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Things You Need To Know Before Wearing A Tattoo - Health - Nairaland

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Things You Need To Know Before Wearing A Tattoo by ebube93: 1:06am On May 13, 2015
Every decade seems to have its fad, its craze. For us in
Dominica, for example, the 70’s saw the afro, bell-
bottom and platform shoes. The 80’s and 90’s had their
own. In this century, there’s hardly a black woman to be
found without a weave or wig. And what seems to have
been the biggest craze in the western hemisphere in the
last decade more than any other time previously, is the
tattoo. The rate of tattoo administrations seems to be
accelerating all the time. And it used to be that you would
see people with one or two small tattoos on one to a few
body parts, but now it’s the entire body in a lot of cases.
But before you get a tattoo, make sure you know what’s
involved. And be sure that tattooing is the right decision
for you.

A tattoo is a permanent mark or design (mark the word
‘permanent’) made on your skin with pigments inserted
through pricks into the skin’s top layer. Typically, the
tattoo artist uses a hand-held machine that acts much
like a sewing machine, with one or more needles
repeatedly piercing the skin. The needles insert tiny ink
droplets with every puncture. The process, which is done
without any anaesthetic (deadening of the skin) does
cause a small amount of bleeding and slight to potentially
significant pain, depending on the pain threshold of the
receiving person, and their level of mental preparation
for the procedure.

It’s important to remember that tattoos breach the skin,
a fact which itself carries medico-legal implications. But
that’s another broad issue not relevant to this discussion,
and which I won’t get into. But this means that skin
infections and other complications are possible, among
which are:

Allergic reactions
Tattoo dyes – particularly red, green, yellow and blue
dyes – can cause allergic skin reactions, such as an itchy
rash at the tattoo site. This can occur even years after
you get the tattoo.

Skin infections
The manifestations of an infection, such as redness,
swelling, pain and a pus-like drainage can occur after
Unsterile tattooing equipment and needles can transmit
infectious diseases such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
This is why the American Association of Blood Banks
requires a one-year wait between getting a tattoo and
donating blood. It is of paramount importance to make
sure that all tattooing equipment is clean and sterilized
before use. Even if the needles are sterilized or have
never been used, it is important to understand that in
some cases the equipment that holds the needles cannot
be sterilized reliably due to its design. Furthermore, the
person who receives a tattoo must be sure to care for the
tattooed area properly during the first week or so after
the pigments are injected.
Other Skin Problems
Sometimes bumps called granulomas form around
tattoo ink. Tattooing can also lead to keloids – raised
areas caused by an overgrowth of scar tissue. We all
know about these. If you have had a keloid before from a
cut or other skin lesion, do not get a tattoo.
Blood borne diseases. If the equipment used to create
you tattoo is contaminated with infected blood, you can
contract various blood borne diseases – including
tetanus, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. We’re talking serious
morbidity and possibly mortality here – and there’s also
the possibility of HIV transmission. Do I need expand on
When insurance companies’ applications include on their
questionnaire whether you have tattoos or multiple body
piercings, what do you think they’re getting at? Think
about it.
MRI Complications
On occasion, tattoos or permanent makeup might cause
swelling or burning in the affected areas during MRI
exams. Sometimes tattoo pigments can interfere with the
quality of the image, such as when a person who has
permanent eyeliner has an MRI of the eye. Some tattoo
areas may actually cause burning of the skin because of
the process involved. Medication or other treatment –
including possible removal of the tattoo – might be
needed if an allergic reaction to the tattoo ink occurs or
you develop an infection or other skin problem near a
Be Ready
Before you get a tattoo, be sure you truly want to invest
in permanent body art. Unsure or worried that you
might regret it someday? Give yourself more time to
think about it. Don’t be pressured, and don’t get a tattoo
under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If you decide to go ahead, choose the tattoo location
carefully. Want it to be visible or hidden under clothing?
Also remember that weight gain – including pregnancy
weight gain – might distort the tattoo or otherwise affect
its appearance.
Insist on Safety
To make sure your tattoo will be safely applied, answer
these questions:
Who does the tattooing? Don’t attempt to tattoo
yourself or have an untrained friend do the tattooing. Go
to a reputable studio that employs only properly trained
employees. Some locales have licensing standards. Find
out about these where applicable.
Does the tattoo artist wear gloves? He or she should
wash hands and wear a fresh pair of protective gloves for
each procedure.
Does the tattoo artist use proper equipment? Make sure
the tattoo artist removes the needle and takes it from
sealed packages before your procedure begins. Any
pigment, trays or containers should be unused as well.
Does the tattoo artist sterilize nondisposable
equipment? Make sure the tattoo artist uses a heat
sterilization machine (autoclave) to sterilize all
nondisposable equipment between customers.
Instruments and supplies that can’t be sterilized by an
autoclave – drawer handles, tables and sinks – should be
disinfected with a commercial disinfectant or bleach
solution after each use.
Taking Care of Your Tattoo
This depends on the type and extent of work done.
Usually, however, you’ll need to:
• Remove the bandage after 24 hours. Apply an
antibacterial ointment or cream to the tattooed skin
while it’s healing.
• Keep the tattooed skin clean.
Use plain soap and water and a gentle touch. While
showering, avoid direct streams of water on the newly
tattooed skin. Pat – don’t rub – the area dry.
• Use moisturizer. Use a mild one to the area several
times a day.
• Avoid sun exposure. Keep out of sun for at least a few
• Avoid swimming. Stay out of pools, hot tubs, rivers,
lakes, and other bodies of water while your piercing is
• Choose clothing carefully. Don’t wear anything that
might stick to the tattoo.
• Allow up to 2 weeks for healing
Don’t pick at any scabs, which increases the risk of
infection and can damage the design and cause scarring.
Removal Techniques
This is the area that concerns me a great deal. The craze
will be over, and then what?
• Laser Treatments can lighten many tattoos, some
more easily and effectively than others. Generally several
visits are necessary over weeks or months, and treatment
can be expensive. Some individuals experience a
lightening of their natural skin coloring. And it is almost
impossible for some degree of scarring not to occur with
Knowing what pigments are in your tattoo or permanent
makeup has always been difficult and has become more
so as the variety of tattoo inks has multiplied. Inks are
often sold by brand name only, not by chemical
composition. The pigments are sold to tattoo parlors and
salons, not on a retail basis to consumers, so
manufactures are not required by law to list the
ingredients on the labels. In addition, because
manufactures may consider the identity and grade of
their pigments “proprietary,” neither the tattooist nor the
customer may be able to get this information.
Allergic reactions have also occurred from laser
treatments, apparently because the laser caused
allergenic substances in the tattoo ink to be released into
the body.
• Dermabrasion involves abrading layers of skin with a
wire brush or diamond fraise (a sanding disc). This
process may leave a scar(s).
• Scarification involves removing the tattoo with an acid
solution and creating a scar in its place.
• Salabrasion. A salt solution is used to remove the
pigment. It is sometimes used in conjunction with
dermabrasion, but has become less common.
• Surgical removal involves the use of tissue expanders
(balloons inserted under the skin, so that when the tattoo
is cut away, there is less scarring). Larger tattoos may
require repeated surgery for complete removal.
Note that a common theme in most of these techniques
is scarring. I implore my readers to think twice about
tattoos and especially covering their whole bodies with
them! That is unless you’re convinced you’ll want to keep
them the rest of your lives, no matter what.
• Camouflaging a tattoo entails the injection of new
pigments either to form a new pattern or cover a tattoo
with skin-toned pigments. Injected pigments tend not to
look natural because they lack the skin’s natural

Re: Things You Need To Know Before Wearing A Tattoo by podosci(m): 1:11am On May 13, 2015
Those of us living in Africa have bigger problems like hunger, war and diseases...Getting a tattoo is at the bottom of our problems

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Re: Things You Need To Know Before Wearing A Tattoo by hostes: 9:10am On Mar 30, 2021
Hello everyone. Tell me, how painful is it to get an eyebrow tattoo? They write the face contains a huge number of nerve endings, and therefore the sensations with cosmetological tattooing are more unpleasant than, for example, with a tattoo on the lower leg. It's true? I would like to get a tattoo here https://www.facefigurati.com/eyeliner-tattoo-in-melbourne/ , but I can't stand injections and therefore I'm afraid to do it ... But some say that the eyebrow zone is insensitive. Who is right? Whom to believe?

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