How tattoos are created
Typically, the tattoo artist uses a hand-held machine that acts much like a sewing machine, with one or more needles piercing the skin repeatedly. With every puncture, the needles insert tiny ink droplets. The process causes a certain amount of bleeding and pain.
Insist on Safety Precautions
Whether you are considering a tattoo or body piercing, ask yourself these questions:
Who will be doing the tattoo or piercing?
Don’t allow an untrained friend to give you a tattoo or piercing. Don’t attempt to do it yourself either. Go to a body art studio that employs only properly trained artists. In the state of Ohio, body art establishments must be annually inspected by the local health department and are required to have an Approval To Operate certificate. Contact us for a full list of body studios in Medina County that we have inspected and have been granted an Approval to Operate certificate.
Does the artist wear gloves?
Make sure the body artist washes his or her hands and wears a fresh pair of protective gloves for each procedure. This is for both your protection and theirs.
Does the artist use proper equipment?
To reduce the risk of hepatitis, make sure needles and tubes are removed from sealed packages. Pigments, trays, or containers should also be unused. Diluting ink should be done with sterile water NOT tap water.
Does the artist sterilize nondisposible equipment?
Again, to reduce the risk of hepatitis, make sure the artist uses a heat sterilization machine (autoclave) to sterilize all nondisposable equipment between customers. Instruments and supplies that can’t be sterilized such as drawer handles, tables, and sinks, should be disinfected with a commercial disinfectant or bleach solution before each use.
Take Good Care of Your New Tattoo or Piercing
Ohio law requires body art establishments to provide each patron with verbal and written care instructions.
- Remove any bandaging within 2-24 hours. Follow care instructions provided by the body artist.
- Apply an antibiotic ointment, not petroleum jelly, to a tattoo while it’s healing until a scab is formed.
- Keep the skin clean. Use plain soap and water, and a gentle touch. While showering, avoid direct streams of water on the newly tattooed or pierced skin. Pat, don’t rub, dry.
- Use mild moisturizer several times a day on newly tattooed skin.
- Avoid sun exposure and tanning beds. Keep tattoos out of the sun for at least a few weeks.
If you think your tattoo or piercing might be infected or you’re concerned that it is not healing properly, contact a healthcare provider immediately.