When it comes to getting a tattoo there are several things you really should know. Getting a tattoo isn't simply about having a bit of ink put under your skin with a sharp needle, there is much more to it than that and here are a few points to consider before you take that step.
- Check out their credentials – tattoo artists rely on the good word of past clients. You should look for someone who can provide you with evidence of good work and a clean studio. Make sure all their equipment is sterile and well kept.
- After Care – when you get a tattoo, you need to be aware that it takes some dedication to ensuring it stays clean and infection free. You want the color to remain strong too. When you get your tattoo you must make sure you apply A&D ointment to aid healing (after all you are creating an open wound during the tattoo process). After the swelling and redness calms down you should continue to moisturise your tattoo to keep the skin healthy and return to its former soft and smooth appearance.
- Scabbing – scabbing is a natural process that your skin goes through when broken. Tattoos are created by breaking the skin and placing ink in it. Once complete your skin will regrow but first it must scab to seal the open wound. To prevent the tattoo from becoming spoiled you should avoid removing the scab, let it peal off on its own.
- Itching - this is a real problem for anyone who gets a tattoo. It is part of the healing process that your skin goes through. Unfortunately you can't scratch that itch (as much as you'd love to), it will only mess up the finished result and all that hard work and money will be wasted. Find other ways of relieving it like placing a cool cloth over it or patting it with your hand.
Look around you and you may notice that piercings are extremely common. They are one of the most common personal adornments and have been around for millennia. Often a cultural thing, tattoos can signify a persons wealth, fertility and status. Of course in western society it is mainly about being a fashion statement.
So what should you consider before going and getting a piercing done?
- Up to 35% of piercings can have some type of complication. These are usually minor infections that can occur during the piercing process. The person performing the piercing should have clean hands and wear sterile latex gloves to prevent contamination. The piercing gun must be clean and any earrings used must be sterile. Occasionally a piercing that has already been done yet hadn't healed correctly can also become infected.
- You could be allergic to your jewellery. Many people don't consider this but earrings that contain white gold, cobalt and nickel can cause irritation in some people. Jewellery made from stainless steel, titanium and 14/ 18 karat gold should not cause any adverse effects.
- Don't over clean. It may sound odd but cleaning your piercing will actually aggravate it and prevent it from healing correctly. Use a simple saline wash twice a day around the piercing and it should be fine.
- It depends on your skin type as to how it heals from a piercing. Those with African, Hispanic and Asian type skin are more likely to suffer from a little known complication called a Keloid. A Keloid is a lump of cartilage that forms during the healing process. It is very difficult to remove.
So before you take the plunge and get a tattoo or piercing, get the low down and stay clean and safe.