Appreciating Great Art

Better Think Before You Get That Ink: Why You Need To Use Only A Professional Tattoo Artist

If you are planning on getting a tattoo, you shouldn't just walk into any tattoo shop to get it done. You should also not allow someone do it from their home, or even worse their garage. Below are two reasons why you need to only let a professional ink you, and what to look for in a tattoo shop. 


Granulomas are small bumps that you may see around the tattoo pigment. The bumps are usually blood red in color. This happens because your body's immune system is trying to fight off substances that it thinks is foreign, such as ink.

Some of these substances include fungi, bacteria, and infectious organisms, as well as other materials such as suture or keratin fragments.  

Fortunately, granulomas are benign and they may clear up on their own in a few weeks. If not, you will require surgery to remove them.

Blood Borne Diseases

If the tattoo artist uses a non-sterile instrument on you to give you a tattoo, you could get a blood-borne disease--such as HIV, the flesh eating virus, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and tetanus.  All of these disorders present different symptoms. If you feel sick at all after getting your tattoo see your doctor immediately.

What to Look for in a Tattoo Shop

Fortunately, there are many tattoo shops that are completely clean and sterilized, and will do a great job at giving you a tattoo.

Depending on the state you live in, tattoo shops may have to be regulated. For example, they may have to be licensed and have inspections done by the Department of Health Services. If your state requires this, ask the tattoo shop owner to show you proof of their license, and the last time they were inspected.

Ask the owner how they sterilize their equipment and how often they do so. Instruments are sterilized by being exposed to a high temperature that will kill any bacteria and spores.

Look at the artists giving tattoos to make sure they wear sterile gloves. They should throw away the gloves when they are finished. Any ink that is not used while giving a tattoo should be thrown away, and not be put back into the container to use on the next person.

Some tattoo shops use disposable medical grade instruments to prevent any health problems.

Once you determine the tattoo shop is safe, it is time to pick the kind of tattoo you want, which can be a very difficult decision because the choices are limitless.