Many times when we think of tattoos, we think of a very long and painful process. This is often a very frightening thought. A lot of people wouldn’t even think of getting a tattoo simply because of their idea of what the process involves.
To understand what getting a tattoo means, we have to first take a quick look at a small part of the human anatomy. The skin is made up of two layers; the epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis is the outer layer of skin; the part we can see and touch. The dermis is the deeper layer, or secondary layer.
When a tattoo is applied, the ink is injected deep into the dermis. As the epidermis sheds an enormous amount of cells every day, the dermis is a much more appropriate place to inject ink. Otherwise, shedding occurs causing the tattoo to be only temporary. When injected into the dermis, the tattoo ink lasts a lifetime.
The method of creating a tattoo has not changed much since the beginning. It is believed that designs were created in the skin using sharp pieces of bone in the distant past. Today, needles deliver the ink into the dermis. These needles can produce up to 30,000 punctures per minute.
Tattoos are made by a process similar to stippling. A series of dots creates the image of the design. More dots closer together creates a darker or more solid in appearance picture. Spread apart, the dots make a lighter image or a shading effect.
The tattoo machine that the artist uses to create the design consists of three main parts. An ink source that contains the special ink of the chosen color is typically connected to the machine. A tube connects the ink source to the machine. The needle is the part of the machine that pierces the skin administering the ink.
Most tattoo artists use single use or disposable needles. Sterilization is one of the most important things with tattoo art. These needles should always be completely sterilized prior to being used on a person. Needles are then discarded after use.
The tattoo ink comes in a wide array of colors. Virtually any design with any color combination can be created. Tattoo artists and parlors have samples on display but can always change aspects of a design to fit an individual’s preference.
With the chosen design and color choice, the tattoo machine with selected needle type and the decided location on the body, the tattoo is administered by puncturing the skin while the ink is injected. The time frame that it takes to get a tattoo varies depending on the intricacy and size of the design.
Pain can be a part of the experience. However, it isn’t often as bad as expected. Many people with tattoos describe the procedure as annoying more than painful. Many times the most uncomfortable part is having to sit still in the same position for the given length of time.
After care is an important part of the tattoo process. Bandaging will be necessary, some bleeding may occur and care will need to be taken to reduce exposure to sunlight and excessive water. Rubbing and scratching the newly created tattoo can cause scaring. It can also cause the image to distort permanently.
Pain can vary depending on the individual’s pain tolerance. Where the tattoo will be applied on the body can also be a variable in the amount of pain. Overall, the process is fairly quick and painless when compared to the end result.