Tattoos and Body Piercing, What Are the Facts?

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Freak! Weirdo! That was what most people covered in tattoos and body piercing were nicknamed in an era gone by. Today, this widely common phenomenon is widely spread from young adolescence to the older generations and some still carry those nicknames. Tattooing and body piercing has come along way since the time of un-sterilized and unsanitary practices. Body piercing and tattoos are becoming a favorable form of self expression; one should consider the precautions and safety risks before making a hasty decision. Knowing what the processes are for body piercing and tattooing is a big step in understanding what these art forms are. Where the most reputable establishments are is a major key in getting the best results and staying safe when altering the body. Learning how to care for these adornments is a vital necessity in maintaining the integrity of the adornment as well as remaining healthy and infection free. The first question to ask when considering self adornment is, “What is a tattoo or body piercing?” A tattoo and body piercing are forms of skin adornments. (American Academy of Dermatology, 2004) A tattoo is the art of injecting permanent ink into the skin to form a picture or word. A body piercing is the wearing of jewelry through the skin. Tattoos should be performed by a licensed technician using a sterile inking gun to inject the colorful dyes or pigments into the first several layers of epidermis. With every prick of the needle, ink droplets are left behind to create a piece of art. Whereas body piercing is the puncturing of body parts and inserting body jewelry that can be changed or removed. This procedure is usually done by numbing the area first with a local anesthetic to reduce the pain on the participant. The equipment that professional technicians use for tattooing is a small machine with tubes containing dye that pierces the skin repeatedly—an action that resembles a sewing machine. (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2007)...
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