5 Questions to Ask your Tattoo Artist
Questions you should ask your Tattooist before you get started
Some people spend a lifetime pondering whether to have a tattoo before rushing to the nearest tattoo shop and getting it done. Your tattooist may be confident, charismatic and deliver great results but take a little extra time to find out some finer details and ask the right questions before getting inked. RatedInk is raising awareness to reduce risk of infection through tattooing and in this blog post we list 5 must-ask questions you should be putting to your tattoo artist before getting started. Take responsibility for your own health by getting straightforward answers and make an informed decision.
AVOID RISK OF INFECTION & DISEASE
Q1: Which sterilisation procedures are used for your tattoo equipment?
This should be the first question you ask any tattoo artist before even glancing at their work! Delve a little deeper and exercise your right to know which sterilisation procedures are in place for your safety. How is the disposable and used equipment disposed of? do you use an autoclave after every tattoo is carried out? can I see it?
Don’t be shy, it is your health at risk.
Don’t underestimate the seriousness of getting your skin marked for life because bloodborne diseases do exist and have been known to result in life-threatening circumstances. To ensure you are making the right decision you will need to know that your chosen tattoo artist understands the importance of sanitation and has professional sterilisation procedures in place for all equipment. It is your duty to make sure your tattooist is serious about sanitation and this includes self-hygiene. A tattoo artist with a dirty coat and mucky sleeves is also ‘not the one’!
Disposable Tattoo Equipment & the Autoclave
Many inexperienced tattoo artists have not endured the necessary tattoo training and may not be aware of the sanitation techniques in place to ensure your health and safety. Even experienced tattoo artists can be lazy with this side of the tattoo business so don’t get caught out (you will regret it later if you find yourself infected). The more disposable equipment the tattoo artist uses the better. Disposable items include those such as equipment bags, barrier film, latex gloves, tattoo needles and various others. A consistent and reliable system for disposing of items is crucial for any tattoo shop and you should also make sure an autoclave is used as a method of sterilisation of non-disposables as another means of infection control.
Ask your tattoo artist about sanitation and get a clear understanding of how the equipment is sterilised. Failure to do so can result in skin infection and life-threatening illness. It’s really not worth the risk folks!
BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS TRAINING
Q2: Are you certified in the prevention of bloodborne pathogens?
This may sound a little bit OTT and certainly not like something you would usually ask, but trust us when we tell you that any professional tattoo artist would be over the moon to show you a ‘Bloodborne Pathogens Certificate’. It is not a difficult or expensive certification to achieve and every tattoo artist should have one as it adds great value to any tattoo artist portfolio.
Do not settle for any tattoo artist that does not have a Bloodborne Pathogens Certificate for it is your life at risk and nobody else’s. There are others who do have one!
BE AWARE OF CHEAP TATTOO INK BEING USED
Q3: Which brand of tattoo ink do you use?
This is a question that should come naturally to anyone considering getting a tattoo. What will the tattoo artist be marking your skin with? The number of tattoo inks on the market is fast-increasing and the fight for the cheapest, most effective tattoo ink is on the rise among tattoo artists. Will your tattoo artist use a sterile ink or settle for a cheaper, more profitable option? Every tattoo artist in business is out to make a profit so settling for the cheapest could mean you miss out on quality sterile ink and other safety precautions in place for tattoo artist use. A cheap tattoo ink can result in dermatological reactions and complications with severe long-term effects. Do your research.
EXPIRED NEEDLE MEANS NO GUARANTEES
Q4: What is the tattoo needle expiry date?
FYI once a needle expires it is no longer considered a protective package and therefore guarantees no prevention from risk of infection. Tattoo needles are affordable to purchase so it is unlikely a tattoo artist will be cutting costs using expired needles. However, it is advisable to ask your tattoo artist when the current batch of needles do expire (just to be on the safe side). You have nothing to lose from asking, eliminate another risk before letting it in.
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR NEW TATTOO
Q5: What tattoo aftercare tips and methods do you provide?
Tattoo aftercare is just as important as getting inked in the first place. Without using the recommended tattoo aftercare methods you increase risk of getting infected and losing all brightness and colour from your tattoo design. Aftercare for tattoos comes in various creams, gels and sprays so do not trust a tattoo artist who still utilises a plastic wrap! Instead, carry out some tattoo aftercare research on Google and choose one that looks right for you! Hemp-Ez and Tattoo Goo are two highly recommended brands that professional tattoo artists may recommend.
Stay safe when getting a tattoo and visit our UK tattoo artist review site to start your search for a professional, safe and protected tattoo experience. Feel free to post any queries or questions and connect with us on Facebook at @RatedInkDirectory.