Does It Hurt?
THIS IS THE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION IN OUR STUDIO (and everyone else’s studio) AND THE ANSWER IS…. YES, IT HURTS!
But ask yourself this question…. “If it hurt’s that bad then why are there so many people with Tattoos and/or Piercings?” The answer is simple… IT DOESN’T HURT THAT BAD! Everyone has a different level of pain tolerance. What might be unbearable to one person might be pleasurable to another. No matter who you are though, you can handle it.
WHAT IS THE MOST PAINFUL PLACE TO GET A TATTOO/PIERCING?
For a tattoo the bottom of the foot is the most sensitive followed closely by the Gluteus Maximus (buttocks). There are a lot of nerve clusters located in the foot and “butt” which accounts for the sensitivity of these areas. Likewise areas close to the bone are sensitive for the same reason.
For a Piercing the nipple wins the sensitivity award.
WHAT IS THE LEAST PAINFUL PLACE TO GET A TATTOO/PIERCING?
For a Tattoo the outer bicep is the least sensitive.
For a Piercing the tongue is the least sensitive (if done correctly). The center of the tongue (where the piercing is done) is a muscle and has no nerve clusters. All the nerve clusters in the tongue are located in the outside edges.
DO YOU NUMB IT?
No! Why would you want too? A tattoo or piercing is not so uncomfortable that you cannot stand it. The sensation is part of the experience. Without it you have not earned your art! Besides the spiritual factor though there is a physical reason for not “numbing it.” All topical or sub-dermal anesthetics work the same way, they swell the skin away from the nerve endings. For a tattoo this can mean that the pigment will run and bleed under the skin, missing the skin glands and making for a very ugly tattoo. For a piercing it can lead to misalignment thus making for a botched piercing. Avoid any studio that offers to “numb it” for you, they are ripping you off!
HOW DO I KEEP MY TATTOO/PIERCING FROM GETTING INFECTED?
The best thing you can do to keep an infection from occurring is follow to the letter what your artist or piercer tells you to do for the aftercare procedures. In the event that you have gotten bad or no after care advice…. CLICK HERE for care instructions (one for tattoos and one for piercings) that may help you.
HOW DO I KNOW IF THE PLACE THAT I AM GOING TO GET MY TATTOO/PIERCING DONE IS SAFE?
The answer is…. You don’t know! Just because a studio is licensed is not a guarantee that they are a professional studio or that the people working there are competent. Unfortunately in many locations tattoo and piercing laws are outdated and/or too liberal being nothing more than a way for local government to generate extra revenue. Don’t be swayed by window dressing! Anyone can create a plaque, certificate or trophy claiming skill or credibility. That is why you should do your research and ask the right questions before you decide on a place to get your work done. Below is a list of questions you should ask yourself when choosing a studio.
- Have you seen PHOTOS of the Artists work
- Are they in a Licensed Studio?
- What are the licensing requirements?
- Have you talked to people that have received work from that Studio/Artist?
- Have you watched the Artist work?
- What is their experience?
- What is their training?
- Do they take continuing education classes
- Do they Auto-Clave (steam pressure) sterilize?
- Do they understand that Dri-Clave is not proper sterilization?
- Do they have a current spore test for the auto-clave (within 3 months) showing negative growth?
- Do they open sterile packages in front of the client?
- Are they a Tattoo Artist or a Tattooist?
- Will they be able to give you what you want?
- Does the artist have proper hygiene?
- Is the studio clean (use your nose and eyes)?
- Is it free of animals (including fish tanks), and trash?
- Are the work areas clinical and free of food and debris?
- Do they restrict smoking to areas outside the building?
- Do they practice “Universal Precautions” treating everything as if it is contaminated and taking proper steps for sanitation and disposal?
- Do you feel comfortable with this person and were you comfortable with their answers?
- Was the studio personnel evasive in their answers?
All of the above questions and the answer to them are very important when deciding who will do your Tattoo or Piercing but the most important question is the last one! If the Artist you have chosen gives you the run around, is evasive in their answers, doesn’t have time to answer, gets aggravated with your questions or just makes you feel uncomfortable…. Then head for the door and continue your search because you’re in the wrong place!
WHY ARE TATTOOS AND PIERCINGS SO EXPENSIVE?
There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes that you never see to give you what you want. Needle making, sterilizing, cleaning, book keeping, etc. Then there is the cost of maintaining a Professional Studio. License fees, training, continuing education, supplies, building lease/mortgage, utilities, taxes, etc. Last but certainly not least is the fact that you are paying the Artist for their Talent and expertise. Getting a Tattoo and/or Piercing is not a bargain shopping experience. If the price you are quoted seems to be too good to be true then there is something wrong. Someone once said it better then I….
“A GOOD TATTOO IS NOT CHEAP AND A CHEAP TATTOO IS NOT GOOD.”
CAN SCAR TISSUE BE COVERED WITH A TATTOO?
A lot of people ask me about scar cover-ups. They want to know if it is possible to cover their scars. The answer is “YES, YOU CAN.” At one time it was believed that scars could not be covered and most tattooists would not touch them. Then in 1978 a man came to me that had 2nd and 3rd degree burns on 75% of his body from an industrial accident. Over the next year this man allowed me to experiment on his right arm and I was able to develop the technique that is still used today by most professional tattooist for covering scars. What was once thought impossible is now very possible thanks to a man that allowed me the opportunity to try so many years ago. Below is the advice that I give to people that are considering getting their scars covered and have questions about the procedure:
Yes, scars can be covered but it is a difficult and tedious process. Also, if the scar is raised there will be an indistinct area in the tattoo (where the scar is) that will be raised. Below is what is involved in covering a scar.
1. It is time consuming. Depending on the individual’s skin or scar texture, a single line may require two or more passes with the needle before it takes.
2. It can be and often is more painful than the average tattoo. Scar tissue is very sensitive since the nerve endings are closer to the “new skin” (unless the nerve ends were destroyed when the damage occurred).
3. Once set within the scar or graft tissue black will stay. Color can be set within the tissue however, may bleed or fade from the skin and this possibility should anticipated but not expected. There is always a slight possibility that the black may blot or run beneath the tissue, but if a very fine line is used this problem can be virtually eliminated.
4. I often recommend to my clients who wish to have their scar or graft tissue tattooed that they get a very small tattoo within the area first, as a test to determine if their skin will accept the pigment. Then, if all is well, the small tattoo can be covered or incorporated when the major artwork is applied.
5. Last but certainly not least, it is very important that the scar and/or graft tissue be at least one year old before tattooing is attempted (the older the scar, the better). Destroyed tissue takes a long time to heal, so the older the scar, the better it will take the pigment.