What comes in our mind when we hear the word “TATTOO”?
Probably some bikers or rock stars showing off their skin, tattoos on celebrities ranging from name tattoos to something that they strongly believe in or idolize and even young girls showing off their butterfly tattoos or angel tattoos. This is the picture that comes in our head almost instantly and it also appears quite intriguing to some who even admire these people and their tattoos. Tattoos weren’t in people’s interest earlier but now, they have entered the mainstream and people from young adults to old ones, children to teenagers, all think of getting a tattoo at some or other point in their life. There are plenty of tattoo shops boards flashing a red light that says: “tattoos for men” or
“tattoos for women” to brag some attention from the people passing by.
But BEWARE! We should ponder some words of wisdom to begin with: “Always think before you ink”. People sometimes take just a fraction of seconds to think with their own head rather than just following the crowd. They are never bothered to even know the complications that might occur after getting tattooed and then after it is all done, they rant about themselves being ill-informed and blame it all on the circumstances. You don’t want to do the same, right?
The image might be appealing but it is quite deceiving too. You actually aren’t aware of the threats it hides within. So, here is a quick guide to tell you everything you need to know when it comes to your safety and if you are planning on getting inked!
1. To start, first of all it hurts!! It is a really painful process to get a tattoo and one needs to be strong enough to go through all that process which, in fact is no less than a torture on skin.
Let’s dig it more deeply: The tattoo process involves penetration of ink needle into the skin repeatedly and a tattoo takes about 1-2 hours at least and if the figure or symbol to be tattooed is complicated, it might even take more hours sitting that awkward way and taking up all the pain. So, just imagine it as multiple hours of needle penetration into the skin which is traumatizing for you. Not all are brave and strong enough. Are they?
2. The agony doesn’t end with the pain during the process, it is much more sometimes after the tattoo is been made.
Let’s come to the complications it might lead to: Getting a tattoo done is not safe. I repeat, it is not at all safe!
It might lead to some infections. The reports from various surveys indicate the involvement of Mycobacterium bacteria which is the cause of many serious skin problems ranging from mild rash to even serious abscesses that require surgery and several months of antibiotic therapy. Some infections aren’t common but they do occur, so they cannot be overlooked. Evidence suggests presence of some bacteria which is difficult to treat and it infects the whole body making the tattoo its base. These infections do not find a way with everyone but yes, in many cases they certainly are present. The most common reasons of these infections are:
a. The artist and his studio: Not all the artists have license to run their tattoo shops and practice this profession. They might not be registered with the concerned authority nor are their techniques acceptable in some cases. Many don’t use sterile techniques and this gives home to the infection and it can spread quite easily. Sterile techniques refer to the use of sterilizing tools, sterilized needles, washing hands, using gloves and even using sterilized water to dilute the tattoo ink. Some states and countries have even set standards but not every artist follows that.
b. The tattoo ink: Tattoo ink is nothing but a cosmetic product. It needs to get approved before being used but as certain standards have not been laid down properly, people aren’t aware of the good or bad products and are mistaken sometimes. This definitely is quite bad as someone might end up getting into inevitable circumstances. Also, a proper authority has not been formed regarding this act, so no proper check holds the place. After all, the tattoo is just a puncture wound made deep into the skin filled with a cosmetic ink.
What can be done to ensure you are undergoing safe tattooing?
a. First, get the tattoo done only from a licensed or registered tattoo artist. This would reduce the complications to a bare minimum.
b. Always ask the artist about the sterilization techniques he/she uses and make sure he/she has the experience tattooing.
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c. During the process, always see if the artist uses sterile new needle and wears a new pair of gloves. If he doesn’t, make him do that immediately.
Having a tattoo done without infection is a testament to safe practices of an artist and the ability of human body to resist the infection. But after the initial care, it is important to prevent any kind of infection from haunting you later in life. So, here are some measures you should follow:
a. After a tattoo session is over, take off the bandage within three to five hours. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and warm water and then wash the tattooed skin. Pat dry with a paper towel or clean cloth towel.
b. Allow the skin to air dry for 5 to 10 minutes. Then apply a very thin layer of Vaseline, Aquaphor, or other ointment.
c. Repeat the washing, drying, and moisturizing process three to four times a day for four days.
d. When the tattooed skin starts to shed a thin flaky layer of skin, do not scratch or pick at it. At this point, you can switch to a moisturizer—don’t let your tattoo dried out for the first few weeks.
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e. Call your doctor—not the tattoo artist—if redness or swelling persists after a few days or you have a fever or you notice a rash in or around the tattoo.
6. Last but not the least, quite a few people are fickle minded and they don’t stick to their decisions for long, they might do something one day and the other day regret it. Tattoos are permanent, once done, it is nearly impossible to get it removed. So you need to be double sure before getting a tattoo as it would be a mark on you forever. Though nowadays, some techniques for tattoo removal have queued up but they are not only expensive but the pain they deliver is excruciating and not in the least terms delighting or easy; to be honest!
So, you have been told what all it is and what all harmful effects it may cause. So now, it is your call and your wish to decide but you should always know the repercussions of your actions and should accept the situations it might lead you to. So to conclude with: Happy and safe tattooing.*sarcasm intended*
Feel free to leave any comment below!