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The Risks of New Tattoos . . .

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It’s the moment of truth. Your tattoo artist has wiped way the cleanser and you are looking in the mirror or down at your fresh tattoo.  Most of us have total satisfaction with this event.  The time, thought, energy, physical endurance and the financial investment all comes to fruition in this single moment of the reveal. There are few experiences that compare to the sweetness and satisfaction of seeing your freshly completed tattoo for the first time! For many, this is when your tattoo looks its absolute best, fresh, crisp and the ink is in its truest color. This is the very same moment your tattoo is its most vulnerable two risks that can weaken or distort the color, cause breaks in the line work, bubble up and leave the tattoo open to nasty infections. Risk One – Abrasions.  The simplest things like a towel brushing over your new tattoo or the dreaded moment you wake up in the morning to find your sheets stuck to your fresh tattoo or the way stiff uniforms or clothing rubs on your tattoo. Not to mention the agony of your dog jumping on it! All of these things can cause abrasions, knock off scabs that have formed, compromise the quality of your ink but they can frickin’ hurt too! Risk Two – Dirt. No matter how meticulous you are about the care of your tattoo, dirt will get in open skin. Soap or topical after care products are not a barrier and still ...Read More »

Gross Infected Tattoos: The Signs and Symptoms

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There’s a reason getting a tattoo hurts. The outer layer of your skin, which serves as your first line of defense against bacterial invasion, is destroyed in the name of body art. This is why fresh tattoos are susceptible to infection, which could easily destroy your tattoo before it’s even ready to be seen if it isn’t properly taken care of. Appropriate tattoo aftercare is the key to staving off infection, but every now and then even the best looked after tattoo gets infected by some inane freak accident of nature. Knowing the signs and symptoms of infection and catching it early is the best way to potentially save your tattoo and health before both are radically ruined. Inflammation – Fresh tattoos tend to feature a bit of swelling accompanied by a pinkish color around the tattooed area. However, if it started to look irregularly pink or red and feels warmer to the touch than the rest of your skin, then your tattoo may be infected. If it radiates heat for three days, seek medical attention ASAP. Swelling – A slight amount of swelling is normal. A large, uncomfortable amount is not. If you start seeing an increasing amount of swelling accompanied by pain outside the tattooed area, seek medical attention ASAP. Discharge – All tattoos produce ooze as the skin goes through the motions of healing itself, but that ooze should be clear and over with after about 48 hours. If it’s yellow or green and lasts longer than ...Read More »

Are Tattoo Conventions Sanitary? Helpful Guidelines–

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Tattoo conventions certainly have a lot to offer tattoo enthusiasts and the local communities, starting with access to some of the best artists from around the world, without the expense of flights and accommodations. The question of sanitation at conventions has long been a topic of concern debated by artists and collectors in the community…how can you protect yourself? As far as artists and sterility goes, you’re fine- the same professional level of cleanliness is mandated by the local governing bodies and health departments. In many places the artists are required to show proof of their own health licenses, if not acquire temporary ones from the city hosting the tattoo convention. So, that’s not the real problem. All the same sterilization techniques are used, their machines and equipment is covered, cleaned and/or disposed of between each tattoo. And all tattoos done at the convention site should still be properly cleaned and wrapped prior to anyone leaving the booth. No problem, right? So what’s the concern, then? Not much at all, until you visit the bathrooms and find dozens of those fresh, bloody, tattoo bandages discarded in the waste receptacles, lying around on the floors or even sitting on the sink countertops! Cross-contamination concerns abound! Once that bandage is removed, the safety barrier protecting their bloody wound from the outside environment (and vice versa) is gone. Without proper knowledge on sanitary procedures, everything those people touch after that bandage becomes a possible reservoir for disease- doors, sinks, stalls, mirrors, walls, furniture, bars, stools, ...Read More »

Deb Yarian On the Pain of a Tattoo

Deb Yarian tattoo artist

By Deb Yarian I’ve heard it over and over again from my customers – The more they get tattooed, the more it hurts, and I’ve thought about it and experienced it myself. I don’t think it’s my imagination. Each time I get tattooed it does seem to hurt way more than the time before! I have my own (not scientifically proven) theory about this… Simply put, if you were to be poked with a sharp object you would feel pain, your brain would say “hey there’s a pain, move away from the source of the pain.” The next time that you were poked with that sharp object, your brain again would direct you to move away from the source of the pain. Okay, so what happens if you don’t move away…? Your brain probably says, “hey, I recognize that pain, and I’ve directed you to move away from that pain source AND YOU’RE NOT!!!!” So what happens the next time you feel that pain and you don’t move away- again ignoring the primitive instinct to move one’s self out of harm’s way? Well this time your brain calculates that you’ve been stuck with this sharp object before and you still refuse to move away from the pain source- so your brain instinctively, as a survival mechanism, must some how convey to your uncooperative body the importance of moving away from the pain. So what does it do? It makes it hurt worse. Just because you’ve decided to subject yourself to ...Read More »

Can you tattoo over my scar/stretch marks?

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That’s a question we tattoo artists get asked a lot- “Can you tattoo over  scar tissue?” The answer to this question is yes, no, and maybe. It is possible to tattoo scars, (meaning, you can insert ink into scar tissue),but it’s important to realize that scar tissue differs from the rest of one’s flesh. It’s rough, rigid and much less porous. We’ll go into some detail below, but I want to say, first, that I’m no expert in dermatology; this blog is offered only as a starting place and guide to help people with scars and questions to navigate their options. My opinions are solely based on my experiences tattooing on and around scars, and on a very basic, working understanding of skin anatomy, (which every good tattooer should grasp.) For the general client looking to work over and around scar tissue, here are some basic questions to explore with your professional tattoo artist: What kind of scar is it? Is it a stretch mark? Was it from a cut? How deep was it? How deep does the scar tissue go? Are you prone to keloid? Is it a raised scar? Scars aren’t the exact same type of tissue as regular skin, and scar tissue tends to be more sensitive than routine skin. Is there nerve damage in the area of your scar? If so, the nerve damage may increase the discomfort you feel when you get a tattoo. Are you wanting to alter the texture of a scar? Tattooing ...Read More »

Aftercare: Skinlock product info

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Skinlock is a supporter and paid advertiser of TAM, they also happen to offer one of the most unique aftercare product lines around, with some top notch names supporting them. I really can’t wait to try it out, myself. [NOTE: This is for artists- Skinlock sells only to tattoo shops and professional artists via reputable supply companies. Inquire for more info.]  SkinLock Summary: Applied immediately to a fresh tattoo, SkinLock quickly locks your ink in place, stops all of that nasty “oozing” and protects your fresh tattoo with a 100% transparent, flexible and antimicrobial barrier.  With a quick spray, SkinLock replaces all of those messy, unsanitary and hard-to-apply meat pads, vet wraps and plastic wraps with a clear, breathable solution that is easy to apply to ANY part of the body in seconds.  Plus, SkinLock helps to speed up recovery time.  Within three hours, SkinLock will have delivered better results and will have protected the integrity of your tattoo better than any other product or method can deliver within several days.  There is no other product available today that compares to the benefits of SkinLock. SkinLock is used daily by hundreds of the most talented artists around the world including Roman Abrego, Jack Rudy, Bob Tyrrell, Joe Capobianco, Charlie Cartwright, John Montgomery and many, many more. Remember, a tattoo is not fully complete until it’s fully healed.  Don’t compromise your fresh ink… demand the best.  LOCK IT IN with SkinLock. Key Features & Benefits        Locks ink in place;        Stops ...Read More »

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