Tattoos are body markings made with needles – permanently – that have recently come under scrutiny as many people worry about their permanent nature. Tattoos are created by embedding colored pigments, dyes, and inks, either temporary or indelible, into the skin’s dermal layer to alter the existing pigment. The art of creating tattoos using needles is called tattooing. People with body piercings have also been known to have tattoos; however, they are less common and are more commonly associated with body art. Tattooing is not the same as piercing and should not be mistaken for the latter.
The main risk involved with having a tattoo is the potential for infection if the needles are not fully healed following the tattoo process. Injuries from tattoo tools such as tattoo guns and electric current can cause open sores that may allow bacteria to enter the wounds, potentially causing hepatitis b and other infections. It is important to ensure the tattooist fully heals any open sores, before and after the stitching job.
Hepatitis b is a highly contagious disease caused by infection with the hepatitis B virus. Anyone who has ever had hepatitis b and is regularly in contact with a person who has the disease is at risk for contracting it. Some tattoo parlors will refuse to tattoo individuals who have had hepatitis b. If you have had hepatitis b, make sure your tattoo studio is reputable and tattoo products are sterilized and tested regularly before use.
The most common method of tattoo removal is laser tattoo removal. This method works well on tattoos made using the new generation of tattoo equipment called tattoo inkjets. These inkjets are small versions of tattoo pens and are made to penetrate deeply into the skin. Because lasers destroy the ink when it reaches the surface of the body, there is no danger of infection.
Tattoo guns work much in the same way as the old-style needles. A tattoo gun vibrates the ink down into the ink pad. Because the ink is not actually applied to the skin, there is no danger of getting the ink wet or smeared. Once the tattoo gun makes contact with the ink pad, heat opens the needle pores so the ink can run down smoothly. These guns can be purchased in any good tattoo shop.
When choosing a tattoo studio, ask for recommendations from people you know and trust. Tattoo artists should be licensed and abide by certain guidelines to ensure they do not compromise the health and safety of their customers. The studio should use hygienic materials and employ people whose names you recognize. And most importantly, they should guarantee that you are safe while you have your tattoo!