Important Questions to Ask Your Tattoo Artist Before Getting Tattooed

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■ Thoroughly wash your hands with antibacterial solution immediately before and after each tattoo application?

■ Wear latex gloves during the tattooing procedure?

■ Use single service materials and equipment (i.e., each needle and tube set is individually packaged, dated and sealed, and autoclave sterilized), and set up and open them in front of the client?

■ Use sterile disposable needles?

■ Have an FDA-regulated autoclave on site?

■ Sanitize your work space with an EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)-approved veridical disinfectant, preferably one that kills tuberculosis, before and after each client?

■ Thoroughly rinse tube/needle set from tattoo machine using an ultrasonic tank before discarding?

■ Properly dispose of contaminated materials?

■ Measure how the person who you talk with answers your questions—are they considerate and thorough, or are they annoyed by your inquisitiveness? You have a right to have your questions answered thoroughly in advance. When you get there, check out the studio— make sure it looks and feels clean. If you get there and you're uncomfortable, you can leave.


Tattoo needles will pierce the skin approximately. 1/16 of an inch, in the dermis. THE made up of layers. As a tattooist you must be concerned with the first five epidermal skin layers. The layer designations are Epidermis, Fibrosis, Dermis, Subcutaneous Fat, and Muscle.

The Epidermis or outer layer is responsible for protection against the environment.

The Dermis or middle layer is primarily responsible for structure and support and the Subcutaneous Fat layer is primarily responsible for insulation and shock absorbency. The Epidermis is divided into three sub layers: the STRATUM CORNEUM, the SQUAMOUS CELL layer and the BASIL CELL layer.

The STRATUM CORNEUM consists of several layers of dead SQUAMOUS cells and varies in thickness depending on location on the body. The thickest layers being on the bottom of the feet. The Stratum Corneum becomes thicker with age and exposure to the environment and thus more susceptible to wrinkles and creases.

It is also important to use Sun Blocks that tend to reside in this layer. It is desirable to stop the ultraviolet light from the sun at the surface of the skin rather than allowing it to penetrate into the skin. UV from the sun that penetrates into the skin can cause several types of damage including fading of tattoo ink.

The SQUAMOUS CELL layer is the middle layer of the epidermis and is the center for new skin growth.

Skin cells grow and multiply in this layer and are constantly pushed outward to eventually die and become part of the STRATUM CORNEUM

The BASIL CELL layer is the birthplace of new epidermal skin cells. Basil cells receive a chemical message when the skin is damaged or when the stratum corneum loses too many cells and becomes thinner than it is supposed to be. This results in the basil cells dividing and differentiating to form new skin cells and start the outward movement that results in new skin production.

When you are tattooed, the skin is stretched taught. This prevents knotting in the outlining. The ink is deposited in the dermis region, and when healed the ink can be seen due to the transparency of the skin cells.

Tattoo ink must be deposited in the dermis (just below the epidermis layer), because if the ink is too shallow in the skin, in the outer layers, it will fade with time, as those skin cells are replaced, and if it is too deep, it will loose its form with time in the fat layer.

Fat cells contract and grow with age, and (how fat you are)! and the ink will move, causing a distorted image. Stencils are applied to unstressed skin, the area should be in a natural state, don't flex your muscles while the stencil is being applied.

Once the stencil is in place, the skin is continually stretched taught, while the tattooing happens. If the skin is not stretched, the needles can actually bounce off the skin, and not penetrate, or the needles can catch the skin, tearing it, either case results in a poor tattoo.

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Tattoo Designs and Becoming a Tattoo Artist

Tattoo Designs and Becoming a Tattoo Artist

If you have any interest in possibly becoming a tattoo artist, this book will give you an inside look. Even if you don't want to become a tattoo artist, it will still give you an inside look at the profession.

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