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  /  health and wellness   /  Tattoos: The Ultimate Body Art
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by Barbara Naggi

A Guideline to Getting Inked

Everyone knows that tattoos have become extremely popular. In fact, the art of applying ink to skin has been around for eons—so long that nobody even knows exactly when the practice first started.

These days, getting a tattoo is a serious decision, requiring commitment and research. Because a tattoo is permanent, you should consider a design that’s not just a simple decoration. Most people prefer a tattoo that has personal meaning, a design that symbolizes belonging or perhaps new beginnings.

As demand for tattoos has grown, so too has the number of tattoo artists. Unfortunately, many of these so-called artists are motivated primarily by money, and not truly qualified. A skilled tattoo artist needs extensive knowledge of design, technique, and above all, hygiene during the procedure. Getting a tattoo can be considered a type of surgery, and carries potential risk for contracting blood-borne diseases.

So, while it’s important to find a professional tattoo artist with an art style and portfolio you admire, it’s essential to make sure the artist’s studio and procedures are absolutely clean and hygienic.

Do not be swayed by tattoo studios that appear comfortable, convenient, and low-cost without doing additional research. Explore artists’ websites, including Facebook and Instagram accounts, to learn details about their experience, as well as their collaborations with other studios. Look for online reviews from customers, as well.

Some tattoo artists are well-known and have very long waiting lists; if you really admire the artist, don’t feel impatient—waiting a few months for your first tattoo will be worth it.

And when it’s time to sit down for that tattoo, be sure to listen to all instructions and advice. Reputable artists know your tattoo soon will be on view to the world. They want to make certain you have a great experience and are thrilled with your new body art.

Some of their advice may be practical, such as not tattooing hands or fingers because it could be viewed poorly in the workplace. Other advice is based on experience, such as not tattooing body areas with less subcutaneous muscle—artists know tattoos in those areas are more likely to fade.

Be aware that you probably will have to sign a document indicating “informed consent” before any tattoo is started. That’s a common requirement.

And don’t forget to consult your doctor first, if you suffer from any major or chronic illnesses, tumors, or diseases, even if they’re not dermatology-related.

Allergy-sufferers need to be extra-careful because components in the inks occasionally trigger allergy reactions. All tattoo tools need to be sterile and disposable, to avoid the possibility of blood-transmitted infections. Even if your procedure is very short, it is still serious and should not be treated lightly!

The healing process

After your tattoo is done, you will be responsible for the healing process, which typically takes from seven to fourteen days.

Keep the tattooed area clean and hydrated, using a special cream that your tattoo artist will recommend. Avoid exposing the tattoo to the sun’s rays for a few weeks. And do not remove any scabs from the tattoo, even if it gets itchy, since that could damage the design, as well as cause infections. If you have any questions about the healing process, please talk to your tattoo professional—not your friends!

If you follow these simple rules, you should have a fantastic experience. Plus, you’ll end up with body art that’s unique and inspiring.

Just remember to be careful as you go, because a tattoo really is forever!

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Tattoos by: Barbara Naggi

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