A tattoo will stay on your body forever, allegedly. Yet some tattoos fade out over time if different sorts of safety measures are being ignored.
Not only can a tattoo fade out in colour, it can get infected and even ruined if you and/or your tattoo artist are nonchalant when it comes to the safety standards of a tattoo studio, regardless of location, fame and previous work of the artist.
Take nothing for granted, read up on the safety standards of tattoo studios here in this article to avoid any unfortunate (worse, permanent) mishaps on your body.
Infections usually occur out of 2 reasons; non-sterile techniques & ink, given that you personally take care of the tattoo after the artist is finished with his work.
A good tattoo artist will instruct you on how to take care of your new piece of art, at least for the first couple of days.
During the “Aftercare” period, you are supposed to take care of the tattoo to your greatest extent to avoid any infections. You are probably more likely to infect your tattoo than what the tattoo artist is, at least if the artist follow the existing safety measures.
All of the used tools must be sterilized properly by using an Autoclave, a small chamber where one can put any type of tools to sterilize them with pressure at certain temperatures.
The autoclave was invented by a person with a slightly ironic surname, (Charles) Chamberland.
Apart from using sterilized tools, the artist should also be using unused rubber gloves and wash hands regularly.
The ink sometimes needs to be diluted with water and you need the water to be sterile too.
Ask your tattoo artist if you can see the needles, you want to see that the needles are new and unused. A decent tattoo artist should understand that you want to confirm safety while a less reputable artist probably will question why you’re asking.
The Right Ink
The quality of tattoo ink varies a lot.
There are some great places to get tattoo ink from, but there are unfortunately the opposite too.
A small mantra to keep you on your toes – think before you ink.
You will want to double check that you’re not allergic to the ingredients of the ink, as it too can ruin your tattoo but also give you other symptoms around the tattoo.
A tattoo is an open wound that is coloured with ink – a weird definition perhaps, yet provides a clear picture of the concept. Do your own investigations on the ink and please don’t order the cheapest ink available on eBay.
The aftercare time will vary a lot depending on what kind of tattoo you’re getting, who’s making it and how. It’s very common for tattoo artists to provide you with personal aftercare instructions.
This process is usually done over a couple of days where you’re mainly supposed to keep the tattoo slightly moisturised, but you should pat it dry with a clean paper towel or cloth and leave it dry for 5-10 minutes.
You can repeat the process around 3-4 times per day for the period that your tattoo artist instructed you to follow.
Don’t be afraid to go back to your tattoo artist if you notice unusual swelling or red marks on or around your tattoo.
Granuloma is an inflammation that may occur quite easily if your body doesn’t agree with the ink on your tattoo. It could happen due to bad ink but also because of allergies.
Your body is smarter than you think, it can sense the tattoo ink as foreign, which your body however is unable to reject.
If your body tries to reject the ink, you’re likely to receive granuloma on or near your tattoo.
Granuloma look terrible, it usually looks like a scar from acid; dots and stains of scars. Other reactions may also occur, but Granuloma is one of the most common consequences.
If you feel swollen around your tattoo and the skin starts to harden up, it’s a clear sign that your tattoo is drying out. Moisture is super important when it comes to the aftercare of any tattoo.
Proactivity is the best activity.
Although you want to have your tattoo ready ASAP, it’s super important to think through every little step in getting a tattoo done.
Visit the different tattoo parlours around, ask all your questions to every tattoo artist that you consider using for your theme. Ask to see their equipment. Get a first impression from every studio and artist, some do it for the money solely while others genuinely care for you.
Trust me, you don’t want to use a tattoo artist who is in a rush to finish you off. The artists who give a bad first impression are usually those who lack interest in what happens with your tattoo after leaving the studio.
Needles, tubes and containers should always be unpacked, so ask if you could have a look, and don’t forget to ask about the ink that they are using.
Is the ink certified for tattoo usage and is it a trusted brand? The tattoo artist should possess at least some knowledge about the ink, as of where it comes from and if it’s certified.