How a Tattoo Kills.

How can a tattoo that heals perfectly kill you? It can very easily. A common misconception in the tattoo world is this:” My tattoo healed fine, so I didn’t get contaminated.” Wrong! The fact that a tattoo heals well (without infection) is only a sign that it was not contaminated with infectious bacteria. Infectious Bacteria contamination usually comes from dirty hands or dirty surfaces touching the ink, equipment, or the tattoo. This can cause a bacterial infections such as staphylococcus “staph” infection, pseudomonas infection, etc. It is usually obvious because it affects the healing process.

Bacterial infections often have excessive redness, fever, itchiness, swelling, and / or puss. The more hidden danger is cross contamination from someone else’s contaminated blood. This is less detectable, and more dangerous for several reasons. There is invisible micro spray which spreads in a cloud out of the running machine as well as out from the ink cap and off of the sprayed or squirted paper towel during a tattoo. The amount of blood in micro-spray form which is necessary to contaminate a person with a virus is invisible to the naked eye. These viruses take months and, in some cases, up to 5 years to gestate in your system and reproduce enough to become a detectable disease such as hepatitis or tuberculosis. Here is the question. If you found out that you have a life threatening disease 5 years after you got a tattoo (which healed beautifully and looks great)… are you going to think of the tattoo s the source of your contamination? Probably not! You might think of ” what sex partner could i have been with?” or ” what “public toilet?… where did I eat?!” However, the tattoo remains a very likely source of the contamination with infected blood.

Leaving ink bottles out on the work area or dispersing ink from the bottle near the exposed work area can contaminate the entire ink bottle. Use of that bottle could then infect every consecutive person which it is used on. Touching equipment or a supply drawer with a contaminated glove and then again during the next procedure can also infect a client with a potentially deadly virus. There are many errors in the clean technique of a procedure which cause cross contamination. Unfortunately these oversights happen all too often. This is how a perfectly healed tattoo can kill you! The A.C.T. is designed to spread awareness and prevent the spread of germs and disease.

Vaseline vs. Lotion

Here are my opinions on the pros and cons of vaseline vs. lotion:

Petroleum Pros A thin application of a petroleum based product such as Vaseline helps to keep a moist layer on a fresh tattoo. When this slimy layer is washed off for the first time, it takes the plasma with it and leaves a nice, supple closed layer of skin. Petroleum based products keep skin moist and pliable for a long time.

Petroleum Cons: Petroleum based products clog pores. Petroleum also collects dirt and germs. It doesn’t allow the skin to “breathe”. It also prevents normal sweating (through it) which often leads to a ring of “pimples” around the tattoo. I don’t prefer petroleum products after the first wash for these reasons.

Lotion Pros: Lotion keeps the skin moist and flexible. Lotion is more completely absorbed; allowing tattooed skin to breathe and sweat normally. Lotion prevents cracking. Lotion is excellent to rub into the tissue paper – like first regenerated skin layers that form over the tattoo.

Lotion Cons: Lotions can cause an allergic reaction. You should test a small, non tattooed area to check. Lotion can irritate the tattoo. Discontinue use of that lotion if it does.

Our Goal

-       The Goal of this website is to promote awareness of clean tattooing technique.

Coincidentally, awareness is the most effective tool in improving and maintaining clean tattooing technique. (If you know what you’re watching for, and you focus and see what you need to, you will be effective.)

-       Awareness and clean tattoo procedure keeps people safe. These techniques, even just awareness of the dangers and identifying the contamination hazards, protect the client, the artist, the shop employees, and the customers.

-       The Responsibility to maintain clean procedure technique is primarily that of the tattooist and any involved shop technicians or employees. It is also the responsibility of the client to be as aware as possible of what clean tattoo technique involves. It is because of this shared responsibility that everyone involved in any facet of the tattoo procedure can benefit from this information.