Everything you want to know about tattoos and tattooing

Earlier I have added a simple post on 7 important tips on tattooing. Now let me proceed with a detail article on the process of tattoos, tattooing and current trends. Now many youngsters come forward with tattooing their favourite objects on their body parts and also the names and symbols of their loved ones. Now it’s also a symbol of ‘Super Cool’ among youngsters.

Tattooing is of different types

Decorative, cosmetic, medicated, cosmetic – tattoos are mainly divided into these four types. Commonly done inking tattoos come under decorative category. Pictures, symbols, scenery and portrait come under this type. After some accidents, deep scars still persist and if dust or other objects got into it before the wound is completely healed, it is known as Chromatic tattoos. Medicated tattoos are treatment oriented and done on patient’s body. Name of allergic medicines, body parts to undergo chemo treatment etc are also printed in this way. Some patients may print slogans like ‘I don’t want to live in ventilator’, ‘I want Euthanasia’ etc. Some people may use tattoos to cover the scars left after surgery, while a few after removing breasts for cancer treatment may rely on tattooing.

Cosmetic tattooing is related to cosmetics and beauty, and used to beautify body parts. To increase lip colour, to increase thickness of eye brows and to put black moles on body parts cosmetic tattooing is used. Using a needle ink is put in the second layer of the skin, dermis. It’s something like a minor surgery and hence small preparations and caring are needed.

Those with skin allergies and infectious diseases should avoid tattooing if possible. Also wait till 18+ to do tattooing. To reduce the pain of tattooing, certain sprays are also used as local anaesthesia through which you get a freezing effect.

10 questions to ask yourself before tattooing

If you just want to make tattoo a fashion quotient to show off before others, after a few days you may feel bored with it and repent over the act. So it’s always wise to think multiple times before you pierce your body parts. Here are some of the common questions.

1. Can I withstand the pain of tattooing?

If you have fear towards blood and injuries, and can’t withstand pain, tattooing may not be an easy process for you. Such people should think thoroughly before doing so. Per minute a needle pierces the body for 80-150 times. Even if pain killing sprays are used, only pain is minimized. After the piercing process, you need to withstand some sort of pain.

2. This tattoo will stay with me forever. Am I OK with it?

A healthy body can heel any deep wound, and it’s beneficial for tattooing process too. Ink is directly pierced into the second layer, dermis. In normal cases, skin flushes out those objects which have direct contact with dermis with the help of blood. But molecules of tattoo ink are slightly bigger. That may be the reason why body keeps note of them as ‘harmless’. So tattoos stay with us permanently forever. But now treatments are also available to remove them. Chances are up to 90%.

3. Can tattoos give diseases for free?

Tattooing is done using needles. So if they are not sterilized properly, tattooing may invite diseases like AIDS, Hepatitis and skin diseases of different kinds. So never take risk. You should assure that the artist is experienced and he uses sterilized new instruments and new ink for the process. But till now, there is not clear cut idea about different principles to be followed or qualifications needed for this process.

4. Are you willing to face negative remarks and criticism?

Some close friends and relatives may not support you with the idea of tattooing. Some people may openly ask you if it was needed to disfigure body through tattoos. You should be able to face the society and friends which may label you wrong. If you can neglect such negative responses or convince them, it’s OK.

5. Why should I do tattooing?

If you are a person to do everything for fun, this question is not for you, because it’s not at all a funny thing. You should have a clear idea about why you are piercing your body with a needle. Reasons may be many – a particular religious belief, policies of life, to remember someone you love or keep a memory of past experience which affected you positively or negatively.

6. Is permanent tattoo needed? Is there any alternate way?

Some persons may love tattooing, but not sure if they want it permanently or not. Such confused minds can resort to temporary methods, so that they can remove it if required. Certain professions too never allow permanent tattooing. Henna designing and temporary tattooing can be tried in this case.

7. Do tattoos need after care?

Tattoos may not stay as fresh always. As time passes by cracks may appear or colours may fade. Simple and small tattoos may fade slowly. At this point of time, you may need to retouch it with the help of tattooing artist. Black colour stays long.

8. Is it wise to take quick decision and do tattooing?

Not at all! As tattoos stay with you permanently think wise before you proceed. Who is the tattoo artist? Do you know him before, or what about his previous work experience, which place is most hygienic – you need to find answers to all these questions. Social media may spread wrong information about tattooing. So it’s wise to approach the artist directly and convince yourself. You can also ask your friends who have done tattooing.

9. What’s my part in tattoo designs?

Some people might have only a vague idea about design. Take time to design your tattoo and you may need to draw it several times before reaching a desirable design. You can also seek opinion from the artist how to improve the design better. Always remember – you need to carry those tattoos whole through your life.

10. Are you fully convinced to do tattooing, or is it your friend’s opinion only?

Never do tattooing to impress your friends, colleagues or girlfriend. Never do tattooing to flaunt before others as a fashion quotient. You should have a strong feeling that you should do it, and that too without the compulsion of external forces. Never pierce your body for silly reasons. It should 100% be your decision.

Tattoos have some hidden meanings too

Most symbols used for tattooing have a meaning too. These symbols which stay with us forever can attract both positive and negative things towards us. Here are the meanings of a few tattoo symbols.

Semicolon – Semicolon means a phrase and not a complete sentence, which starts again with a new phrase. Tattoo with semicolon symbol is somewhat like that. Those who ink semicolon also belong to this category. They might have faced a few setbacks in life. Yet without putting a full stop they continued their journey. Those who have overcome the mind set of committing suicide may also ink semicolon.

Delta – Delta resembling a triangle supports changes.

Inguz – Greek symbol Inguz says that where there is determination and will, there is a way.

Lotus – In any bad or dirt circumstances, willing to grow to a beautiful flower just like a lotus

Sen circle – It represents universe, vastness and enlightenment

Anchor – The strength to withstand any adverse and bad situation

Ying-Yang – It originates from Chinese philosophy which states that world has both good and evil, and also good in evil and evil in good just like a human life.

Dragon – It has two meanings; positive meanings like sanity, strength and expectations and also negative meanings like jealously and immortal.

Tree – strength, patience and evergreen life

Wings – Freedom

Dream catcher – An armour to protect from bad dreams, bad thoughts, unlucky etc

Sun – Tireless efforts towards some dream, strength

Malin – An infinity symbol with arrow, this symbol makes us remember about the energy which takes life forward against setbacks and bad times

Butterfly – Transformation

Some Latin lines are tattooed, apart from universal designs, tribal tattoos, glif tattoos, scenery, portraits etc. Some people make story boards binding together their favourite things and tattoo it.

Before tattooing a few things to keep note of

Tattooing is done without going through instructions and laws. Tattooing is also done in street paths and festival places without much precautions. It can result in many diseases like HIV, skin issues etc. Sterilized instruments are must, and so is hygiene. Even while you search and find good tattooing studios, you need to take care of these points.

1. Choose a studio which you know earlier and an artist you can believe upon.

2. Check if provisions are available in studio to sterilize equipment.

3. Reassure that needle, ink, ink cap, gown and rap used for gun tip are fresh and new.

4. Sterilize instruments and skin before tattooing process.

5. Remove the hair in those portions before tattooing. Otherwise hair may go inside skin causing skin problems later.

6. Enquire about the work experience of the artist, and also from where he learnt this art. If he has not learnt properly he may not know perfectly at which depth needle is to be pierced. It can damage skin later.

7. Do an allergy test before the process. Also inform the artist about allergies, fever, diabetics, and also about keloid skin.

8. Never take drugs or drinks before tattooing.

Things to note after tattooing

In most studios, after tattooing, they wrap the tattoo with tattoo dermalize. For the next 24-48 hours, never remove it. Later wash it with lukewarm water and remove. If tattoo is wrapped with clear film, you can remove after 2 hours. Also use clean water to remove blood and other particles from tattoo. Using a clean towel, rub it. Some artists may give you tattoo wax to apply soon after removing the wrap. Otherwise use some chemical-free baby oil or moisturizer for the next seven days. Within 10 days the wound will be completely healed and the outer skin will peel off. It takes minimum two months for tattoo to become perfect.

1. After tattooing that portion may slightly remain swollen for the next 48 hours. After that if the condition still prevails, consult a doctor.

2. Never scratch that portion soon after tattooing.

3. For the first 7-10 days, allow direct contact with sunlight and dust. Also completely avoid sweating exercises, heavy jobs which may release sweat, swimming, weight lifting etc.

4. Even after few months, if conditions like swelling, itching, pain, bleeding etc exist, consult a skin specialist.

Because of professional and personal reasons, some people may want to remove tattoos. Earlier unscientific methods like rubbing those portions with salt were tried by many. But it can cause skin issues. Plastic surgery is not so common. Laser technology is most common in practice. Many people believe that laser treatment can completely remove tattoo easily. But truth is that it depends on the size of tattoo, depth at which skin is pierced as well as nature of skin. More sittings may need in some cases. 90% is the assured success of laser technology.

Certain ‘tattoo mistakes’ people often commit

Yes, people’s rough attitude towards tattoos has turned soft. Otherwise society used to treat it as a villain of films. Now tattoos are seen in the hands of hero, shoulder of the heroine and chest of villain. It is seen as a fashion quotient. In some cases, youngsters may receive high opposition from family for tattooing and laser treatment becomes the only solution.

In some cases to impress lovers, some people tattoo their names or something related to those memories. Do you remember the famous RK tattoo of Deepika Padukone while she was dating Ranbir Kapoor? If in case, the lovers break up the tattoo may stay there, giving memories every time he/she sees it. It may also cause issues if he/she dates another person later. Slight spelling mistakes can occur in tattoos which can change the whole meaning and purpose of tattooing.

In some rare cases, because of pain and fear, the person may leave the studio leaving the tattoo incomplete.  It’s ok, he can complete it later. Because of job’s nature, some companies may ask to remove tattoos before joining. There is no other alternative in this case, except to remove the tattoo even if it’s close to your heart.

Image source: Pixabay

Read a few more articles on hand & nail care and nail art too. Here is the page link. Click on the images in the gallery to read. 

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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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