Piercings and tattoos. A tattoo is an image on your skin that has been applied with a special ink. Body tattooing has been around for centuries. In the past, it was often done during rituals and was a way of showing that you belonged to a certain tribe. There are all different images, such as figures, portraits, and flowers, that you can tattoo on your body. A tattoo is made by injecting ink into the skin.
What you see is the leftover ink that has remained in the deeper layer of the skin. You can have images placed almost anywhere on your body. Sometimes you don’t even notice that it is a tattoo, for example, if eyebrows or lips are tattooed. This is called permanent make-up. The most popular places for a tattoo are the lower back and ankles.
A piercing is less permanent. You will see piercings in different parts of the body. For example, you can have your nipples, tongue, navel, or genitals pierced. A hole is made in your body that you can decorate with a piece of jewelry, ring, or gemstone. When you remove the jewelry, the hole remains.
Why do people get a tattoo or piercing?
Tattoos and piercings are forms of body decoration. Many people take one because they just like it. You can distinguish yourself from others and show who you are. The decision to get a tattoo or piercing is up to you. It can give you a sense of control over your own body. There are also people who get a tattoo or piercing because they are going through important things in their life, such as reaching a certain age, a birth, a heavy crush, or surviving an accident. Tattoos can also serve to indicate that you belong to a certain group.
How do piercings or tattoos work?
Tattoos and piercings are usually applied in special stores. These stores are also called studios or shops. Every tattooer or piercer needs a permit and he must adhere to the guidelines for hygienic work. The permit is issued by the GG and GD.
It is prohibited to apply a tattoo or piercing to children under 12 years of age. For young people aged 12 to 16, there must be parental consent. The parents must also be present when the tattoo or piercing is done. Young people between the ages of 12 and 16 should not put a tattoo on the head, neck, wrists, or hands. There is also no piercing in the genitals and nipple piercing is prohibited for girls.
Before getting a tattoo, your skin must be shaved and thoroughly cleaned. Then the print of the tattoo is put on your skin. Getting the tattoo is done with the help of a tattoo machine. Needles enter the skin from the machine. The needles make an average of three thousand dots per minute. First, the outside lines are set, and then it is colored. Getting a tattoo can take from 30 minutes to a few hours, depending on the size and complexity of the figure.
When the tattoo is done, it will be cleaned and greased. The pain you feel has been described as shooting a rubber band, getting several pricks, a little tingling, getting sunburnt, or like having a drill through your skin. Your personal pain threshold, the size, and location of the tattoo, and the dexterity of the person applying the tattoo all determine the amount of pain involved in tattooing. Tattoos on your chest or upper arm hurt the least; the most sensitive is the skin just above your bones.
When you get a piercing, the area where the piercing will be placed is cleaned. The exact spot on your skin is drawn with a felt-tip pen. Forceps are now placed on your skin to pull the skin taut. Because these tongs are used, your skin is also less sensitive in that area and you can also pierce exactly in the previously drawn holes. The only thing that goes into the skin with a piercing is a hollow needle made of surgical steel. When the needle is pushed through the skin, the jewelry is placed in the needle and they pull the needle through the skin. Many people find the thought of pain worse than the pain itself. The areas that hurt the most are the nipples and between the nostrils. Getting a piercing takes about two minutes.
Do not get a tattoo or piercing while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. After a tattoo or piercing has been done, it must also be “taken care of”. In the shop, they will tell you exactly how to do this. For example, you should keep the area clean and ensure that the tattoo does not come into contact with water and sun for the first two weeks.
What are the risks of piercings and tattoos?
Infections can be transmitted when getting a tattoo or piercing. Allergies can also arise. Allergies, also called hypersensitivity, can arise from the ink in a tattoo. With a piercing, this is possible due to the material of the jewelry. The skin around it then becomes red, itchy, and sometimes hurts. On the basis of the following points, you can determine whether a tattoo studio is hygienic:
- Does the studio look clean and professional?
- Are the people applying the tattoo trained for this?
- Is there a separate workspace?
- Is the work area clean?
- Is there disinfection after every tattoo or piercing?
- Is there a sterilization device?
- Is there vinyl, tiles or laminate on the floor?
- Is there good lighting in the work area?
- Does the tattoo artist put on new gloves before starting?
- Does he keep using a new razor?
- Is he assembling the tattoo machine in front of you?
- Is the skin disinfected beforehand?
- Does he use new needles for every customer?
- Does he use cups to put the ink in and throw them away after every customer?
If all questions can be answered with yes, there is little risk of getting an infection. Of course, it is not easy to see all this at a glance. If you have any doubts, it is better to have a look around. Feel free to ask questions in the store itself.
A tongue piercing carries additional risks. The tongue is a well-blooded organ. Serious bleeding may occur after the piercing has been placed. Furthermore, it appears that a tongue piercing damages the tooth enamel.
How do you get rid of piercings and tattoos?
When you regret or have had enough of a tattoo and want to have it removed, there are four methods. You can burn off layers of skin with chemicals, you can also scrape them off, cut them off, or have them removed with a laser treatment. The first three methods seriously alter the skin and can leave unsightly scars. Getting a tattoo removed with laser treatment is pricey and often takes a long time. You never get a guarantee that the tattoo will disappear completely.
You can just remove a piercing when you don’t feel like it anymore. Usually you end up with a very small scar.
General advice and precautions
It is wise to visit a number of studios before getting a piercing or tattoo. You can also ask questions there. When you want to get a tattoo you have to know what kind of tattoo you want. Choose a tattoo that you like best. Take the time to choose a design. Think about it carefully and don’t be too impulsive. Keep in mind that a tattoo is in principle permanent and that removing it is expensive.
There are also temporary tattoos on the market that look really nice but don’t come with the pain, risk, and expense.
When getting a piercing, you also need to know what you want. A piercing is less permanent than a tattoo, but it must be done by a professional piercer. After all, it’s about your own body and health.
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