AFTERCARE OF YOUR TATTOO
- After 2-3 hours wash your hands and remove the bandage in a clean environment. Never bandage the tattoo again!
- Immediately after removing the bandage wash the tattoo with warm water and a mild unscented soap such as dove or ivory. Lather the soap in your hand, gently wash the tattoo, rinse well and pat dry with paper towel.
- After washing apply a thin coat of A&D ointment. Remove excess ointment with paper towel. Wash and apply ointment 3-4 times a day.
- Always wash your hands before touching the tattoo. After you run out of the package of A&D ointment switch to a non-scented lotion such as Lubriderm. Apply lotion 3-4 times a day until fully healed.
- Showering normally is fine, it needs to be cleaned! Do not soak tattoo in bathtubs, hot tubs, swimming pools or saunas until fully healed.
- Try to keep your new tattoo out of the sun until healed. After the tattoo is healed use sunscreen to protect it. Sun can fade a tattoo!
- Remember your tattoo needs oxygen to heal so let it breath! Peeling and flaking is a normal part of the healing process.
- Do not pick or scratch your tattoo, this will cause damage and could result in ink loss.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the minimum age to get tattooed?
A. 18 years old
Q. Can you get a tattoo that only lasts 3-5 years?
A. No, a tattoo is permanent when done properly. Our artists are very experienced and will provide you a quality tattoo which will stand the test of time.
Q. Does getting a tattoo hurt?
A. Some pain is to be expected but when done in professional setting such as ours, getting a tattoo can be a very positive experience. Most refer to the feeling as a vibrating pinch, a cat scratch or sunburn in a hot shower. The more relaxed you are, the easier the process.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. All work is done at an hourly rate. Don’t limit yourself by putting a price limit on your tattoo. You get what you pay for. Good tattoos aren’t cheap and cheap tattoos aren’t good!
Q. Can a tattoo be removed?
A. Modern laser technology can effectively remove most tattoos within a few visits.
Q. Can unwanted designs be covered with another tattoo?
A. Yes, we offer cover up work and these solutions can be discussed during your consultation.
Q. What makes a tattoo fade?
A. Our top-quality, professional tattoo artists will provide you with a tattoo which will last a lifetime with good aftercare and use of sun block after the tattoo has healed.
Q. Are there any areas on the body where you can’t put a tattoo?
A. Heavy callous areas such as around the heels, elbows, and fingers aren’t well suited for tattooing. These areas tend to wear quickly due to friction.
Q. How long after my tattoo appointment can I resume swimming and tanning activities?
A. You can resume your swimming and tanning activities 3 weeks after your tattoo appointment.
It seems like everyone has a tattoo these days. Once sported only by sailors, outlaws, and biker gangs, tattoos are now popular body decorations for many people. And it’s not just anchors, skulls, and battleships anymore — from school emblems to Celtic designs to personalized symbols, people have found many ways to express themselves with their tattoos.Maybe you’ve thought about getting one. But before you head to the nearest tattoo shop and roll up your sleeve, there are a few things you need to know.
Tattoos used to be done manually — that is, the tattoo artist would puncture the skin with a needle and inject the ink by hand. Though this process is still used in some parts of the world, most tattoo shops use a tattoo machine these days. A tattoo machine is a handheld electric instrument that uses a tube and needle system. On one end is a sterilized needle, which is attached to tubes that contain ink. A foot switch is used to turn on the machine, which moves the needle in and out while driving the ink about 1/16 inch or less (about 1 millimeter) into your skin.
Most tattoo artists know how deep to drive the needle into your skin, but not going deep enough will produce a ragged tattoo, and going too deep can cause bleeding and intense pain. Getting a tattoo can take about 15 minutes to several hours, depending on the size and design chosen.
First, make sure you’re up to date with your immunizations (especially hepatitis and tetanus shots) and plan where you’ll get medical care if your tattoo becomes infected (signs of infection include excessive redness or tenderness around the tattoo, pus, or changes in your skin color around the tattoo).If you have a medical problem such as heart disease, allergies, diabetes, skin disorders, a condition that affects your immune system, or a bleeding disorder — or if you are pregnant — ask your doctor if there are any special concerns you should have or precautions you should take beforehand. Also, if you’re prone to getting keloids (an overgrowth of scar tissue in the area of the wound), it’s probably best to avoid getting a tattoo altogether.
It’s very important to make sure the tattoo studio is clean and safe, and that all equipment used is disposable (in the case of needles, gloves, masks, etc.) and sterilized (everything else). Some states, cities, and communities set up standards for tattoo studios, but others don’t. You can call your local health department to find out about the laws in your community, ask for recommendations on licensed tattoo shops, or check for any complaints about a particular studio. Professional studios usually take pride in their cleanliness. Here are some things to check for:
- Make sure the tattoo studio has an autoclave (a device that uses steam, pressure, and heat for sterilization). You should be allowed to watch as equipment is sterilized in the autoclave.
- Ask if they use one-time ink cartridges that are disposed of after each customer
- Check that the tattoo artist is a licensed practitioner. If so, the tattoo artist should be able to provide you with references.
- Be sure that the tattoo studio follows the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Universal Precautions. These are regulations that outline procedures to be followed when dealing with bodily fluids (in this case, blood).
If the studio looks unclean, if anything looks out of the ordinary, or if you feel in any way uncomfortable, find a better place to get your tattoo.
What’s the Procedure Like?
Here’s what you can expect from a normal tattooing procedure:
- The tattoo artist will first wash his or her hands with a germicidal soap.
- The to-be-tattooed area on your body will be shaved, if necessary. The artist will draw or stencil the design.
- The tattoo artist will put on clean, fresh gloves (and possibly a surgical mask).
- The area will be cleaned and disinfected. A thin layer of petroleum jelly will be applied.
- The tattoo artist will explain the sterilization procedure to you and open up the single-use, sterilized equipment (such as needles, etc.).
- Using the tattoo machine (with a sterile, single-use needles attached), the tattoo artist will begin drawing an outline of the tattoo under your skin.
- Sterile, thicker needles will be installed on the tattoo machine, and the tattoo artist will start shading the design. After cleaning the area again, color will be injected. A new bottle of ink should be opened for each individual.
- Any blood will be removed by a sterile, disposable cloth or towel.
- When finished, the area, now sporting a finished tattoo, will be cleaned once again and a bandage will be applied.
What Are the Risks?
If you decide to get a tattoo, chances are everything will go as planned. But if disinfection and sterilization steps aren’t followed, there are some things you need to be aware of that can go wrong. If you don’t go to a tattoo studio or the tattoo studio doesn’t follow precautions like using sterilized equipment or if it shares ink between customers, you’re putting yourself at risk for getting viral infections such as hepatitis, bacterial skin infections, or dermatitis (severe skin irritation).Also, some people have allergic reactions to the tattoo ink. And if you already have a skin condition such as eczema, you may have flare-ups as a result of the tattoo.
Serious complications can result if you attempt to do a tattoo yourself, have a friend do it for you, or have it done in any unclean environment. Because tattooing involves injections under the skin, viruses such as HIV and hepatitis B and C can be transferred into your body if proper precautions aren’t followed. For this reason, the American Red Cross and some other blood banks require people to wait 12 months after getting a tattoo before they can donate blood.
A lot of people love their tattoos and keep them forever. But others decide a couple of years down the road that they really don’t like that rose on their ankle or snake on their bicep anymore. Or maybe you broke up with your boyfriend or girlfriend and no longer want his or her initials on your stomach. What then?
In the past, tattoo removal required surgery, but now there are several other methods that can be used. One common method is laser removal. Some tattoo shops also offer tattoo removal, but it’s a better idea to make sure the person doing the removal is a medical doctor. Before you go just anywhere to get your tattoo removed, check with your doctor or contact the American Dermatological Association to find a reputable laser removal specialist in your area.
Although it’s called tattoo removal, completely removing a tattoo can be difficult depending on how old the tattoo is, how big the tattoo is, and the types and colors of inks that were used. Removal of the entire tattoo is not always guaranteed. It’s best to consult with a dermatologist who specializes in tattoo removal to get your questions answered — such as whether anesthesia is used. The dermatologist can also give you a good idea of how much (if not all) of the tattoo can be removed. Tattoo removal can be pretty expensive. Depending on factors like the size and design of the tattoo, removal can cost significantly more than the actual tattoo.
The Laser Removal Procedure
Laser tattoo removal usually requires a number of visits, with each procedure lasting only a few minutes. Anesthesia may or may not be used. What happens is the laser sends short zaps of light through the top layers of your skin, with the laser’s energy aimed at specific pigments in the tattoo. Those zapped pigments are then removed by your body’s immune system. Removing a tattoo by laser can be uncomfortable and can feel a lot like getting a tattoo. The entire process usually takes several months.
Just like when you get a tattoo, you must look after the wound area after a tattoo is removed. The area should be kept clean, but it shouldn’t be scrubbed. Also, it might turn red for a few days and a scab might form. Don’t rub or scrub the area or pick at the scab. Let it heal on its own.Laser tattoo removal is usually effective for the most part, but there can be some side effects. The area can become infected or scarred, and it can also be susceptible to hyperpigmentation, which causes the area where your tattoo used to be to become darker than your normal skin, or hypopigmentation, whichcauses the area where your tattoo used to be to become lighter than your normal skin color.
So Is It Worth It?
Is getting a tattoo worth the money and hassle? It’s up to you. Some people really enjoy their tattoos and keep them for life, whereas others might regret that they acted on impulse and didn’t think enough about it before they got one. Getting a tattoo is a big deal, especially because they’re designed to be permanent.
If you’ve thought about it and decided you want a tattoo, make sure you do a little detective work and find a clean, safe, and professional tattoo shop. Also, remember that getting and maintaining a tattoo involves some responsibility — after you leave the tattoo shop, it’s up to you to protect and treat it to prevent infections or other complications.