FAQ

Does It Hurt?
About Your Skin
What is meant by the term ‘Universal Precautions’?

This is my first tattoo…..What should I
expect?

What is single service equipment?

 

Does It Hurt?
The #1 asked question in tattooing!

There is no short answer to this question, it depends on many variables. Everyone’s responses to the act of being tattooed are different. Some people feel very little, and some people feel it more. It depends on where the tattoo is placed, how thick or thin the skin is in that area, how near bone or joints the tattoo will be, and what your own particular tolerance is to pain. To be honest, you should expect to feel some slight discomfort during the process.

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About Your Skin
The skin is made up of three layers, each with its own important parts. The layer on the outside is called the epidermis. The epidermis is the part of your skin you can see. At the bottom of the epidermis, new skin cells are forming. When the cells are ready, they start moving toward the top of your epidermis. This trip takes about 2 weeks to a month. As newer cells continue to move up, older cells near the top die and rise to the surface of your skin. What you see are really dead skin cells. The old cells are tough and strong, but soon, they flake off. Every minute of the day we lose approximately 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells off the surface of the skin. Most of the cells in your epidermis (95%) work to make new skin cells.

And what about the other 5%? They make a substance called melanin. Melanin gives skin its color. The darker your skin is, the more melanin you have. When you go out into the sun, these cells make extra melanin to protect you from getting burned by the sun’s UV rays. That’s why your skin gets tan if you spend a lot of time in the sun. But it can’t shield you all by itself. You’ll want to wear sunscreen and protective clothing, such as a hat, to prevent painful sunburns. Protecting your skin now also can help prevent skin cancer as you get older.

The next layer down is the dermis. The dermis contains nerve endings, blood vessels, oil glands, and sweat glands. It also contains collagen and elastin. The dermis is also full of tiny blood vessels. These bring the oxygen and nutrients your cells need and take away waste. The dermis is home to the oil glands called sebaceous glands, and they produce sebum. Sebum is your skin’s own natural oil. It rises to the surface of your epidermis to keep your skin lubricated and protected. It also makes your skin waterproof. You have sweat glands on your epidermis, the sweat comes up through pores. When the sebum meets the sweat, they form a protective film that’s a bit sticky.

The third and bottom layer of the skin is called the subcutaneous layer. It is made mostly of fat and helps your body stay warm and absorb shocks. The subcutaneous layer also helps hold your skin to all the tissues underneath it. This layer is where you’ll find the start of hair. Each hair on your body grows out of a tiny tube in the skin called a follicle. Every follicle has its roots in the subcutaneous layer and continues up through the dermis. Connected to each follicle in the dermis layer is a tiny sebaceous gland that releases sebum onto the hair. This lightly coats the hair with oil, giving it some shine and waterproofing. When you’re cold, your blood vessels keep your body from losing heat by narrowing as much as possible and keeping the warm blood away from the skin’s surface.

You might notice tiny bumps on your skin. Most people call these goose bumps, but the name for them is the pilomotor reflex. The reflex makes special tiny muscles called the erector pili muscles pull on your hairs so they stand up very straight.

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What is meant by the term ‘Universal Precautions’?

Universal Precautions are recommendations issued by CDC to minimize the risk of transmission of bloodborne pathogens, particularly HIV and HBV, by health care and public safety workers. Barrier precautions are to be used to prevent exposure to blood and certain body fluids of all patients.

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This is my first tattoo…..What should I
expect?

Getting your first tattoo can be a very exciting experience and being prepared for what to expect can keep it fun. First, you should be well rested and well fed. If you are tired, or your blood sugar is low, you may experience a higher level of discomfort than you normally would. Drinking alcohol before getting tattooed is always a bad idea. Not only do you become dehydrated, it will also cause you to bleed more and consequently have a negative effect on your new tattoo.

There will be blood. The amount varies from person to person, but usually it is about what you would expect from a scraped knee or rug burn. The level of pain also varies from person to person, but most people don’t find it unbearable. The best thing to do is just accept the discomfort and relax. Fighting or tensing will only increase your discomfort.

If you start to feel faint or a little “green,” tell your artist right away instead of toughing it out. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a break. Your artist is prepared for this sort of thing and knows how to handle it.

If you need to change position or stretch, go to the bathroom, sneeze or wiggle for any reason, let your artist know BEFORE you do it.

Your new tattoo will get a patch of shiny skin over it or it may scab over. Leave the scab alone! This is a normal part of the healing process. Picking the scab may lead to infection or damage to your tattoo. The scab will slough off gradually in the course of a week or two. If you have any questions during the healing process, call your artist. DO NOT rely on stories told to you by your friends. Follow all the aftercare instructions provided to you by your artist.

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What is single service equipment?

All equipment should be sterile, individually packaged and single service. This means that each needle and tube set is individually packaged, dated and sealed and autoclaved. The artist should open a fresh set of needles and tubes in front of you. Any ointments, pigments, needles, gloves, razors, plastic trays or containers used in applying your new tattoo are discarded after use. After the tattoo application, the artist will disinfect the work area with an EPA approved virucidal that will kill any surface bacteria or viruses.