A tattoo is a permanent design that is left on the skin. Tattoos are created by injecting ink into the epidermis using a tattoo machine. The sound is similar to that of a dentist’s drill. The needle moves quickly into the skin, approximately 2,000 times per minute. Every time the needle punctures the skin, it deposits a drop of ink. While the artist works on the design, he will continuously wipe the area down with antiseptic to disinfect the area.

One of the biggest areas of concern in regards to tattoos is safety. Since the skin is being punctured, the risk of infection is prevalent. Tattoo artists should always use sterile tools and proper sanitation when it comes to themselves and their customers.

Most of the equipment used is for single use only and come in sterile packaging. The tattoo artist should always sanitize their hands with soap and water before beginning any project, along with their work area. Before beginning, the artist will shave and disinfect the prospective area.

The pain is dependent on the customer’s tolerance, size and location of the tattoo and skill of the artist. Some people say it feels like being pinched or poked with a very small needle. Some areas of the body are more sensitive than others and may contribute to the pain level.

The tattoo artist will not only clean and disinfect the area throughout the process, but he will also wipe the area when they have finished. They will then apply ointment to the area and cover it. Listen carefully to the instructions on how to care for the tattoo once you leave the office. They will usually give you a list of detailed instructions to follow in the coming days. Make sure to ask any questions before you leave. Taking care of your tattoo and following the instructions carefully will help lessen your risk of infection. It’s normal for the area to be sore for the next couples of days.

Tattoos may change over time and will depend on the sun, wind, age and the way the skin stretches. Tanning and wrinkles can change the clarity and the color of the tattoo also. The overall  colors of the tattoo and how long they retain their vibrancy depend on how well the tattoo was cared for in the early stages. If the area scabbed, some of the color may have been removed. That’s why it’s important to follow the instructions properly. 

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