The days that tattoos were exclusive to sailors, prison inmates and gang members are long gone; body art is quickly becoming the hallmark of the modern century, and has even broken into the mainstream. You could own a tattoo within a matter of minutes, and it because of this easy access to tattoo studios that more and more people are getting inked.
Unfortunately, it is this high demand for tattoos that encourages less than reputable studious to pop up on almost every street corner. The ease of getting a tattoo should not stop you from making an informed decision after knowing the implications that inevitably come with getting a tattoo. The procedure is invasive, painful, and ideally for life. Getting rid of a tattoo later on is expensive, and takes time, so before you give heed to your impulse, think before you ink.
How Tattoos are Done
The procedure of getting a tattoo is actually quite simple; a design of your choice is immortalised on your skin by using a cluster of needles to insert the ink through the top layer of your skin. This is done with a handheld tattoo machine reminds a little of a sewing machine; but instead of thread, every puncture leaves a tiny droplet of ink behind. No anaesthetics are used during your inking session, and the level of pain difference from person to person. Many passionate tattooers actually find the experience enjoyable.
Precautions and Risks
Getting a tattoo seems straightforward enough, but few people will tell you about the risks involved in getting a tattoo, especially if you are getting one from a less than reputable artist. All across the globe, unregulated tattoo studies are popping up, and just because they are in business do not mean they maintain the required safety precautions.
When the artist is lenient towards sanitary regulations, the area becomes the breeding ground for all kinds of diseases, including gangrene, TB, HIV, Hepatitis C and syphilis to name but a few. Your skin is already teeming with bacteria, and add contaminated instruments to the mix that pierces your skin; you open yourself up for a world of infection.
Additionally, small droplets on blood that sticks to the needle can contaminate the tattoo ink, so unless the artist discards the ink after using it on a client, it is very likely for a blood borne disease to set in. Other risks include;
• Serious skin infections that can lead to scarring
• Sensitivity to the ink. An allergic reaction can set in even years after getting your tattoo, and is extremely common in people who have shades of red and blue in their tattoos. Tattoos are usually also sensitive to direct sunlight.
• Going for a MRI can be problematic, as tattoos can swell and burn quite intensely during a MRI exam, and the pigmentation can even interfere with the quality of the image.
Once you are informed about the potential dangers of a tattoo and you’ve made up your mind to go ahead with it, make sure to do your research in advance to find a reputable artist who offers a decent service. Look for soap, disposable containers, individually sealed disposable gloves, sealed disposable needles (let the artist change the needles in front of you) and single use ink kits. Ask for a portfolio in advance, and pay attention to the working surfaces. And if see blood spatter, run, don’t walk, from the parlour. You also have the right to ask where the ink comes from, and if it is non-metallic. The best ink is the stuff the artist uses on himself.