Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Angelina Jolie Coordinates Tattoo of Kids and Brad

Angelina's tattoos represent the longitude and lattitude geographical coordinates of the birthplaces her six children and her partner, Brad Pitt.

pic source:

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Aftercare Tips: Caring for a New Fresh Tattoo

The most important thing to remember after getting a new tattoo is that your fresh tat is a WOUND and should be treated as such.  Remember that a tattoo needle just went in and out of your skin, breaking it over and over as it deposited ink!  It is very crucial that you take care of it with this in mind to avoid infections or delayed healing.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when your tattoo is first complete.

1. The bandage is there for a reason.  Again your tattoo is a huge or tiny wound and it is susceptible to getting infected.  Keep your bandage on for at least two hours and maybe even longer.  Don't remove it until after the bleeding stops.  The bandage keeps your tattoo from being exposed to nasty germs in the air looking for breeding grounds. It can be practical torture to wait before you show off your new ink to your friends, but your health is more important.

So keep that bandage on, UNLESS your tattoo artist wrapped it in plastic saran wrap!  Back in the day tattoo artists started wrapping new tattoos in saran wrap so that people could show off their tattoos immediately because you can see through it.  The problem with saran wrap is that it does not allow air to enter or exit and the temperature under the barrier increases--perfect conditions for bacteria to grow and breed!

Not only is saran wrap a personal infection risk, the pores underneath stay open longer than usual in response to the heat.  Do you know what this means?   If your pores are continuously open, they will weep, or leak out fluids.  This plasma and fluid material will then accumulate at the bottom of the bandage and drip and get on other surfaces and people.  What if this person has HIV or some other blood-borne infection?  The fluids are not contained and this is dangerous. 

2. When it's time to remove the bandage, do so very gently.  Don't snatch it off.  If it sticks to your skin, apply a little moisture to make the removal process easier.   Some suggest that you let it air out for a few hours before doing anything.

Wash your tattoo carefully with water and mild soap.  This will wash away any dried plasma and ointments the tattoo artist may have applied. Your hand is your best tool here.  Do not use abrasive wash cloths or do any scrubbing (are you crazy?!).    PAT the area dry with paper towels and apply an ointment (A&D, Neosporin) that you know that you are not allergic to.  For the next several days, keep your tattoo from drying out by applying fragrance free lotion.

3.  From then on it should be smooth sailing.  You can get the tattoo wet in the shower, just don't submerge it for a long time under water.  If your tattoo starts to scab, moisten it with a warm wet towel a few times a day and the scab will soften and fall off on its own.  Whatever you do, don't scratch or pick--you may ruin your tattoo by doing this.   Be sure to protect your tattoo from the sun also.  The UV rays can fade the ink in a brand new tattoo.  Use sunscreen on your tattoo forever to keep it bright and beautiful.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Risks With Getting Inked: Tattoos That Are Infected

One of the risks with tattoos is developing an infection that not only poses a threat to your health, but also could affect the look of your tattoo.

Tattoos that are infected are not a pretty sight.  Here are a couple visual examples of infected tattoos.

As you can see these tattoos are red, swollen and crusty.

Signs and Symptoms of a Tattoo Infection include:

  1. Pain, swelling and localized tenderness
  2. Pus or discharge or any color
  3. Fever (an elevated temperature may mean that the body is trying to fight off the bacteria causing the inflammation)

How to Treat an Infected Tattoo:

Once you see evidence of a tattoo infection, you should get some A&D or Neosporin ointment to decrease the amount of bacteria near the tattoo.  Make sure to keep the tattoo as dry as possible--moisture is a breeding ground for bacterial growth.  Keep your hands off!  Don't touch, poke or pick at it.  This halts the healing process and also introduces more bacteria to the area. 

You should visit the doctor or emergency room if your symptoms persist for more than 2-4 days with home treatments and if the area becomes numb.  You may need stronger medication to fight off the infection.  Do not hesitate to get help before the infection gets out of control.  Worse case scenarios include sepsis (when the infection enters your bloodstream) and the spread of a flesh-eating bacteria. 

How to Avoid Your Tattoo Becoming Infected:

First of all, make sure that you are not sick (and immunosuppressed) when you go in for your tattoo.  If your body is trying to fight off a cold, it may not be able to battle new bacteria effectively.

Go to a  licensed tattoo parlor.  Also, watch the tattoo artist intently and make sure that he takes every measure to tattoo in a sanitary environment.  Are the chairs and body tables disinfected after each use?   Does he wash his hands and wear gloves?   Does she open a new sterile needle to use on you?

Even this may not be enough.  There have been cases where people develop tattoo infections due to bacterial contamination of the water used to mix the tattoo inks and dyes. 

Understand that a tattoo is an open wound and contact with germ-carrying fingers could be a hazard.  Try to keep the tattoo dry to avoid bacterial overgrowth and make sure not to agitate it so it can heal as soon as possible. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Japanese Art of Bagel Head Saline Body Modification

Japanese Art of Bagel Head Saline Body Modification

People who get tattoos are not necessarily into body modification, but I saw this Bagel Head technique on Taboo tonight and had to make a post.
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This Bagelhead practice originated in Japan for the purposes of producing a bizarre effect for photography.  Since then it's something fun to do that distorts the forehead temporarily. The Bagel Head is for those who want the look of a body implant without the commitment.

Basically, participants have a needle inserted under the skin of the forehead---not a vein.

They sit still as saline drips, up to 400cc,  inflating their foreheads like a bubble. In the program, the administrator said that the dripping produces a calming euphoric sensation, as if floating in water.

The final step is for the administrator to press an indentation into this bubble with the thumb to create the bagel or donut shape.   One of the participants in the show said that this part of the process felt like a thumb was being pressed into his brain.

Participants end up with a misshapen, distorted forehead in the shape of a bagel or donut like this:

The saline is absorbed by the body in 16-24 hours so there is no worry that the forehead will remain like this .  The Bagel Head is just a way to have a little fun and a little laugh among a social circle.  Unfortunately a small few people do end up with stretched skin in their foreheads due to this.

Sugar Skulls and Other Tattoos of Day of the Dead

The Day of the Dead is a national holiday celebrated on November 1 in Mexico.  Every year families commemorate and honor the deaths of their loved ones by visiting grave sites, preparing favorite foods of the deceased and building elaborate altars which may include Sugar skulls.  Sugar Skulls are so-called because they used to be made of white sugar. 

Some people get tattoos of sugar skulls and other things representing the day of the dead.  The sugar skull tattoos actually tend to be quite colorful and vibrant in spite of the seemingly dark origins. 

Here are some Tattoos related to the Day of Dead

Matching Tattoos for Family and Friendship

Family members aren't the only ones who get matching tattoos.  Tattoos can be used to signify friendship, sisterhood, brotherhood, community and love.
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Here are some tattoos between family and friends.

Billy Bob Thornton's Simple Family Tattoo

Family Tattoo on the Billy Bob Thornton