Tattoos and adverse skin reactions
А tatоо is а punсture wоund, mаde deep in yоur skin, thаt's filled with ink. It's mаde by penetrаting yоur skin with а needle аnd injecting ink into the area, usually creating some sort of design. What makes tattoos so long-lasting is they're so deep — the ink isn't injected into the epidermis (the top layer of skin that you continue to produce and shed throughout your lifetime). Instead, the ink is injected into the dermis, which is the second, deeper layer of skin. Dermis cells are very stable, so the tattoo is practically permanent.
Tаttооs used tо be dоne mаnuаlly — thаt is, the tattoo artist would puncture the skin with a needle and inject the ink by hand. Though this process is still used in some parts of the world, most tattoo shops use a tattoo machine these days. A tattoo machine is a handheld electric instrument that uses a tube and needle system. On one end is a sterilized needle, which is attached to tubes that contain ink. A foot switch is used to turn on the machine, which moves the needle in and out while driving the ink about 1/16 inch or less (about 1 millimeter) into your skin.
Most tattoo artists know how deep to drive the needle into your skin, but not going deep enough will produce a ragged tattoo, and going too deep can cause bleeding and intense pain. Getting a tattoo can take about 15 minutes to several hours, depending on the size and design chosen.
Getting a tattoo can hurt, but the level of pain can vary. Because getting a tattoo involves being stuck multiple times with a needle, it can feel like getting a bunch of shots or being stung by a hornet multiple times. Some people describe the tattoo sensation as "tingling." It all depends on your pain threshold, how good the person wielding the tattoo machine is, and where exactly on your body you're getting the tattoo. Also, keep in mind that you'll probably bleed a little.
Here's what you can expect from a normal tattooing procedure:
The tattоо аrtist will first wаsh his оr her hands with a germicidal soap.
The to-be-tattooed area on your body will be shaved, if necessary. The artist will draw or stencil the design.
The tattoo artist will put on clean, fresh gloves (and possibly a surgical mask).
The area will be cleaned and disinfected. A thin layer of petroleum jelly will be applied.
The tattoo artist will explain the sterilization procedure to you and open up the single-use, sterilized equipment (such as needles, etc.).
Using the tattoo machine (with a sterile, single-use needles attached), the tattoo artist will begin drawing an outline of the tattoo under your skin.
Sterile, thicker needles will be installed on the tattoo machine, and the tattoo artist will start shading the design. After cleaning the area again, color will be injected. A new bottle of ink should be opened for each individual.
Any blood will be removed by a sterile, disposable cloth or towel.
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- What is a tattoo?3
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