Not very long ago, tattoos were viewed as things only sailors and maybe constructions workers had. But times have changed and tattoos are now more of a fashion statement. With a variety of beautiful and creative designs to match different personalities and sentiments, tattoos no longer have a stigma attached to them.
But while tattoos are now fairly common practice and you may be excited about getting a design, you must keep in mind some basic health and safety precautions before spotting them. Before you get a tattoo, make sure you know what you’re doing, not just in terms of your preferred art, but also in terms of getting a healthy tattoo.
How are tattoos done?
A tattoo is a permanent art that is inked on your skin with pigments that are injected through pricks into the upper layer of your skin. Normally, the tattoo artist applies the design with a hand-held machine that works like a sewing machine fitted with one or two needles that pierce the skin repeatedly.
No aesthetics is applied and you may have some bleeding and feel slight or potentially significant pain, depending on your tattoo pick.
People get tattoos for various reasons. If you’re thinking of getting a tattoo, you must keep these health and safety issues in mind, which is largely guaranteed by using a trained and health-conscious tattooist.
Finding a good tattoo artist and studio
The first and most important step to take after deciding to have a tattoo is to look for a safe and trusted tattoo studio with proper hygiene and safety standards.
Don’t settle down for a tattoo session in the parlour until you’ve asked yourself these questions about the studio and the tattoo artists and got positive answers.
- Are the tattoo artists and the studio very clean?
- Does the studio have separate areas for tattooing and piercing?
- Does the studio have and use and autoclave (equipment that is used to sterilize work tools in the studio)?
- Does the studio use needles and other sharp objects only once and opens new ones from their individual packages for each client?
- Do the staff wear latex gloves during each session?
- Is jewelry used for piercing of the right steel, non-allergenic and available in different sizes?
- Are the inks used in the art placed in a one-time use cup and disposed afterwards (rather than taking ink directly from a single source bottle or surplus ink returned to the bottle)?
Keeping your tattoo safe and healthy
Tattoos will take a while to heal and scab over. But they will eventually flake off. Sometimes the inked spots will get itchy, but you must avoid scratching or picking at them! Be sure to follow the instructions of your tattoo artist and seek clinical help if there’s any emergency.
You can take off the bandage within 24 hours of getting inked. As you heal, wash gently and apply only mild antibacterial soap. And don’t rub your body after a bath. Just pat dry. Until the scabs dry and flake off, apply only a thin layer of ointment rich with vitamin E or as recommended by your tattooist.
After your tattoo has healed, keep it healthy with a good quality moisturizing cream; and remember to protect it from damage from the sunlight by always applying a sun block that has a high SPF.