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How a tattoo is applied

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Monday 02 December, 2013 Written by tattoodiy

When you have decided to get a tattoo. You have picked out the artwork

and you know where you want to put it. You talked to the artist, settled on a price and filled

out the standard release form. Now what happens?
Before the artist can begin tattooing he will need to set up his work area. The work area

should be free of everything but the things needed for your tattoo. This includes but is not

limited to the following items:
Work table paper: Protective dropcloth where artist places the items needed for the tattoo.

Usually a paper towel or similar item.
Paper towels: A roll should be handy, but sufficient sheets should be torn off the roll prior

to your tattoo.
Spray bottles: These bottles contain alcohol, to prep the skin, and 'green soap', a hospital

grade germicidal soap used during the tattoo process to clean up the excess ink and blood.
Ink cups:  Inks are poured into these cups from a larger container prior to your tattoo.
Razor: Disposable safety razor used to prepare the skin surface.
Petroleum Jelly: Used to lubricate the skin and keep the tattooed area moist during the

tattooing process.
Washout cup: Small paper or plastic cup with clear water used to clean ink out of the needle

tubes during the tattoo process.
Tattoo machines: These are the actual machines that allow the needles to introduce pigments

into your skin. There will also be a power unit, a footswitch connected to the power unit and a

'clip cord' wire that brings power to the machines.
Needle tubes: These are reusable items that get autoclaved and must be in sterilized pouches.
Needles: Groups of needles are soldered onto bars in different configurations, depending on the

type of artwork and the artist's style.

Before the artist can begin to put needle to skin the area where the tattoo goes must be

prepared. This is usually done by spraying the skin down with rubbing alcohol to disinfect the

area and shaving any body hair off the skin. Shaving is important as the tattoo needles may

push hair into the skin, increasing the chance of infection.
The first step in the development of a tattoo is the outlining. This is usually where the most

amount of pain is encountered. The first few strokes will be the worst until your body has a

chance to adjust to the pain. During this process, the artist must at all times maintain what

is called a sterile field. This is an imaginary boundary where contamination due to material

handling is contained to the work area only.
Imagine an invisible circle around you, the artist and the materials on the work counter. Any

time the artist's hands or the artist must break this circle, the gloves must come off and

thrown out. If you don't see this practice being performed by your artist, question it. It's

your health that is at risk.
When the tattoo is completed, the artist will bandage the tattoo to cut down on the chances of

infection and to keep blood from getting all over your clothing.
If the container does not have this clamp and the artist used pliers or something similar, make

sure that the tool is not used for any other purpose.



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