There are many reasons you may choose to get a tattoo. Some are valid. Some are matters of “follow the leader” and “ego” and are not a well thought of way of entering into the tattoo world.
Remember, though some tattoos are removable with laser therapy, there is always a scar. Deep thoughts as to the permanence of the tattoo should be seriously entertained. Tattoos can alter and affect your career choices, social situations, and growth within an industry.
The point is…..THINK BEFORE YOU INK!
Do Not Regard The Process Of Tattooing Lightly
Once you decide to move ahead into your first tattoo or to add to your collection of fine body art, always remember that a tattoo is a surgical procedure where implements are gentle entering your skin leaving small droplets of pigment. It is a wound on your flesh that heals and becomes a permanent part of your body.
Safety and Sanitation
Make sure the tattoo artist is licensed and certified by your local board of health. There are many fine artists throughout the country. Don’t be afraid to ask for references, look at their photo album of their work and speak directly to clients who have tattoos and get their feelings as well.
When you go for a tattoo check all the necessary credentials. Make certain the shop looks clean and free from dirt, pets and food in the area.
Avoid “tattoo parties” at all times. If the artist is gifted enough, he or she would be working in a studio or have a tattoo shop of their own and not doing tattoos in garages , kitchens, or travelling vans. They are non professionals generally never licensed by any board of health and not insured.
As important as a sterilizer is , it is worthless if the artist does not practice sterile tattoo procedures. Gloves of course are mandatory. The work area must be cleaned between each tattoo with an anti bacterial anti tuberculicin cleanser.
Needles should be single use only and you should be shown the sterile pouch as it is opened. The needle should be placed in a toxic waste container after the tattoo is completed. Any machine part that touches your skin must also come directly from sterile pouches. The spray bottles used to clean and cool the skin must be wrapped in plastic wrap and changed with every tattoo.
Is it Painful?
What does a tattoo feel like? Imagine the slight sting of alcohol on an open scratch and you pretty much feel the annoying sting of a tattoo. It is not a terrible experience at all. Women generally deal much better with the discomfort of a tattoo because the female brain produces pain blockers faster than a male’s brain. Places where the nerves seem closer to the surface such as the lower back, the rib cage, etc. will be more sensitive.
While many shops offer different directions for healing, here are some of the basic aftercare facts.
- Leave the bandage on the tattoo for a minimum of 2 hrs.
- Remove bandage after washing hands.
- Wash tattoo with antibacterial soap and pat dry with clean dry towel. Do not rub the tattoo.
- Avoid any abrasive contact of tattoo site for 2 weeks.
- For the first 4 days after obtaining the tattoo , apply Vitamin A &D ointment 2 to 3 times per day.
- For remaining 2 weeks use a good unscented hand cream such as Lubriderm.
- Again , keep the area moist at all times. Never use vaseline.
- Do not expose your tattoo to direct sunlight , tanning beds , saltwater , pools , saunas and hot tubs for 2 weeks.
- Do not pick or scratch the tattoo while it is healing.
- If any of your clothing should become stuck to your tattoo , soak the garment in warm water first to loosen it before trying to take it off.
- Protect your tattoo from sunlight and it will be bright and fresh for many years.
- Use a sunblock with a rating of SPF 40 or stronger.
Possible health risks that may occur in an unsanitary shop include hepatitis B, HIV, tuberculosis and various other blood and airborne infections.To avoid these potentially dangerous infections check to be sure that the shop displays current health department inspections and licenses.
Remember: If you are on spring break, WAIT until the last day or two of your vacation. Otherwise, all the cool stuff you plan on doing will RUIN your new tattoo!!