Cosmetic tattooing legislation.

Legislation regulating the practice of cosmetic tattooing is being implemented rapidly. An up-to-date status of legislation by State is posted on the Internet at:
The American Academy of Micropig-mentation provides nationally recognized Board Certification which includes rigorous written, oral and practical exams for candidates with at least one year experience. Tattoo artists who wish to perform cosmetic tattooing benefit from extra training in eyeliner and lipcolor safety and pigment selection and can find Board Certified trainers at
Pigment Removal
Importantly, cosmetic tattooing cannot be hidden from sight by clothing as can body tattoos. Misplaced or undesirable color on the face is not often easily removed by laser due to discoloration which occurs from photochemical changes in pigments such as iron oxides and titanium dioxide. Non-specific chemical irritants or exfoliants can result in scarring, unsatisfactory results and prolonged redness. This may be due in part from overworking the skin with needles rather than the actual product. Pigment removal is illegal in many States and the FDA pays close attention to such products. “Most states are inclined to consider this topic to be a medical/surgical one and outside of the scope and training of dermatechnicians and tattooists” writes Dr. Chip Zwerling of the Academy of Micropigmentation.
Cooperation and Education
The exchange of information between the traditional and cosmetic camps of tattooing will benefit both the artists and their clients. It is not a battle of talent or skills but rather an earnest desire to achieve excellence and understanding that will gain respect between these diverse professionals.

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Bandages for tattoos

After finishing a tattoo, it is your responsibility to prevent it from getting infected, at least during the first few hours until the body can close up all the holes that were just put into it. While tattooing, you have plenty of time to talk to the customer about after care and how they ought to treat the tattoo. Later, you can give them a care sheet to take home with them. A big poster outlining the healing process and the care of a new tattoo, located near the work chair, also acts as a double reminder. This is a very important step because how good a tattoo looks afterwards depends upon the healing, and it can either make or break you.
Right after finishing, you should clean the whole tattoo area with a green soap spray and a paper towel. Next, spray alcohol directly on that tattoo and place a paper towel right over it. (The towel is now totally absorbed with the alcohol.) Apply pressure on the towel with your hand and hold it on there for a few seconds before you wipe it off. (A word of warning here: This procedure really smarts, so you might want to hold the customer down with your free hand while you are wiping with the alcohol.) As you are wiping, clean an area a little larger than the actual tattoo, which will make a clean space for tape to stick onto later.
The next step is to apply a nice thin even coat of Bacitracin on the cleaned tattoo with a tongue depressor. Do not use Vaseline on a fresh tattoo. Bacitracin ointment should be used. A fresh tattoo will have a fever under it and feel hot to the touch. Cold water several times a day the first two days will take care of this. Explain this to customers and advise them to use Bacitracin after showering.
Some people use Bacitracin (a triple antibiotic ointment) on a fresh tattoo. You should know though, that certain customers may have a bad allergic reaction to the antibiotic in Bacitracin. Since you have no way of knowing who does or who doesn’t, you should be careful with its use. Antibiotics should be avoided as preventatives. If you have a clean shop and use sterile equipment, there is no reason why any tattoo should become infected. When an infection does take place (if ever), it is usually because of the customer’s neglect of instructions to properly care for it. They should not use antibiotics on their own. Instead, they should see a medical doctor who will prescribe one for them.

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Drunks and Other Considerations on tattoo aids

Unless you are into self-punishment and frustration, please don’t tattoo drunk customers. It is all right if someone has had one or two beers, but if they can hardly stand up and are endlessly babbling on, you will have to firmly and politely inform them that you will do their tattoo at another time and they have to quietly leave. End of discussion. Don’t stand there arguing with them as to whether they are sober or not. The truth of the matter is that you just cannot do a decent tattoo on a drunk person. This holds true also for people that are on drugs and pill abusers. If people won’t respect you and your work, come in bombed or drugged out expecting you to put up with obnoxious behavior, just guide them to the door and walk them out. Even better is to stop them at the door before they even enter, if their situation is that plain to you.
You should also absolutely refuse to tattoo people with obvious signs of sickness or disease such as hepatitis or yellow jaundice. The tell tale signs of people with this is that the white of their eyes are yellowed and their skin has an unnatural yellowlike suntan look to it. Tell them that their money would be more wisely spent seeing a doctor. You cannot afford to expose yourself, your family, other reliable customers, your shop and equipment to diseases. Their blood is contaminated and their bodies are in no condition to have the extra burden of healing a tattoo. Quite often you will have to work on people who bleed profusely. This is really difficult because the ink is being washed out almost as fast as it is going in and can be really frustrating. Just get through it the best you can, they may have to return after healing for a touch-up. Advise them to avoid drinking alcohol and eat large quantities of jello for several days before returning. Jello is a source of Vitamin K, which is an excellent blood coagulant.
It is wise to have handy the local ambulance phone number, just in case of the rare occasions that may be beyond your help, such as epileptic seizures, etc.
As a professional tattooist, part of your role is to help people make it through the ordeal. For some, it is their personal Independence Day, and for some, it could be a great celebration for some reason or other. If a person is having a rough time dealing with it, you should help them through it without putting them down or getting them nervous because you think they are wasting your precious time. If you are going to do a tattoo on someone, make sure you are going to give it your full attention and give it and the person whatever time they require.

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Preparing de client for the tattoo sterilization

With a sterile straight razor (or disposable), remove all hair from the tattoo site including 1 and 1/2 inch beyond all borders. Wipe with sterile napkin (prepackaged, 50 or 100 each and autoclaved). Fold 2 more 4×4’s and repeat the green soap scrub, working from the center of the circle towards the outside, not going back to the center.

Dry the area again with a napkin, from the center in a circular fashion working outward. Fold 2 4×4’s and scrub again with 70% alcohol in the same circular fashion and dry once again in the same manner. Fold 2 4×4’s and apply a light coat of betadine solution to the area, again in the same circular motion. Unfold the remaining two 4×4’s so they are 4×8’s and cover the cleansed area until you are ready to set your stencil.
The above prep procedure is hospital recommended for suturing. It should be alright for tattooing. Believe me when I say your client will be impressed.
CAUTION. Ask the client if he/she has a history of allergic reaction to the use of iodine or iodine related products prior to the use of betadine.
During the tattoo, I throw the bloody napkins or paper towels into a waxed brown paper bag. When I am done, my apron, gloves, ink cups, and lap sheet go in there too. It is then stapled shut and autoclaved for disposal as common trash. If you use plastvc trash, can Iiners, they must be changed between clients and  placed seated mto a second bag that again is sealed and labeled as contaminated with human blood.

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Pay attention on this information about tattoos and places

In areas where the skin stretches and moves, the scabs are easily torn off before they are ready. If this happens, the area where it was still attached will bleed. In doing so, it will bleed the color right back out. That particular area will revert back to skin color. Every minute the area is in its healing process, it is susceptible to problems. The shorter the healing time, the better.
Try to guide women away from getting tattoos on their arms because many employers won’t hire women who have visible tattoos, but once they are aware of the situation, if they still want one, go ahead and do it.
Try to guide people away from getting their lover’s name on them. It’s sure to change with time. You’ll find yourself covering a lot of them up anyway, ones that other people did. If you must tattoo names on, do them in red or light blue so they can be easily covered up in the future.
Skin is an important matter in tattooing. It is your canvas for art work. Please pay attention to all that has been said, and your tattoos will look pretty and heal with no problem on any type of skin.

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Check the skin before tattooing

If the skin is slippery, put a clean paper towel down first, it will help keep your hand from slipping. Plus, you can always use the paper towel in your free hand for wiping, if necessary.
If a stencil is put on while the skin is stretched, it will look different when it isn’t stretched. So, check the stencil after it is on while the customer is standing in a natural position to make sure it looks right before you start. Even if you have to make a new stencil print, do it until it’s right. If the stencil print isn’t correct, the tattoo isn’t going to look right. Paper stencils are much easier to use for large back designs than are acetate stencils. Also, the print from the hectograph ink used on the paper stencil will not smear as does stencil powder used on the acetate stencil.
To put a stencil on the back, have the customer stand straight up and fully relaxed. After the stencil is on, you can put them in any position you like, to do the actual tattooing.
If it’s a large tattoo, you may want to enlist the help of a friend to help stretch the skin. If so, have them wash up good with soap and hot water. Then spray their hands good with nibbing alcohol before starting. Make sure they are wearing clean clothes, and a pair of latex gloves also. Keep it “professional.”
Give your helper a paper towel. Have him sit across the bench from you and hold onto the other side of your customer’s skin. To do this, have him spread out the fingers on both hands to cover as wide an area as possible, about six inches from that side of the tattoo. Have him toward you from below the tattoo, giving your machine hand plenty of room to maneuver. Most of the time your helpers will tire out easily in this position. Another “hold” is to have him sort of lean on the customer and use his entire forearm to hold the skin while the arm is bent at a 90 degree angle at the elbow.

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Problems with your Tattoo Machine

If you are going along and all of a sudden your machine quits, first check to see if it is your machine or your power pack. To do this, try your other machine to see if it will work. If it is your machine and you can’t fix it on the spot, you can always put your needle bar and tube on your other machine and reset the point gap as a last resort to finish the tattoo.
If your machine won’t run at all, it is either a short or an open in your circuit. First check to make sure your points are clean. If there is something caught between them, it will break the circuit. Hold the armature bar down with your thumb to open the contact and blow hard on the points. If this doesn’t clean them, try pulling a small strip of paper through the points while they are closed. If this doesn’t work, try pulling a strip of emery cloth through them, grit side up, then grit side down. Then blow to get any grit out. If this works, you will probably want to readjust the point setting slightly to get it buzzing “just right” again.
Another area that shouldn’t be overlooked is weak coils. If your machine won’t run at all, or has very little power, it could be your coils. If your coils are bad, you can replace them by taking out the two screws in the bottom of the frame, being careful to note which washers go where, under the coils. Replace with new coils. When you melt the solder to disconnect the old coils, reattach your new coil wires at the same time. If your machine has a capacitor on it, you may want to replace it too, at the same time.
If your machine just up and quits on you all at once, or won’t run when you take it out, look for any loose or broken wires or connections. The tattoo machine is really quite simple, with few adjustments and fewer moving parts. Due to the constant vibration of the machine, you have to constantly fool with it, readjusting and tightening this and that. Daily maintenance is the key.

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The contact point of the machine

Next, line up the contact point in a direct line over the nipple on the armature bar and tighten. Then line up the contact point on the front spring in a direct line with the contact screw. The rear spring should be snug against the rear screw in most cases. Tighten rear screw. The contact screw points to One o’clock, when you hold up the machine and point the front (tube end) to your left. It is in this position when it is new, and should stay in this position.
Attach the clip cord to your machine and turn on your power pack. Holding the machine firmly in your left hand by the frame, slowly turn the contact screw down (clockwise) to meet the contact point on the front spring. Be careful to only touch the contact screw by the rubber tip or it will shock you. If the rubber tip is missing, you can wrap a piece of electrical tape around the end, or even a rubber band in an emergency.

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