Learning About Tattoos

Friday, April 15, 2011

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It seems that today everyone has a tattoo. What once was considered the property of sailors, bikers and outlaws is now a widely accepted body decoration among many people. And this is not tattooed anchors, skulls and battleships. With school emblems, Celtic designs and even custom symbols, people have found new ways to express themselves with their tattoos. Perhaps you've thought about getting one. But before you head to the nearest tattoo shop and roll up your shirt, you should know some things.

What exactly is a tattoo?
A tattoo is a puncture wound in the deep layers of your skin, which is filled with ink. Are made by penetrating the skin with a needle and injecting ink into the area, usually creating some sort of design. The reason that tattoos last so long is that they are profound: the ink is not injected into the epidermis (the top layer of skin that we continue producing and changing throughout life.) On the contrary, is injected into the dermis, which is the second deepest layer of skin. The skin cells are very stable, so the tattoo is practically permanent.

Tattoos used to be done manually, ie the artist responsible for carrying out the tattoo skin pricked with a needle and inject the ink by hand. While this process is still used in some parts of the world, most tattoo shops use a tattoo machine. A tattoo machine is a handheld electric instrument, similar to a dentist around. At one end, has a sterile needle, connected to tubes that contain ink. It uses a pedal to start the machine, which moves the needle in and out while the ink deposited approximately 1 / 8 inch (about 3 mm) below the skin.

Most tattoo artists who do know how deep to take the needle, but if you do not reach the required depth, the tattoo will look fuzzy, while if the depth is excessive, there may be bleeding and much pain. A tattoo can take several hours depending on size and design selected.

"Getting a tattoo is painful?
It is possible, but the level of pain may vary. Like getting a tattoo involves being played many times with a needle, you feel like getting a series of shots or being stung several times by a hornet. Some people describe the tattoo sensation as "tingling." It depends on your pain threshold, the skill of the person who operates the machine for tattoos and body part where you do your tattoo. Also, remember that you will probably leave a little blood.

If you're considering a tattoo
If you're thinking about getting a tattoo, you have to remember something very important: you should make you safely. If you can show off much better than a big scab, a new tattoo is also a wound. As with any cut, scratch, puncture, cut or hole in your skin, a tattoo is at risk of infection or cause disease.

First, make sure you are up to date with vaccines (especially with hepatitis and tetanus) and plan where you will receive medical care if your tattoo becomes infected (signs of infection include excessive redness or tenderness around the tattoo, prolonged bleeding , pus, or changes in skin color around the tattoo).

If you have a health problem, such as coronary heart disease, allergies, diabetes, skin disease, a condition that affects your immune system, or infections (or if you are pregnant), ask your doctor if you have special concerns or if you have something take some precautions. Also, if you're prone to getting keloids (an overgrowth of scar tissue in the wound area), probably you should not you do the tattoo.

It is very important to make sure that 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 standards for tattoo studios, but others do not. You can contact the local health department to know the laws in your community, seek recommendations from licensed tattoo shops and see if there are complaints against a particular study.

Professional studios usually take pride in their cleanliness. Below are a list of what to check:

Make sure the tattoo studio to have an autoclave (a device that uses steam, pressure and heat for sterilization). Should let you see how the equipment sterilized in an autoclave.
Check that the tattoo artist who performs as a professional. In that case, the artist should be able to give references.
Make sure the tattoo studio to comply with universal precautions for the Administration of Occupational Safety and Health. These regulations describing the procedures to be followed when working with body fluids (in this case, blood).
If the study looks dirty, if there is anything unusual or if you feel uncomfortable for any reason, find a better place to make the tattoo.

What is the procedure?
This is what you expect from a normal tattooing procedure:

The tattoo artist who does the washing hands.
It cleans and disinfects the area of ​​your body to be held on the tattoo.
The artist who performed the tattoo put on new gloves and clean (and, perhaps, a mask like those used in surgery).
The artist will explain the sterilization procedure and sterilized equipment will be used only once (such as needles, etc.).
The artist used the tattoo machine (with a sterile, disposable) to start drawing the outline of the tattoo under your skin.
After the outline cleaned with antiseptic soap and water.
Be installed thicker needles in the tattoo machine and the artist begin to define the design. After cleaning the area again, inject the color. A new bottle of ink must be opened for each individual.
If you get blood, removed with a sterile cloth towel or disposable.
Once finished, the area, now sporting a finished tattoo, will be re-cleaned and bandaged.
Tattoo Care
The last step in the realization of a tattoo is very important to take care of the tattoo until it heals completely. Follow all instructions you are given in the study to take care of your tattoo to make sure it heals properly. Also, remember that it is very important to call your doctor immediately if you see or experience symptoms of infection such as pain, excessive redness, swelling or oozing pus. Make sure your tattoo heals properly doing this:

Keep a bandage over the area for at least 24 hours.
Avoid touching the tattoo and do not tear the scabs that may form.
Wash the tattoo with an antibacterial soap (not alcohol or peroxide because it will dry the tattoo). Use a soft towel to dry the tattoo, it simply supports the towel to dry, not rub.
Place an antibiotic ointment on the tattoo. Do not use Vaseline!
Put an ice pack on the tattooed area if you see redness or swelling.
Try not to get the tattoo until it heals fully. Avoid swimming pools, Jacuzzis or hot baths and prolonged.
Keep your tattoo out of the sun until it is completely healed.
Even when fully healed, a tattoo is more sensitive to sunlight, therefore, is a good idea to always keep it protected from direct sunlight. If you're outside often or if you like spending time at the beach, we recommend you always use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 30 on the tattoo. This will not only protect your skin but also prevent the tattoo is fading.

What are the risks?
If you decide to get a tattoo, chances are that everything goes as planned. But if not followed the steps of disinfection and sterilization, you should know that things can go wrong. If not go to a tattoo studio or the tattoo studio does not take precautions like using sterilized equipment or if it shares ink between customers, are at risk of viral infections such as hepatitis, bacterial skin infections or dermatitis (severe irritation the skin).

In addition, some people have allergic reactions to tattoo ink. And if you suffer from a skin condition like eczema, you have a flare as a result of the tattoo.

There may be severe if you try realizarte tattoo yourself, if you make it a friend or if you do it in an environment that is not clean. As for tattooing you put yourself injections under the skin, you can get viruses like HIV, hepatitis B and C are not taken adequate precautions. For this reason, the Red Cross of the United States and other blood banks ask people to wait tattoos done 12 months before donating blood.

Tattoo Removal
Many people love their tattoos and preserved forever. But others have decided, after a few years, you really will not want a rose on the ankle or snake on the biceps. Or maybe break a boyfriend or girlfriend and no longer wish to have your initials in the stomach. What happens then?

In the past, to remove a tattoo was needed surgery. But today, can be eliminated by means of a medical procedure with a laser. Some tattoo shops also offer tattoo removal, but better make sure you remove the person is a doctor. Before you go anywhere to take off a tattoo, consult your doctor or contact the Dermatology Association of America for you to recommend a laser removal specialist in your area.

Well, is called "elimination" of the tattoo. But dermatologists say always completely remove a tattoo can be difficult depending on factors like how old the tattoo, how big it is, and the types and colors of ink used. You can never guarantee complete tattoo removal. Should consult a dermatologist who specializes in tattoo removal to answer all your questions, for example, if anesthesia is used. A dermatologist can also give you an idea of ​​how much (if not all) of the tattoo can be removed.

The laser tattoo removal usually requires a series of visits, and each procedure takes a few minutes. No anesthesia is always used. What happens is the laser sends short pulses of light through the top layers of your skin with laser energy aimed at specific pigments in the tattoo. These pigments are then removed by your immune system.

Removing a tattoo by laser can be uncomfortable and feel can be very similar to getting a tattoo. The entire process can take several months.

Like when you get a tattoo, you should take care of the affected area after removing a tattoo. You must keep the area clean, but you must not rub. Also you can get red for a few days and can form a crust. Do not rub or scratch the area or take off the crust. Let it heal alone.

The laser tattoo removal is usually effective, but there may be some drawbacks. Side effects may include hyperpigmentation, which makes the area where the tattoo had become darker than the rest of your skin, or hypopigmentation, which causes the area where the tattoo had become clearer than the rest of your skin. The area can also become infected or scars.

But most importantly, the removal of a tattoo can be quite expensive. Depending on factors such as size and design of the tattoo, removal can cost significantly more than the tattoo.

So, is it worth?
Are they worth so much money and inconvenience of a tattoo? You decide for yourself. Some people love their tattoos and keep them for life, while others may regret because they did it on an impulse and did not think enough before getting the tattoo. Getting a tattoo is a big issue, especially because they are designed to be permanent.

If you've thought about it and decide you want a tattoo, be sure to do some detective work to find a professional workshop, safe and clean in your area. Also, remember to make and keep a tattoo involves some responsibility: after leaving the tattoo shop is up to you to protect him and take care to avoid infection and further complications.


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