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WHAT ARE SOME BAD THINGS FOR MY NEW TATTOO?
Once it is healed, there is very little that will screw up a tattoo. The one exception is prolonged exposure to sunlight. (the other is scarring, but that is patently obvious).
Well, unfortunately it is. The newer inks are better at resisting fading but whatever you do, if you spend lots of time in bright sunlight your tats will fade (over a lifetime, not over a week). Best to try and keep them out of bright sunlight. No one wants to become a cave dweller just to keep their tats looking good, so just use some common sense. Think of your tattoo as an investment, so rub on that sun block so it doesn't turn into a dark blob. Our culture has erroneously labeled the tan as healthy. Did you know that your tan is your skin's way of dealing with the damage caused by the sun? It's like the formation of a scab when you have a cut. You will pay for your years of sun exposure when you are in your 40s and 50s. Leathery, wrinkled, dry skin with freckles and liver spots. Melanoma. Skin cancer. Regular visits to the dermatologist. Like I say, "There's no such thing as a healthy tan!" Tanning booths are not good for you! They are not regulated by the FDA, and the staff that work at these salons have been known to give out patently false information. Many salon operators will suggest dosages far exceeding industry recommendations, and the FDA would actually prefer that these booths be banned altogether. Do not believe the salon operators who tell you there is NO damage caused by their UV rays. There are indications that tanning booths emit rays that cause the type of damage that only shows up years later, when it is difficult to fault any one operator. Their industry motto is "tan safe." There is no such thing as a SAFE tan. "SPF" stands for Sun Protection Factor. If you can normally stay out for ten minutes without getting sun burnt, then an SPF 2 should protect you for 20 minutes, an SPF 6 for an hour, and so on. HOWEVER, this does *NOT* mean an SPF 30 will let you stay out for five hours with just one coat. Keep your exposure limited to the minimum amounts, and always use an extra strong sun block with at least SPF 30 for your tattoo. "Waterproof" and "sweat proof" sun blocks protect you while in the water. However, reflections from the water add to your exposure. Make sure you use a high SPF number, and always re-apply your sun block when coming out of the water. Sun block is not just for the beach! Make it a habit to carry one with you during the summer months so you can protect your tattoo always! The Watermelon Stick from the Body Shop is nice and portable, but in a pinch, a tube of lip balm (Blistik, etc.) will work, as long as it has an SPF. Dab a bit on your tattoo whenever you will be outside. Other products recommended: Banana Boat for Kids - SPF 50, Banana Boat's SPF 50, for Extra Sensitive Skin "Deep Cover" Super Sun block, advertised in some tattoo magazines (distributed by Deep Cover in Long Beach, CA) The Body Shop's Watermelon Stick, Bullfrog Moisturizing Formula - The Body Lotion (not the Gel Formula), Neutrogena's Sensitive Skin SPF 17, and Schering-Plough's "Shade Sun block" in various SPFs.
Try to avoid these things until your tattoo is completely healed
AFTER TATTOO CARE INSTRUCTIONS
The artist that did your tattoo will have something very definite to say about the care of your new tattoo, and it is probably a good idea to listen to him/her. Many shops will have an information sheet listing care instructions. The information provided in this section may or may not be the same method your artist offers. Regardless, there are three things to remember about caring for your new tattoo: Moisturize, Don't over moisturize it, and whatever you do, Don't pick your onion peel scabs! Basically, as long as you follow these three points, you will be okay. However as people get more tattoos, they begin trying out slightly different methods, and not all of them will work on everybody. Some people will find that they are allergic to some products. How do you know which method is best for you? It depends on the type of skin you have, and how sensitive it is. I suggest you try a patch test on your skin for a week or so before you get a tattoo to see if you react to the ingredients.
Other people will recommend different ointments and lotions. Some people swear by Tea Tree Oil (toner) from the Body Shop for its healing qualities. Others like A&D Ointment (marketed for diaper rash, I find it somewhat greasy), and the cheapest is probably regular Vaseline Intensive Care.
PRODUCTS THAT I USE
I use a thin coat of Neosporin for about two days after getting a fresh tattoo, keeping the tattooed area moist. After a couple of days I start using "Vitamin E". You can find this product at your local GNC, it comes in a small circular jar and is a Vaseline like product. It sells for between $5.00 - $6.00 and goes a long way. I use this for about 10 days until the tattooed area is completely healed. Before I started using "Vitamin E", I would use Neosporin for the entire healing process and if a tattoo started to scab bad after a week or so, I would gently rub baby oil into the scabbed area while taking a hot shower. This would reduce the scabs dramatically and speed up the healing process. Again, these are some of the techniques that I have, or still use. They work well for me and might not have the same effect on other people with different skin types.
Yes! It always hurts to be tattooed. After all, the color is being inserted into your skin by using needles but, tattooing never hurts so much that you can not manage the pain. It is very difficult to explain just how much it hurts, as it is different from person to person and from the place on the body that the tattoo is being applied. The more relaxed and easy you feel, the more easy the process is for you and the artist. Don't bother about anesthetics of any kind, and never mix tattooing with alcohol. Being drunk while being tattooed is just an old myth, and absolutely is no good because it thins the blood making it more difficult for the tattoo artist to do his or her work.
Tattoos are applied using a tattoo machine
which has remained basically the same design since it was patented in
1896. Advances have been made in the quality of the equipment, but the
process is the same. The machine causes a needle or combination of needles
to first scribe a line
The time it takes to do a tattoo depends mostly on the design. The size and complexity of the design are the two major factors. Another would be where the tattoo was to be applied. Certain areas of the body such as the arm takes less time because the tattooist can get a good grip on the area and stretch the skin, which is essential to applying a good tattoo. Flat areas like the stomach take more time because they are harder to stretch
Look at work that the artist has done on other people if possible (artist should have a portfolio that you can look at). Spend some time in the shop to see some of the work that is being done. Talk to the artist. If he/she doesn't want to take the time to talk to you and make you at ease about the process then maybe their shop isn't the place for you. The shop should be clean and well lit. As with piercing, autoclave sterilization should be used on any instruments that are not disposable. A dry-heat sterilizer does NOT take the place of a steam autoclave. If you're in doubt, ask to see the autoclave. It may sound picky but a reputable artist should have no problem in explaining and talking over any concerns or questions that you might have.
Autoclave sterilization is a process where steam under pressure is used to kill any living organisms, including spores which are very resistant. There are other forms of sterilization such as dry-heat and chemical and have their place, but the only accepted form of sterilization for medical instruments in this country is autoclave. It's just like a pressure cooker and items should be in the autoclave at least 30 minutes at 246 degrees.
There are instructional books and videos
on both subjects and I can tell you that they are worthless without hands-on
instruction from someone who knows what they are doing. The only thing
I can say is to first find out if you have the talent or if you're ready
to make the commitment to
these are your tattoo facts, jack!
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