Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Tattoo Pain: Why does it hurt so good?

Your brain is 100% unique to you and only you. The way you feel and perceive pain can be vastly different from one person to the next. When we feel pain during a tattoo, sensory receptors in our skin send a message via nerve fibres to the spinal cord and brain stem and then onto the good old brain where the sensation of pain is registered, the information is processed and the pain is perceived. The response from there is what is unique to us.

So, if it hurts, why do we do what we do? Why are we so willing to put money into countless hours of what could easily be described as torture? A long time ago tattooing was more of a cultural ritual in which the pain was precisely the point! You earned your stripes, patterns, and designs. This holds true in many cultures.

Here in the US the popularity of tattoos has exploded. On average 1 in 5 persons have tattoos. 70% of those have more than one, 20% have more than 5. 32% of people with tattoos claim that it’s an addiction. (historyoftattoos.net) 

On the other hand its easy to argue that tattoos are not addictive at all but really just a perception of what truly draws them to tattoos. Many simply enjoy the collection of art accumulating on their body. Much like a collector of art or classic cars, nothing beats the excitement of getting something new.

When we receive a tattoo, yes it hurts but the pleasure and enjoyment we get from having that piece of art on us forever makes the pain worth it. Whatever the reason behind the tattoo: a memorial of a loved one, a design from a favorite artist, something that helps us find our identity, or even something absurd that makes us laugh when we look at it. We go back for more and more because we appreciate the way it makes us feel.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Blood Borne Pathogens and Bacteria: What are they and what do they mean for your new tattoo?

One of the many aspects of getting a new tattoo that is over looked by many is the need for a clean and sterile environment. In today's world we have seen a rapid increase of pop-up tattoo parlors and an increase in home tattoos. Sadly, this has been over looked for far too long. The biggest issue here is blood borne pathogens and a clean sterile environment where the tattoo is being performed.

So, what exactly is a blood borne pathogen? A blood borne pathogen is infectious microorganisms in human blood that cause disease. Some examples of these diseases are but not limited to hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Having a proper field preforming tattoos is crucial to preventing the spread of these diseases.

Aside from blood borne pathogens there is also a risk from bacteria causing infections such as staph or MRSA (a staph super bug)
How are these contracted you might wonder? They are due to cross contamination that occurs around an open cut, wound or abrasions. What’s cross contamination? It’s process by which bacteria or other microorganisms are unintentionally transferred from one substance or object to another, with harmful effect. Meaning this can occur from not washing your hands properly, and having uncovered and un-sterilized equipment being used to preform a medical procedure, a piercing or even a tattoo.

That’s why pop up shops and kitchen tattoos with no knowledge of blood borne pathogens or bacteria aren’t just unethical it’s deadly. In order to protect yourself it is crucial that you do your research! Find an established studio, take a look around and see for yourself!
Here at Lucky Bamboo Tattoo we cover EVERYTHING that the artist could touch during an appointment. Everything is wiped down and disinfected prior to setting up with sterile single use items. Such as drape sheets, pillow cases, bottle bags, clip cord sleeves etc. 

Artists are required by the health department to be blood borne certified. Which means they are trained to know how to prevent cross contamination to protect the client. These precautions shouldn’t stop here in the studio. After your appointment we send you with a sterile bandage that is designed to keep your tattoo safe and clean during the crucial phases of the healing process. Any new tattoo should be handled with care. Wash your hands before switching out or removing your bandage. If your unsure of what to do you should contact the studio/artist and follow their directions.
We can not stress enough the importance of not doing home tattoos and to do your research!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Why touch-ups aren’t touch-ups and why they aren’t free.

It’s all too common for artist’s to be asked if their artwork is guaranteed for life. If their client will receive endless touch ups as long as they keep coming back. While any experienced tattoo artist cares about the way their art will look for years to come, they take that into account while designing and even during the tattooing process. It is one of the many reasons that artist’s will make recommendations for your tattoo long before beginning the process. Such as suggesting a more defined outline, or going with black and grey because it holds up longer than color. These are just simple examples of how an artist will show that they care. Another example is planning on doing a follow up appointment after the tattoo is healed. This allows the artist to go over every aspect of their work and ensure that the tattoo is the best that it can be.

The human skin is the largest organ of the human body, many forget that your skin is just as alive as you are. It heals, it sweats, it moves, it stretches, and bends. One of the biggest factors to healing is client lifestyle. What they eat, drink, and their overall health. All of these things can be a factor during the healing process and how a tattoo might turn out. An artist only has so much control over that tattoo. Once they are finished, they wrap it up and send you home with care instructions. They don’t know if you are going to follow said directions or listen to your friend who “has a lot of tattoos so he must be an expert”!

Depending on the design, artists can spend countless hours and even days designing and preparing your tattoo. They put in this dedication because they are designing a one of a kind, handmade piece of art that you get to take with you wherever you go. Anyone who collects handmade items knows that they aren’t perfect. If they were, they would be manufactured by a machine and massively reproduced. Having a unique custom piece made just for you is the reason why you searched for your artist.

With all of that in mind, a quick “touch-up” doesn’t exist. It costs on average $60.00 just to set up properly for a tattoo, plus the tattoo artist’s time. While we know that no one likes to work for free, tattoo artists are no exception.