Once your tattoo has been completed, the artist should apply Vaseline and gauze, then cover the tattoo in cellophane. This temporary bandage applied by the artist should be applied with scotch tape and/or medical tape on the outer parts of the bandage.These first twenty four hours and the quality of the bandage applied are paramount to the initial ink loss. It is recommended that the initial bandage remain in place for at least 4 to 6 hours, but to be on the safe side 24 hours are recommended. Plus this will also help to keep the ink from bleeding off onto your bedding and clothes. Dr H

Dr H’s story behind his tattoo

Dr H - Left Arm Tattoo

After the recommended time has elapsed remove the bandage and briefly wash the tattoo with soap and cool water. Thy not to scrub the tattoo.

The cool water is necessary in order to keep the pores closed thus preventing further ink loss. By this time you should be rolling around on about the 36 to 48 hour mark, the tattoo will still be sore and tender. Do not apply any more bandages from this point forward.

Begin to apply a water based lotion 4 to 6 times daily.

The recommended lotion is Lubraderm; ( the first ingredient should be water in the ingredients listed on the lotion bottle) it must have NO fragrance and NO acidic contents.

Many artists recommend using A&D Ointment.

NOTE: Jergens hand lotion is notrecommended. Do not apply Vaseline or vitamin E ointment, this will cause your tattoo not to heal in the proper manner. Notice: Some lotions may cause extreme pain to the open wounds again Lubraderm is recommended to use.

After 4 or 5 days you will begin to notice that your tattoo is scabbing. This is normal, however if you are NOT applying enough lotion, you will notice that the scabbing is very thick and somewhat painful. If this is the case, I strongly recommend that you apply lotion more frequently. If you allow the scabs to become too thick, then you run the risk of your tattoo not being flush with the skin, thus bulging will occur.

Under no circumstances are you to pick or scratch your tattoo during the healing process, the scabs will flake away on their own.

If you do scratch away the scabs, you run the risk of scarring. This is the worst thing that can happen, because there will be no ink present in the scratched away area and the scar tissue may not accept ink during a touch up.

After all healing has taken place, you should have a tattoo that is bright, flush, and full of color with no scars or spots.

In the case of spots any good artist will touch it up for free. The reason being is the tattoo artist would not want you to show people your tattoo and tell them that it’s his work, that cuts down on his business. So I strongly suggest that you demand a free touch up for the exact reasons stated.

Now that your tattoo is completely healed and/or touched up, their are a few things that you should keep in mind in order to maintain the quality of your tattoo.

If you are going to go in the sun make sure that you use sun block, the sun can do a lot of damage to your tattoo.

Also you should could continue to apply lotion once in a while to keep your tattoo looking great.

Follow these tips and you will have the best results possible.

Can A Christian Have A Tattoo?

What Does The Bible Say?

Getting a tattoo has become a very popular thing to do lately, and many Christian teenagers are trying to decide if they should get a tattoo or not. This article will help you to think through the scriptures on tattoos, and give you some reasons that you should or should not get a tattoo.

Let’s begin with Biblical scriptures on the issue of tattoos:

Many Christians will quote Leviticus 19:28 when stating that Christians should never receive a tattoo: (Lev 19:28 KJV) Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

However, it is interesting to note what other verses in Leviticus 19 say:

(Lev 19:9 KJV) And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.

(Lev 19:19 KJV) Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.

(Lev 19:26 KJV) Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.

(Lev 19:27 KJV) Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.

(Lev 19:28 KJV) Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

As you can see, many of the other rules that are laid out in Leviticus are not followed today. Does that mean that the whole book of Leviticus, or even the Bible should not be followed? No! It just means that we need to carefully analyze what the theme of the Bible is, and realize what it means for us today.

The book of Leviticus contained several laws that were made to keep the children of Israel healthy and holy for God. Tattoos in those days were extremely dangerous and could result in injury, disease, or death. The verse also is referring to a pagan ritual of putting tattoo marks on oneself for the dead, in order to protect oneself from the spirit world and the wrath of other gods.

We now are under a new covenant where Christ’s sacrifice covers our sins in a different way than the old Levitical laws did, which is seen in the letter to Hebrews which states:

(Heb 8:6 KJV) But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. (Heb 8:7 KJV) For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

Now, this does not give us license to do whatever we please. We are still responsible for our behavior and how it affects our spiritual lives and the lives of others.

For example, the letter to the Romans states: (Rom 14:20 KJV) For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. (Rom 14:21 KJV) It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

From this we can see that it is important to think carefully through all of the effects that getting a tattoo can have on oneself, on our relationships, and on one’s future. For some this may mean that getting a tattoo will increase their ability to witness to others, while in other communities having a tattoo would greatly diminish this ability.

The conclusion then is that there may not be an answer to “Should Christians get tattoos?” Each of us may have to answer this question for ourselves after taking time to think and pray about it. But, let us also be careful as Christians to not shun those who have tattoos, or make the blanket statement that they can’t be a Christian because they have a tattoo. To do this would be “destroy the work of God” instead of taking our time to reach the lost.

Why someone might want to say NO to getting a Tattoo.

A friend told me about a free tattoo removal program at Highland Hospital in Oakland. I know many people that have been denied employment because of the way they look or what they have done in the past. Once I saw how significant the program was to the participants, I knew that it was a lot more than just getting tattoos removed, it became very apparent to me that this program had to be documented and shared with the community. The images are showing what the members have to go through in order to reach their goal of changing their appearance and attitude.

Words/pictures by Vanessa Morones

Click On Photos to enlarge !

“I decided to remove the tattoos because I was constantly being mistaken as a gang member by many local gangs. When I would go to a job interview I would be stereotyped — and looked down on — because of the tattoos, and most times I wouldn’t get the job.”  — Juan Ortiz (above), 23

“The tattoos are gang-related and I don’t want to be associated with that type of lifestyle anymore. I was in a gang for seven years and it didn’t give me anything but trouble.”  –Marcos Gonzalez, 20

You can’t believe how
much this hurts.


Pain More Pain Even More Pain

Words/pictures by Vanessa Morones

THE REAL meaning of the word TATTOO

tat·too1 (t-t) n. pl. tat·toos
A signal sounded on a drum or bugle to summon soldiers or sailors to their quarters at night.
A display of military exercises offered as evening entertainment.

A continuous, even drumming or rapping.
v. tat·tooed, tat·too·ing, tat·toos
v. intr.
To beat out an even rhythm, as with the fingers.
v. tr.
To beat or tap rhythmically on; rap or drum on.

[Alteration of Dutch taptoe, tap-shut (closing time for taverns), tattoo : tap, spigot, tap (from Middle Dutch tappe) + toe, shut (from Middle Dutch. See de- in Indo-European Roots).]

tattoo \ta-TOO\ noun
*1 : a rapid rhythmic rapping
2 a : a call sounded shortly before taps as notice to go to quarters b : outdoor military exercise given by troops as evening entertainment

Example sentence:
I was awakened by a woodpecker beating a tattoo against the drainpipe outside my window — alerting other woodpeckers, and me, to his presence.

Did you know?
Today’s word has nothing to do with skin markings. That other “tattoo” comes from the Tahitian word “tatau.”

Today’s “tattoo” comes from the Dutch colloquialism “tap toe,” which can be translated as “turn off the tap,” though it was most often used to mean something like “Shut up! Cease!”

The Dutch began using “taptoe” for a drum beat, and then English speakers borrowed the term (changing it slightly, to “taptoo”). It was used especially by the military to name a drum beat (or possibly a bugle call) that signaled the day’s end.

This “taptoo” most likely led to our “taps,” a term for the final bugle call at night in the military. Unabridged (v 1.0.1)
Cite This Source tat?too1 /tæ’tu/

–noun, plural -toos. 
1. a signal on a drum, bugle, or trumpet at night, for soldiers or sailors to go to their quarters.
2. a knocking or strong pulsation: My heart beat a tattoo on my ribs.
3. British. an outdoor military pageant or display.

[Origin: 1570–80; earlier taptoo < D taptoe lit., the tap(room) is to (i.e., shut)] 

You’ve decided you’re ready to get tattooed! Now what?

You know what you want and where you want it. But before you get started, there are a lot of aspects of the tattooing process that you should be familiar with. From the initial stages of designing your image, to choosing the shop and artist from whom you want to get work, to taking care of your new tattoo, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. Safety should always be your first concern and the first concern of the shop. The quality of the artist’s work and his/her professional attitude also play a part. Below are some common questions and answers about the process of designing, acquiring, and maintaining a new tattoo.

The process of tattooing has a lot of different steps, and your artist should be well trained in implementing all of them. Just to give you a general idea of how it will go, the following is a brief overview of the process. 

Before you sit down in the artist’s station, make sure all of your questions regarding the image have been answered. Once you’re ready to get tattooed, your artist will follow a standard protocol of getting ready to tattoo you. He/she will clean the area of your body to be tattooed with green soap (used in hospitals) or another disinfectant antibacterial soap and, if necessary, shave the area with a disposable razor, which should be used on one person only and then thrown away.

Your artist will then place the line stencil by pressing the paper onto your skin. Some artists use a product called Dettol or an antiperspirant stick to help the stencil adhere to the skin. If your artist uses an antiperspirant stick, make sure that he wipes the stick with a paper towel and uses that towel to apply the product to your skin. The stick itself should never come in contact with a client’s skin. If you aren’t comfortable with the placement of the stencil, ask your artist to reapply it.  It’s not a big deal and only takes a minute to redo. Remember, wherever the stencil is, is where your tattoo will be, make sure you like it’s positioning. Your artist should be wearing gloves throughout the entire procedure, and should change them regularly as he/she touches objects that could be potential contaminants. Inks will be poured into individual disposable ink caps. (Ink should never be returned to the bottle.) Your artist should take all sterilized equipment out of the proper sterilization bags. (If it is important to you to see your artist remove sterile instruments from the bags, tell them in advance and they should be happy to let you see it.) Ointment will be applied (i.e. A & D) and your tattoo will begin.

Generally, your artist will complete the outline of the image before moving on to the color or shading. Throughout the course of the tattoo, your artist will apply more ointment and will periodically wash the tattoo gently with soap and a paper towel to remove excess ink.  When the tattoo is completed, a bandage will be put on it. Often, this is simply plastic wrap and tape.  Follow the aftercare instructions of your artist, and if you have any questions, ask them.

Some other commonly asked questions:

Tattoo Industry Terms
Flash:  Tattoo designs that are pre-drawn and available to anyone who wants them.
Street Shop:  Studios that usually do little or no custom work. Usually relying on flash art to tattoo.
Custom Studio:  A studio which does little or no flash and creates unique custom tattoos for each client.
Line Stencil / Drawing :  A basic outline of your design used to transfer to your skin at the start of your tattoo.

1. What Is a Line Stencil and Why Is It So Important?
The stencil is used in tattooing to assure that the foundation of your chosen image is applied properly. Generally, stencils consist of the basic line work of your design. More subtle aspects, such as shading, are not included in this fundamental image. The stencil is either traced onto a multi-layer stencil paper (very similar to carbon paper) or the image is run through a machine called a thermofax, which effectively transfers the image onto the stencil paper. The artist will then prep your skin and lay the paper down, gently smoothing it out to ensure that the image transfers evenly. You will usually have a period of a few minutes while the stencil dries (so that it does not smudge when the artist wipes your skin).

All designs sold through comes with line stencils for your artists.

2. Is It Best To Start With a Small Tattoo?
Generally, starting with a smaller tattoo is an easy way to acquaint yourself with the sensations of being tattooed.  While it may be painful, most people don’t find tattoos to be unbearable. Actually most first timers are very surprised at how much less it hurts than they thought it would. The size of your first tattoo should also depend largely on what you want.  While we can always add on to an existing tattoo, people are generally happier with their tattoos when they get what they really wanted to begin with. Don’t be afraid to go large right out of the gate.

3. How Much Will My Tattoo Design Cost To Have Tattooed?
The cost of tattoos varies by region, state, and even by individual studio. Most studios have both a regular hourly rate (on average, between $100-$150 an hour) and a studio minimum (typically between $25 and $60). Some studios base their pricing solely on that hourly rate; others use it as a flexible tool to estimate the cost of the entire image. Tattoo studios that do primarily custom work tend to cost a bit more, and tend to have higher studio minimums. Street shops tend to cost less, but also will generally spend less time customizing an image, relying mainly on existing artwork or flash. The cost of your tattoo will depend upon the size and complexity of the image, but remember that a tattoo is an investment and you will wear it for the rest of your life. When in doubt, refer to the phrase, “You get what you pay for.”

4. Should I Tip My Tattoo Artist?
Generally, if you had a pleasant experience with your artist, tipping is always appreciated. A good comparison is tipping your hairstylist. Like any service profession, however, if you feel that your artist did an exceptional job, it is customary to tip.  If you are working on a large piece requiring several sittings or plan on seeing the same artist repeatedly, tipping is a nice way to express your appreciation.

5. Should I Make An Appointment?
Again, depending on the type of work you want and the type of studio you will be going to, this will vary. Many street shops do not even take appointments, accepting only walk-ins on a first-come-first-serve basis. Custom shops, on the other hand, generally accept and even encourage appointments. Generally, appointments will consist of the client either phoning, e-mailing, or visiting the shop and consulting with an artist about what the tattoo will be. Following that, a date and time will be set for the appointment and the shop will generally take a deposit to hold the space. If you have a larger tattoo in mind, and want your artist to spend a considerable amount of time drawing or changing an image, you will probably have a hard time simply walking in and being tattooed the same day.  Policies vary from shop to shop, but should you need to cancel an appointment, most shops require AT LEAST 24 hours of advance notice, and most people would appreciate knowing at least a few days in advance. 

6. Where Is The Best Place To Get a Tattoo On My Body?
Plain and simple, the best place to get a tattoo is where you want one. For many people, the options for placement are limited by their occupation; many people choose not to get tattoos that are visible when wearing a shirt and pants.  Other people place tattoos in conspicuous spots. The placement of your tattoo is as personal a decision as the image itself. 

7. How Much Pain Should I Expect?
The pain factor will vary with the location of the tattoo.  Everyone has their own personal pain threshold and their own perception of what hurts more. Some people find that tattooing over bone hurts more; others will say that fleshy areas are more tender. Generally, every tattoo is going to have at least a little sting to it. Places like the ribs, the neck, and the feet are notorious for being pretty painful; however, until you start planning large-scale pieces, most tattoos won’t take long enough for the pain to really be a factor. 

8. Can I Use Some Kind Of Numbing Cream?
Numbing creams, most containing lidocaine or another topical anesthetic, are available on the market. However, these tend to be on the expensive side, take a while to take effect, and only last for a certain window of time. Most artists will only use these kinds of products when working on an extremely large tattoo, such as a backpiece. Often, the time it would take for the product to take effect would be as long as the time it would take to apply the tattoo. If you are interested in using one of these products, consult with your individual tattoo artist.

9. Will There Be Blood When I am Getting Tattooed?
The process of tattooing consists of using a specialized needle to conduct ink into the skin through a series of many, many tiny punctures. Therefore, it is the nature of the process that there will be some bleeding. Although usually minimal you will bleed a little throughout the tattoo, and for a period of a couple of hours after the tattoo is completed. Most artists will cover the finished tattoo with a bandage to contain the bleeding and protect the fresh tattoo from the outside environment. Your tattoo will have stopped bleeding by the next morning.

10. Can I Get a Tattoo If I’m Not 18 Yet and If I Bring a Parent With Me?
This varies from state to state. Some states have laws dictating that no minor can legally be tattooed.  Some states allow tattooing of people aged 16 and 17 with parental consent and appropriate documentation of guardianship.  Even in those states where minors can legally be tattooed, some shops will choose not to tattoo anyone under 18.  Check your local laws and your local studios. Texas you have to be 18.

11. Is Getting Tattooed Safe? Can I Get a Disease From Getting Tattooed?
In a reputable studio, safety should always come first. Studios are required by law to have a proven sterilization technique which they monitor weekly or monthly for effectiveness.  Generally, this is an autoclave, a sterilization method used in hospitals that uses extreme heat to kill any kind of living organism on reusable tools. Technically speaking, if your artist or studio doesn’t follow the proper procedures, it is possible to contract a disease from being tattooed. Needles should never be reused. Your tattoo artist should be wearing gloves at all times. Green soap, used in hospitals, should be used. Most states require tattoo artists to be certified not only in first aid and C.P.R., but in bloodborne pathogens management. If it makes you more comfortable to see documentation of If for any reason you feel uneasy about the sterilization and disinfection techniques at the studio, do not get tattooed there. That said, if all proper precautions are taken, modern day tattooing is safer than it has ever been.

12. Should I Get a Tattoo At a “Tattoo Party?”
Most counties, as part of the individual artist’s license, require that the tattoos be administered at a separately licensed tattoo studio. Getting a tattoo at someone’s house, a hotel room, or any other location without proper sterilization techniques is a gamble no matter what. 

13. How Do I Take Care Of a New Tattoo?
Many different artists will instruct you in different methods of aftercare. Always follow the instruction of your artist. Some general guidelines include no swimming (including long baths and hot tubs) for about two weeks; extremely limited exposure to sun; and no picking or scratching at a healing tattoo. Long term, the use of sunscreen will aid in keeping your tattoo bright for as long as you have it. 

14. Can I Shave Over a New Tattoo?
Not until your tattoo has healed. Never do anything that will tear scabs off of a new tattoo.

15. Are Tanning and Sunbathing OK With a Tattoo?
Recent research on the effects of U.V. rays on the skin should aid in answering this question. Tanning or sunbathing are just plain bad for your skin.  Exposing a tattoo to these rays will fade it tremendously over time.  If you plan to be outside, any decent sunscreen from your local drugstore will be sufficient in providing some protection. If you do want to tan, many tanning salons also offer products to help cover and protect tattoos during sessions in a tanning bed. 

16. What Should I Expect From a Qualified Studio and From My Tattoo Artist?
One of the best ways to tell if a studio is worth patronizing is to determine how open they are with answers to your questions. If you want to see documentation of their spore tests for their autoclave (a regular test to determine the effectiveness of the shop’s autoclave), their health department inspection reports, or their individual licenses, ask for it. If you have any questions about how long they have been tattooing and where, ask them. The shop should look clean and be well lit. If at any point you feel that information is being withheld from you, you have every right to turn around and walk out. A “qualified” studio should have portfolios of their artists’ work available to browse, and should be friendly and open about answering any questions you have about any part of the process. What you should expect from your artist is a professional experience and a quality tattoo. Some people prefer “hand holding” and small talk; other people prefer to be left alone while they get tattooed. The same rule applies: if you do not like the treatment you are receiving from an artist, you have no reason to put money in their pocket. There are hundreds of friendly, professional, safe artists out there. 

17. What Should I Look For In an Artist’s Portfolio?
Look for a variety of styles and images. If someone has only one style of artwork and tattoos in their portfolio, you can see it either as a real strength in that style… or as a total weakness in every other style. Look for solid, clean work in EVERY genre of tattoo in the portfolio. Many photos will be of freshly-done tattoos, but seeing the artist’s work healed can be a better indicator of the finished product. It is totally acceptable to go to different shops and just ask to see the artists’ portfolios before you commit to a tattoo.

18. Can My Artist Change or Customize a Drawing I Bring In?
Generally, the answer is yes although some shops will try to avoid reworking a client’s artwork. However, many shops are more than happy to work with you. A good artist will be able to take your idea and turn it into a quality tattoo. Many drawings that people bring in have to be modified to make them “tattoo friendly”; the thickness of lines, the size of intricate detail, and the composition of the drawing may need to be changed, but a good artist will largely be able to give you the image you want.