Man has always had a need to decorate his body. If we go back in time, we find that people have embellished themselves with beautiful stones, feathers, flowers and animal skins, and painted with different clay and soil. The symbols the person had on the body usually had a religious or superstitious meaning. You were wearing amulets for different spiritual souls, or you painted special patterns on the body to protect yourself from diseases.
In our time when people wish to be more individual and have a personal touch, the tattoo (which has previously had major prejudice) has been accepted. It has become an embellishment approved in all social contexts. Anyone can wear a tattoo under the clothes.
Tattoos occur throughout the world and return to the oldest stone age people. Despite that, the man on the street knows very little about tattoos, which may be because the tattoo is an empty chapter in the history of art.
What is a tattoo?
Technically, it is a “permanent injection of ink or other pigments under the skin made by a rigid tool”
But for me it is a way to tell people about myself without talking!
Many wonder about the process itself, where we put the ink, etc. I therefore thought to summarize some books I have read as I think it explains in a good way.
Tattoos inject dye into the skin using small needles that puncture skin at a frequency of 50-3000 times per minute. The needles penetrate past the epidermis into the underlying dermis, leaving behind pigment in the entire area. The living dermis is composed of collagen fibers, nerves, sweat glands, sebaceous glands, blood vessels and basically everything that keeps skin connected to the rest of the body. Every time the needle penetrates, it causes a wound in the skin and alerts the body to begin the inflammatory process – the skin’s method to deal with danger. Cells of the immune system travel to the wound site and begin repairing the skin. These very cells are the reason tattoos are permanent. Specialized cells called macrophages virtually ‘eat’ the invading material in an effort to clean up the inflammatory mess. As these cells travel through the blood vessels, some of them are carried back, with a belly full of dye, into the lymph nodes while others remain in the dermis. Because macrophages don’t have a way of dissolving and disposing of the pigment, it remains in the dermis, where they are visible through the skin.
Initially, the ink is deposited in both epidermis and dermis, but as skin heals, the damaged epidermal cells are shed and replaced by new, dye-free cells. This is why the color may look less deep and vibrant as when all the cells carry the dye in the initial wound. It’s important to remember that freshly tattooed skin is wounded – and skin care services must not be performed in this area until fully healed. During this time, skin can be itchy, red, inflamed and sensitive, with a high risk of infection. Healing time can range, depending on the individual, from weeks to months. Because tattooing causes trauma to the skin, some individuals may want to think twice before going under the needle. It can trigger or worsen conditions like psoriasis, and skin may take longer to heal in those with autoimmune disorders or taking immunosuppressive medication. Other considerations include the pigment type and equipment sterility. Some pigments, especially red, can be phototoxic in some people, resulting in skin irritation when exposed to sunlight. Any abnormal reactions should always be checked by a physician.
There has been a lot of talk about the inks we use. I mostly use brands like Eternal Ink, Intenze and Blackest Black from Lundberg Custom Supplies. Because of this, I am registered in a color database so you can have the ingredients printed. Should you need even more detailed information about any specific color, we will arrange it for you!
What tattoo should I choose?
How should you know what to wear then?
My tattoos that I have chosen for myself are basically things that I think represent me, who I am and what I stand for. (Or, it’s just looking so damn nice!)
If there is something special you are interested in tattoos, do not be afraid to contact different tattooers and check what they are specializing in. Everyone has a different styles or things that they love to do more. The tattooer certainly makes a much better job if he does what he likes and is good at, then you get a much nicer tattoo!
I must add that I only use disposable materials, so there is no risk of spreading anything!
Things you should think of before getting a tattoo!
- You should preferably have eaten within three hours before tattooing, not good at tattooing on an empty stomach. If not bring anything to eat before we start. Otherwise, the risk is greater that you get dizzy or faint. I personally think that you are much more sensitive on an empty stomach!
- You should not be drunk! Permanent decisions should not be taken when affected by any drugs. Besides, someone who is drunk has really hard time to sit still and that’s making my job much harder and affecting the quality of the tattoo.
- You should not be pregnant! When getting tattooed, stress levels increase and the immune system is affected, nothing a doctor recommends during these nine months. Also applicable during breastfeeding time!
- Do not bring children that can disturb both my and your concentration. Is neither a child friendly environment here.
- Do not have the whole family or many friends with you, it is enough with just one person as moral support.
- Feel free to turn the sound off on the phone, making it easier for both of us to focus.
- Be in time! Getting late can ruin the whole schedule for me. Some things like traffic or illness you can’t control, but please let me know in time!
- Have old clothes that make it easier for the tattoo to be placed. Remember to wear a tassel if you have long hair and want a tattoo in your neck.
- If you know you are allergic to something or if you have any type of hypersensitivity or skin disease, consult a doctor before getting tattooed so that there are no complications.
- In Sweden there is no legal limit for how old you should be when you’re getting tattooed. BUT Recommendations from SRT (Sweden’s Registered Tattooers) say 18. At our studio Crooked Moon Tattoo we have a 18-year limit without exception!
How to take care of your tattoo?
Tattoos are a wound and therefore need to be treated well to make them heal properly!
Healing time can vary, but the most common is 2-3 weeks. You can continue to lubricate with a thin layer of ointment afterwards (you can use regular skin lotion after 3 weeks, as long as it does not contain dyes, fragrances, aloe vera or alcohol) The tattoo is completely healed when it feels like the rest of the skin!
- The plastic should sit at least 2hours, no more than 12! When you remove the plastic wash the tattoo from the remnants of blood, color and wound fluid. Wash with unscented soap (such as Lactacyd or soap specially designed for washing tattoos) Please do this in associated with a shower, it will be sore, but the tattoo must be washed!
- Air dry 20-30 minutes (Do not wipe with a towel on the tattoo)
- When the tattoo is dry, wash your hands and put a thin layer of ointment (Bepanthen from the pharmacy or other specially designed ointment for tattoos) Then put the lotion on around 2-4 times a day and a thin layer with ointment so the tattoo can still breathe! NOTE! Always clean hands when you put lotion on, wash with soap. it’s important if you wanna avoid infection!
- During the healing process, the tattoo will begin to itch and usually formed scabs. You must not poke or scratch directly on your tattoo (possibly patting gently with clean hands), you may not peel off the scab, colorless dots can occur in your tattoo where the scab has been scratched away plus the healing process may be longer. If you’re not careful, bacteria can cause infection. No one else besides you can poke at the tattoo, no other people or animals! Be sure to have loose, clean clothes the first week.
- You should not sunbathe in about 5-6 weeks; a new tattoo can react violently in direct sunlight! Is it summer keep the tattoo covered! Once the tattoo has healed, use the highest sun protection for continued best results, especially the color tattoos where they clearly look pale if they become sun-bleached!
- While the tattoo heals, you should not swim, not indoors or outdoors. When you want to take a shower so try not to get the tattoo too wet. Quick showers recommended, use non-perfumed soap or soap that is produced specifically for washing tattoos. Gently wash the tattoo to remove old ointment (do not forget clean hands and always air dry). No sauna as well.
- Avoid 3-5 days of ruff training. If you get very sweaty shower always afterwards! Remember that the tattoo is like an open wound that will heal as good as you treat it! NOTE! Professional tattoos are made during the best conditions! Most tattoo studios make no guarantees after you have left the studio.