Anissa Cheeks & Joey Pacheco

Process of Tattooing

  • Paperwork & payment: Valid identification for proof of age.
  • Tattoo chair: If you are shy and don't want others to watch, you can request a private room.
  • Clean shave: The area for your tattoo will be cleaned with rubbing alcohol. Then any hair will be removed from the area by shaving it with a new disposable razor.
  • Applying the stencil: Artist uses a thermal-fax to make their stencils, then after using soap, water, or stick deodorant to moisten the skin, the design for your future tattoo will transfer on your skin.
  • Starting the tattoo: Ointment will be placed over your transfer design and then the artist starts lining your tattoo with the needle and ink. After the lining comes shading and coloring.
  • The finished tattoo: Your artist may take a picture of your tattoo for their portfolio. They'll clean it up, and sometimes even apply a hot towel to it.
  • Bandaging: A protective layer of ointment will be applied to the tattoo to prevent bacteria that can cause infection. Then a bandage will be applied and will be taped up to make sure it is secure.

Health Risks

  • A tattoo is essentially a series of punctures that insert dye into different levels of the skin.
  • One potential risk is a bacterial infection at the tattoo site. Symptoms are redness, warmth and a pus-like drainage.
  • You may also have a reaction to the tattoo, when bumps called granulomas or excessive scarring may appear.
  • If the equipment used was contaminated with infected blood, you can catch bloodborne diseases like tetanus, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
  • Might cause swelling or burning in the affected areas during MRI exams. Tattoo pigments can interfere with the quality of the image.

Future Aesthetic Consequences

  • Pregnancy can cause the tattoo to get bigger and it can either go back after the woman gives birth, or get a little mushy looking, like it has been out in the sun. Stretch marks are not good for a tattoo, it can make it bumpy.
  • Aging can't be changed about the entire process, tattoos will age along with your skin, plain and simple.
  • Exposure to sun and tanning are what will damage and age a tattoo the most over time.

What Do Tattoos Do To The Skin?

When getting a tattoo, the machine moves the needle up and down to puncture the skin between 50 and 3,000 times per minute. The needle penetrates the skin by a millimeter and enters a drop of ink into the skin with each puncture. When you look at a tattoo, you see the ink through the epidermis (outer layer of skin.) The ink is actually in the dermis, (second layer of the skin.) The cells of the dermis are much more stable than the cells of the epidermis, so the tattoo's ink stays in place, without fading for a person's entire life.