Getting inked can be a safe procedure, as long as you do it right. But it won’t be as simple as you may think, and there are lots of health hazards along the way. You have to remember that you’re puncturing your skin to introduce a foreign material, so there are inherent dangers to think about. But here are some tattoo safety tips that can help you avoid the health risks.
Don’t Drink and Get Inked!
Many people joke about drinking too much and then waking up with a strange tattoo. But it’s not really a laughing matter. Drinking tends to really affect your judgment, so most of the time it doesn’t end well when you get a tattoo when you’re drinking.
So treat getting a tattoo as the same as driving a car—you don’t do it when you’re drinking. And don’t let yourself be egged on no matter what others may say.
Picking the Right Tattoo Parlor
First of all, you must never try to tattoo your own skin. That’s just too dangerous. In fact, you should never have the procedure done in your own home. It doesn’t matter if the tattoo artist is incredibly talented, or if a tattoo parlor can send out an artist for home service.
Instead, here are the things you need to do:
- Pick a tattoo artist whose work already adorns the body of someone you know. This way, you can make sure about the quality of the artist’s work. You must check the artist’s portfolio first.
- It’s best that you confirm that the tattoo parlor is duly licensed. If your area doesn’t require these places to be licensed, your best bet is to get to a place where tattoo parlors have a license requirement. That’s because these parlors are subjected to random health checks.
- OSHA also requires tattoo artists to be blood-borne pathogen certified. This certification proves that the artist has taken a course on how to prevent diseases from spreading in their tattoo parlor.
- Check that the place is very clean. Carpets are a big danger sign—they’re health risks that trap body fluids and they’re not easily cleaned.
- The disposable equipment they use should be opened from their package right in front of you.
- The artists should wear gloves.
- Research the ink the artist uses, and then check the expiration date of the ink they will use on you.
- The needles should not be put directly into the ink bottles. Instead, disposable ink caps should be used for each customer.
- There should be no pets in the tattoo area.
- The staff shouldn’t smoke, drink, or eat in the tattooing areas.
After the Procedure
A really good tattoo parlor will give you a detailed set of instructions on what to do afterward. So you just need to follow those orders.
- Keep the bandage on the tattoo for at least 24 hours.
- Keep the tattoo clean. Use gentle liquid antibacterial soap and lukewarm water, and then pat it dry.
- Apply a generous layer of the good antibiotic ointment containing vitamin A and vitamin D.
- Take a shower every day. But only wet the tattoo areas instead of submerging them in the bath during the 1st 2 weeks.
- Avoid sun exposure.
- Wear loose clothes over the tattoos.
- Never pick or scratch the scabs. Use warm moist compresses 3 to 4 times a day.
With these tattoo safety tips, you end up avoiding nasty disasters. You look cooler, and not stupider. There’s a difference!