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Precautions to Take before getting a Tattoo

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Apr 26, 2011
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)
Quick Bites

  • Ensure that the tattoo artist wears gloves after washing his/her hands and before making the tattoo.
  • Keep a constant watch on the equipments that are being used for the tattoo; they must be sterialised.
  • Learn all about the step-by-step procedure that is involved in making a tattoo to be safe.
  • After the tattoo is made, make sure that you do not wear tight sleeves that may harm the tattooed skin.
  • Wait for the tattooed skin to heal for at least 2 weeks.
  • Keep the skin clean at all times.

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Artist inking tattoo

Tattooing is a popular trend among young adults and mostly for its ability to polish one’s personality and make one appear strong and powerful; a characteristic that the youth of today take pride in.But, the fact of the matter is that tattooing must not be taken lightly.

Tattoos can cause more health problems for you than favourable results if not taken proper care of before and after getting inked. Some of the safety precautions and aftercare steps that you must take include the following:


[Read: Different Types of Tattoos]

Precautions to Take


One of the best ways you can keep yourself protected from contracting any unwanted diseases is to insist on safety precautions at the tattoo studio. Below are some safety precautions you can take.

Do not tattoo yourself: do not try to tattoo your skin by yourself or let a friend do the same. Visit a tattoo studio that is well reputed and has a license and proper regulation. Make sure that you check with the local country, state or city’s health department to gather information on licensing as well as regulations.

Make sure the tattoo artist wears gloves: the tattoo artist must wash his/her hands before wearing a fresh pair of surgical gloves before he/she begins the procedure. Insist on the same if you see that the gloves are not being worn or the artists did not wash his/her hands before putting on the gloves.

Watch out for the equipment: You have got to make sure the tattoo artist is using the right equipment i.e. the needles and tubes are removed from packages that are well sealed before the artists begins the procedure. Also, the pigments, containers and trays must be unused.

Make sure non-disposable equipments are sterialised: ensure that the tattoo artist uses autoclave or heat sterialisation machine to sterialise the non-disposable equipments. Not all instruments, however, can be sterialised with autoclave and these include tables, drawer handles, sinks etc.; these can be disinfected with the help of commercial bleach solution or disinfectant after every use.

Know the Process: If you know the process that follows up to the point that the tattoo is finished, you are more likely to expect it to happen at whichever tattoo studio that you visit and this will make sure that if the artist forgets to skip something, you may remind him/her and make sure you are safe. Read thoroughly on what is involved in the process and decide if tattooing is really the right decision for you.


[Read: Tattoo Removal Techniques]

Tattoo Aftercare


The different ways in which a tattoo can be cared for depends on the extent and type of work that is done. Some of these after methods include the following:

Remove bandage after 24 hours: the bandage that is put around the fresh wound should be removed after 24 hours and an ointment applied on it as it is healing.

Keep the skin clean: make sure that you keep your tattooed skin clean at all times by washing it with plain soap and water. Avoid exposing it to direct stream of water when showering and remember to pat the area and not rub.

Wait for at least 2 weeks for the tattooed skin to heal
: if you see that your tattoo is drying up and scabs are forming on it, do not pick at it as doing so increases the risk of infection and may even damage the design and increase your chances of scarring.

Do not wear tight sleeves
: Remember to avoid wearing clothes that have tight sleeves and are likely to stick to the tattoo.

Use a moisturiser on the tattooed area regularly
: remember to keep applying a milk moisturiser on the tattooed skin a few times a day to make sure the area does not become dry and begin to shed flakes of dead skin.

Risks involved in Tattooing


There are lots of risks involved in tattooing when it is improperly done such as allergic reactions that can modify the design and make it into what you would want to remove, infections like hepatitis C because of needles that are not sterialised or already used and other blood-borne diseases, MRI complications like the tattoo transforming into other awkward shapes when you go through an MRI.


Read more articles on Body Art & Tattoo.

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