Your tattoo its origins and looking after it

By Tattoo Artist On July 3, 2012 Under Tattooing Tips

Tattoo Methods

Tattoos have been around for thousands of years. Its origins most likely lie in ancient Egypt. Throughout the years, different cultures have used many different tools and methods. As society evolved, so did technology, and today’s methods are far different than those of ancient times.

Old tattoo implements and their origin

Essentially, a tattoo is the placement of pigment into the second layer of skin (the dermal tissue that lies below the epidermis) to create a design.

Some tribal cultures cut channels into the skin and then rubbed in ashes, inks or other agents. Other cultures used sharpened sticks or animal bones to hand-tap the ink into the skin.   The traditional Japanese method still uses non-electrical, hand-made tools of sharp bamboo or steel.

Hawaiian hand-tapped tattoos are currently experiencing a comeback. However, there are many protocols involved, and it is more of a sacred ceremony than simple body art. The   Hawaiian tattooist chooses the design, which is based on genealogical information, social standing and rank. They use tools that are hand-carved from bone or tusk.

In the western world, the popularity of tattoo applications coincided with the invention of the tattoo gun in the 1800s. Prior to that, needles were used to pierce the skin many times until the design was complete.

Today, the most common way to tattoo is using an electric tattooing machine that inserts ink into the skin with a single needle or cluster of needles welded together. The machine drives the needles in a person’s skin at approximately 80 to 150 times a second. This is usually a sanitary practice. The tattoo artist cleans his or her hands thoroughly and then cleans the skin that will be affected.  A certified autoclave sterilized the equipment.

Prices vary depending on the tattoo’s complexity, the time it takes to complete the design, and the location of the tattoo studio. A small design may only take 15 minutes, while an elaborate one may take multiple sessions that last several hours at a time.

Early tattoo inks were derived from nature, with a limited variety. In ancient Hawaii, the kuku nut ash was mixed with coconut oil. Today, tattoo inks are mass-produced with unlimited colors that can be used and blended by tattoo artists in studios worldwide.

Taking Care of Your Tattoo

Taking care of your tattoo once you leave the studio is very important. Leave the bandages on for at least two hours so that no air-borne bacteria invade your wound. If your tattoo artist has covered your tattoo with plastic wrap, remove it immediately! Your tattoo needs to breathe!! A brand new tattoo needs care and attention

Once you remove your bandage, wash it with warm water and mild, liquid antibacterial soap. Do not use a washcloth, which could be abrasive. Pat it dry with a clean cloth or paper towel, and then follow with a light application of A&D ointment or Bacitracin. There are also products specially formulated for tattoos. Continue applying the ointment for 3-5 days.

You can shower with a new tattoo; just don’t soak it. If you use soap or shampoo, rinse it quickly with water. Stay away from hot tubs and bath tubs, and do not go swimming for at least two weeks.

Once your tattoo is healed, protect it from the sun’s ultraviolet rays with a minimum 30 SPF sunblock.

If you take care of your tattoo, it will retain its beauty for many years!


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