What about sterilization? Can I get AIDS from tattooing?
This is the most important question you can ask. To cover what you should know, a complete sterilization section follows these questions. Remember, no matter how good an artist or how bad you want the tattoo, improper sterilization is NOT worth the risk. To date, there has NEVER been a single transmission of the AIDS virus through tattooing. Perhaps because of the shallow penetration of the needle. However, that does not excuse the need for proper cleanliness and sterilization of tattoo equipment. Other blood-born diseases such as hepatitis and syphilis are life threatening and can be spread without adequate precautions. Receiving a tattoo CAN BE COMPLETELY SAFE as thousands of people are tattooed every year. Professional tattoo studios have been in the forefront of proper sterilization for years, long before it has so recently become fashionable. Familiarize yourself with the sterilization information below, not only for your tattoo but also for your knowledge when at your doctor, dentist, or hospital. These guidelines are standards in medicine and should be upheld by all professional personal service workers.
What does it feel like? How bad will it hurt?
Usually the first question asked. It is similar to a sting or slight burning sensation during the first 5-10 minutes. The discomfort will then lessen to an irritation. Afterwards, the tattoo will feel like a sunburn, warm and slightly irritated, but not painful.
How deep does the needle go?
A tattoo is a shallow wound or penetration to the skin. Your skin is made of two main sections: the epidermis and the underlying dermis. A tattoo is placed into the dermis area. When you pluck or tweeze a hair, you are pulling from the same area that the tattoo needle will go. As and example of depth, look at the inside of your wrist, where the veins can be seen. A tattoo in that area will NOT puncture the vein, when applied properly by an experienced professional.
Is there any blood?
We do not tattoo into the circulatory blood system. However, there is some body fluid involved and minor skin surface bleeding similar to a shallow scrape. Most people are amazed at the lack of bleeding involved.
How long does it take to heal?
This answer varies as to the person, the health of the person, type of tattoo and location of the tattoo. Generally, you will care for your new tattoo for the first two weeks, with healing time averaging 7-10 days. Your artist will go over the BEST method for you and your type of tattoo.
Is it better to get Black or Color work? What about the brightness of colors?
Although generally a choice or preference, if you work outside or enjoy sun tanning or a tanning bed, realize that you will have to make an effort to maintain your colors. A tattoo is under the skin surface. The amount of melanin (skin color) or suntan you have will affect the colors of your tattoo much the same as looking through a tinted window. You can consult with your artist for the individual attention in this area. A sunblock of at least 45 or higher is recommended for the care of your tattoo against the sun.