Some info about Sterilization

Many of the conditions sited are terminal, and that means there is no coming back. What we have to do is prepare a site on the skin to receive our product, the tattoo. We will have to scrub it with soap and water, shave off the hair at the site and surrounding area, disinfect it with Isopropanal 70%, and cover the area with an antiseptic and gauze.
We know we cannot sterilize skin, but we can come pretty close. This procedure will be explained in great depth in the next chapter, “Sterilization Procedures”.
Let us move on then into the next chapter and learn the procedures to 1.) Protect our client from infection. 2.) Protect ourselves from infection. 3.) Render our workplace “a safe place to work”. 4.) Comply with the Federal rulings regarding our craft. Put them all together and the art of tattooing will, for the first time in its history, become known as an acceptable art form, free and clear of disease

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The Sterilization

In the year 1650, a doctor named Lewanouke opened up the gates to a whole new world as he viewed a drop of pond water through his latest discovery… a microscope. As crude as this monocular magnifying device was, it introduced him and his “little animals” to the rest of the world. He spent his remaining years studying and classifying these “little animals” and earned the title of “The Father of Bacteriology”. Through the years as the listing grew in numbers, these “little animals” were divided into Genus, Order, Family and Species. Their association with disease and disease processes was not suspected for many years after their existence became known.
Dr. Joseph Lister, an English surgeon, developed a device he called the “Lister lamp”. When lit, it put a mist of carbolic acid into the air that he believed would control infections. At this particular time, this is where they believed infections came from, the air. Diseases, so named, bare this point to be true, e.g., malaria: “mal-” meaning bad, and “aria” meaning air.
Dr. Lister had these lamps in his office and he required them in any operating room suite where he performed surgery. In addition to his lamp, he employed strict hand-scrubbing techniques, spotless linens, and cleansing of the operation site. Infection in Dr. Lister’s patients was reduced considerably if his precautions were strictly adhered to. He became known as “The Father of Antiseptic Surgery”.
Mankind is plagued today by some 400 diseases, 375 of which can be transmitted by a tattoo needle. Does that sound fantastic? Well, I should say it does, especially when that came from a newspaper article back in 1958.
You see, we’ve known about the problem for years, and it’s about time that we, as professionals, put infections and disease out the back door of the tattoo studio where they belong.

With the above thought in mind, this writer will lead the horse to water. We will cover just a few of the more common organisms that we confront every day in the tattoo shop. Most of these organisms have a particular place on the body where they are more prevalent than others, but as we all know, 1.) bacteria do not read the books, and 2.) add two scratching hands, and we can grossly re-arrange that pattern.

Most bacteria live on hair follicles, the superficial layers of skin and in the sebaceous glands. Most, but not all sebaceous glands have hair follicles associated with them (see figure 1). Many pack themselves into the ruts and cracks of the cornified or surface layers of the skin.

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