo is very safe. Decades ago there was concern about getting hepatitis C from tattoos, but this is something all professional tattoo artists are very conscious of nowadays. New needles are used for each and every client; there is no chance of contracting a blood-borne disease when proper procedures are followed. Our tattoo artist will show you the unopened package of needles they will be using before the tattooing begins. After your tattoo is finished, we dispose of the needles. Ask about safety policies such as these before you select a tattoo studio.

Do tattoos hurt?

This is the most popular question tattoo artist get asked on a daily basis and the answer is...getting a tattoo is not very painful nowadays because modern tattoo equipment is designed so the needles go in and out of your skin very quickly. Now with that being said keep in mind everyone has a different pain tolerance. The amount of discomfort can vary to some degree, depending on your tattoo designs and location. Meaning, tattooing over bone - where there's little flesh or fat - hurts a bit more. So getting a tattoo on the fleshy part of your arm or thigh probably won't hurt much at all, but directly over your anklebone or collarbone may be more painful - but again this depends on your tolerance. Tattoo designs can also make a difference with regard to how it feels. Tattooing lines produces a different sensation from shading in or tattooing blocks of color. So the answer to the painful question is...yes there is some minor discomfort, but nothing you can't handle.

How do I care for my new tattoo?

Proper tattoo aftercare is essential to insuring a proper healing process, resulting in optimum tattoo results. Now the tattoo is in your hands, care for it properly.

Our artist will bandage your tattoo, immediately after the tattooing procedure is completed. Leave the bandage on for 1-2 hours. The tattoo mat bleed, and this is a completely normal part of the process. After a couple hours, remove the bandage and begin your aftercare routine. Your tattoo is an open wound and should be treated as such in order to prevent infection.

  • Step 1 Remove the bandage and GENTLY wash the tattooed area with a gentle, fragrance-free soap. (Dove, Dial, and Ivory are perfectly acceptable.) After washing the tattoo the first time, and only the first time, rinse the tattoo with the warmest water that is comfortable for five minutes, then rinse with the coldest water that is comfortable for five minutes. This process will allow the fresh tattoo to open up its pores, allowing excess material to leave the wound, and then contract the pores, allowing for a nice clean heal. This hot/cold rinse should only be utilized the FIRST time that you wash your tattoo, and at NO time afterwards.
  • Step 2
    The next two weeks, or until the tattoo is completely healed you will be washing the tattoo2-3 times daily. You will still be using a gentle, fragrance-free soap to wash your tattoo. After washing the tattoo, gently pat dry the tattoo with a clean paper towel. Bath towels can harbor bacteria; and occasionally the terry in the cloth can enter the tattoo. After gently patting dry the tattoo with a clean paper towel, allow the tattoo to air dry for 10-15 minutes. This will keep the moisture level down, discouraging bacterial growth, and mushy scabs. Both of which are undesirable.
  • Step 3
    Day 1 and Day 2, after the air-dry time; apply a VERY thin layer of Aquaphor ointment to the tattoo. Too much can clog pores and be a nuisance. This should only be applied twice a day, thin coat, after washing and air dry. Aquaphor is the only recommended aftercare product. A&D contains no helpful agents for tattoos and can only encourage bacterial infection when combined with the heat of the skin. It is great for other purposes, but not tattoo aftercare. Neosporin contains an agent that is actually meant to extract foreign particles, aka tattoo pigment, from the skin, resulting in faded looking tattoos. Most other tattoo specific healing products usually are combinations of beeswax, fragrance, snake oil elixir, and random vitamins that truly do nothing but take your money and possibly cause problems for your tattoo.
  • Step 4
    Day 3, 4, 5 and 6 require only the twice a day washing with the gentle, fragrance-free soap. (Dove, Dial, and Ivory are perfectly acceptable.) Day 7 and beyond require the twice a day washing with the gentle, fragrance-free soap. After washing the tattoo, gently pat dry the tattoo with a clean paper towel. Bath towels can harbor bacteria, and occasionally the terry in the cloth can enter the tattoo. After gently patting dry the tattoo with a clean paper towel, allow the tattoo to air dry for 10-15 minutes. After allowing 10-15 minutes of air-drying, use a fragrance free lotion. (Use a fragrance-free lotion, we suggest Lubriderm). Again use a thin coat of lotion, allowing the skin to properly breath and heal. At this point your tattoo may have scabbed and began to lose those scabs. DO NOT PICK THE SCABS. Don't be clever and apply any aftercare product vigorously to relieve itch, as this could cause scabs to be picked off and pigment to be removed...ultimately your loss.

During the two week healing period: No direct sunlight. Not hot tubs, bathtubs, swimming pools, oceans, or ponds. Bodies of water can harbor bacteria and cause skin infections in open wounds such as a tattoo.


There are tell tale signs of improper aftercare that a properly trained artist will recognize immediately. If the improper care requires correction through touch ups, it will be at the expense of the collector, not the artist.

After your tattoo is completely healed, use a sun block of an SPF 40 or higher to insure the brightness of the tattoo. Like any pigment, tattoo or otherwise, sun can drastically damage and change the appearance of your tattoo.

Is it normal for my new tattoo to be scabby and flaking?

Yes, scabbing is a natural part of the healing process and it's best to let the scabs fall off on their own, so don't pick or scratch and you'll be just fine!

How long do I need to wait to go swimming after getting a tattoo?

We recommend waiting at least a month after a new tattoo before you get back in the pool or hit the beach. Chemicals, bacteria, and sand could all be a threat to your new tattoo. If you can't avoid the water, we suggest using a waterproof patch to cover your new tattoo.

How long after getting a tattoo do I need to wait to start tanning again?

We recommend waiting at least one to two months, depending on how well your tattoo is healing! One option is to cover your tattoo completely with a white bandage while you are tanning so it's protected from those harmful rays. Tanning can fade your tattoo very quickly so we suggest using a high SPF sun block when out in the sun to keep your tattoos looking bright and fresh!

When is getting a tattoo a bad idea?

You shouldn't get a tattoo if you're drunk or high and we will refuse to tattoo anyone who appears to be drunk or high. The other reason for not getting a tattoo is if you're not sure. Remember this is permanent and tattoo removal can be costly. There are no specific medical considerations, but use your common sense. If you're sick, wait till you get better.

Will getting a tattoo or tattoos make it difficult for me to get a job?

Tattoos in the workplace are so mainstream now that most companies will not care as long as they are not offensive or distracting to others. Most clients with this concern will get their tattoo in a discreet place like the shoulder, thigh, upper arm, etc. so it is not visible in the workplace. If this is a concern of yours, then just be selective in your tattoo design and placement. Tattoos in the workplace will not keep you from being gainfully employed.

How can I learn to tattoo?

Tattooing is not only a skill, but a lifestyle. Many people often ask if tattoo artists attend a tattoo school. Despite the demand for tattoo knowledge there has not been a reputable or competent tattoo school to fill this need. A tattoo career takes both passion and technical expertise attained through thousands of hours of drawing, painting, and working with other art mediums. Tattoo schools do not screen for this pre-requisite, take all who apply, and put someone through a two week course and claim that will prepare them for a tattoo career. The average apprenticeship in a legitimate shop will span a time-frame of 6 months to 2 years with the average being over a years time. This time-frame is dictated by the amount of hard work and dedication applied. To attain an apprenticeship you would first need to compile an extensive collection of completed drawings and other art to be reviewed by the shop. Only then will you be taken seriously and given the chance to sell your potential to a shop. You should expect to trade shop work, cleaning, counter sales etc for the apprenticeship. Being charged for an apprenticeship should only be considered if you are attempting to be trained by a highly skilled successful artist otherwise you should be skeptical of paying up-front for your training. Walk into every shop in your city, be humble, have a clean art portfolio to show and do your research!