Body tattoos have been a part of our culture since long and these are often associated to public statement of who and what we are. It talks about your identity and the way you want to be perceived by others. It’s not something to be done without thinking about it carefully, but it’s not something to be afraid of either. Getting a permanent ink injected in the skin is perhaps the most important decisions you can make.
A permanent tattooing procedure involves inserting special ink into the layers of the skin with the help of special equipments and needles to change the pigment for either establishing an identity for oneself or some other decorative, spiritual or cosmetic purpose.
A puncture wound is made deep into the skin with a needle injecting ink into the area. The ink is injected deep into the dermis, which is the second layer of the skin.
The electric tattoo machine is the most commonly used equipment used to insert the ink into the skin layers via set of needles.
Dyes and pigments used:
Tattoo inks are permanent. They however, fade gradually with time. Tattoo inks mostly comprise of 2 elements: carriers and pigments.
Pigments: provide color and are sourced from natural minerals, salts and vegetable dyes.
Carriers: They act as medium of delivering the pigment colors to the skin. Listerine, pure water, propylene Glycol and glycerine are some of the most popularly used carriers. Alcohols used in the ink disinfect the skin surface.
There are unlimited number of colors and shades of tattoo ink available. The colors are often mixed by the tattoo artists to create their unique pigments. The inks are carbon based pigments.
Once you have your permanent tattoo on your skin, it’s now time to take proper care of it so that the tattoo ink does not fade away. Follow the following instructions to keep your tattoo safe.
1) A newly done tattoo needs to be wrapped with a temporary bandage for the first twenty-four hours.
2) A new tattoo need to be cleaned properly there are various products available in the market. It is recommended to use oil based ointments.
3) Avoid too much contact with hot tub or pool water for the first two weeks to avoid the tattoo ink from fading and to avoid any infection that may occur due to exposure to bacteria and chlorine.
4) Avoid exposing the tattoo to the sun for long periods as it can cause the image to fade away.
5) The amount of ink that remains in the skin during the healing process determines how the final tattoo will look like. Infection or too much exposure to sun and water can fade away the tattoo ink making the final image not worth the effort put into getting it done.
6) Bepanthen is the most recommended tattoo after care product recommended by the tattoo artists in the UK.
Permanent tattoo “health risks”
Infections and allergic reaction are common to take place since permanent tattooing requires breaking the skin layers. It is therefore, important to choose a professional to get the permanent tattoo done.
Infection: Un-sterilized tattooing equipments, needles and contaminated ink invite infections and diseases. The most dangerous ones are the Hepatitis and Aids. They also cause some surface infections such as tetanus, fungal infections and staph. It is therefore utmost important to make sure that all the tattooing equipments and needles are clean and sterilized before use.
Allergy: People with sensitive skin often get some allergic reaction like itching, swelling along with rashes on the skin. They should take some extra care. Avoid rubbing the tattoo area and avoid contact with soap as it contains chemicals that can trigger the allergy. Take some medical advice from your nearest dermatologist.
Insertion of certain tattoo inks, of particular colors are known to cause allergic reactions.
Choosing the right salon:
In order to avoid the above health risks, it is very important to choose a salon run by professional tattoo artists.
The risk of getting infections and allergic reactions is rare when you get your tattoos done in a clean tattoo studio where the professionals use sterile single-use needles.
Visit a number of studios and share the experiences of people who got the tattoos done. Check out that the studio is clean and hygienic and all the equipments are kept in place.Talk to the tattoo artist and discuss what you want. Have a look at some of their work.Make sure that the artist puts on disposable gloves.
Last but not the least, the competence of tattoo artist is very important because it determines the aesthetic result of your would-be body tattoo picture.
Tattoo on various body parts:
Not all the skin on your body is the same. The skin on different parts of the body reacts differently to the pigment. There are some body areas where the pigment stays long and areas from where the ink fads faster.
Let us have a quick look on the body areas where one could get the permanent tattoos made.
1) Tattoos on the lower back:
The most preferred location on the body by women having get the tattoos done. It makes one feel sensuous, flirty and extremely sexy. Many celebrities have got tattoos done at their lower back. Famous ones being: Angelina Jolie and Jessica Alba.
2) Tattoos on the back:
Location preferred by women who wish to look bolder and sexy enough. Tattoos on the back can be done in small parts on the shoulders, along the vertebral column, on the sides or throughout the back as desired. Celebrities with tattoos on their back are: Angelina Jolie and Lena Headey.
3) Tattoos on the Neck:
Tattoos on the neck look both sexy and bold. One can get a tattoo anywhere around the neck, lower neck, the sides, along the thorax or even at the back side in some interesting and delicate patterns. If you wish for a sexy rather than a bold look, go for small and intrinsic star and floral patterns. They offer a feminine look. If you wish to go for a bolder look, you can go for some bold calligraphic patterns or animal /reptile designs.
Celebrities with tattoos on their neck are: Rihanna and Victoria Beckham
4) Tattoos on the chest:
Chest tattoos make women look sexy. Floral, cupid and star designs look great on the sides of the chest. Flowy calligraphic patterns across the chest look cool. You can get yours as well as your boyfriends name written across the chest. Celebrity with tattoo on her chest is: Angelina Jolie
5) Tattoos on the breasts:
Tattoos on the chest can be made either to hide some skin flaws or solely for erotic purpose to make it look more attractive and sexy.
6) Tattoos on the abdomen:
Tattoos on the abdomen look stylish and sexy. Floral veils look extremely. One can go for an overall abdomen tattoo, along the midriff or have small tattoos at the sides.
7) Tattoos on the lower abdomen:
A tattoo popping out of low-rise jeans makes you look extremely sexy and sensuous. Go for such tattoos to grab away all the attention to your well-toned abs and waist. Stars and floral prints give you the feminine touch whereas; lizards and snake make you look extremely seductive.
8) Tattoos on the bikini line/ Below belly-belt :
Getting tattooed on the bikini line or below the belly-belt is also a popular choice among women just like getting the genitals pierced. However, the skin along the bikini line and entire bikini area is extremely sensitive. Taking care of the tattoo on that region is not easy due to hygienic reasons.
Celebrities with tattoo below belly- belt are: Alyssa Milano and Drew Barrymore.
9) Tattoos on the arm :
Tattoos made on the lower arms, upper arm, forearm and shoulders gives a bold look.
Running patterns or psychedelic designs on the entire arm looks stylish and shows a rebellious attitude. Celebrities with tattoo on their arm are: Pamela Anderson, Amy Winehouse.
10) Tattoos on the wrist:
A snake design encircling the wrist, parallel lines, tribal prints etc, all look good on the wrist. Celebrity with tattoo on her wrist is: Lindsay Lohan.
11) Tattoos on the ankle and foot:
Tattoos on the ankle can be bold tribal design or can be a delicate one. Some running patterns can run up the legs or cover the foot. The ones done on the foot tends to fade quickly.
12) Tattoos on the face:
Tattoos around the eyes, above the eyebrows, at the check, on the chin, lips and even tongue are very popular among women. A small butterfly or a star at the outer corner of the eyes looks cool. Women also go for permanent eyebrow tattooing to get rid of threading.
Permanent body tattoos can be removed by surgical procedures. Some of the procedures are mentioned below:
1) Laser removal: Laser can lighten the tattoo ink. It takes several settings to get them fade completely. However, there are chances of getting allergic reactions since the laser causes some allergic substances in the tattoo ink to be released into the body.
2) Dermabrasion: In this process, layers of skin are abraded using a special brush. It leaves a permanent scar though.
3) Surgical removals: Involves the use of tissue expanders. These are balloons inserted under the skin to prevent scars that appear after removing the tattoo.
Removable tattoo ink
While tattoo ink is in generally very painful and laborious to remove, a recently introduced ink called InfinitInk has been developed to be easier to remove by laser treatments than traditional inks.