Tattoos vs. Piercings

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Amber Garwood
Prof Deanna Jessup
English 112
3 June 2011
Tattoos vs. Piercings

Your 18th birthday is one of the most important birthdays. You are finally of legal age to get a tattoo or a body piercing. The difficult question you now face is which one do you choose? You would love either, so the decision is mainly based on the expense, aftercare, permanence, and the pain of each. Both are great ways of self-expression but I feel body piercing is an overall better idea. Over the course of this paper I will express the differences between the two.

There are quite a few similarities to both tattoos and body piercing. You risk an infection with both. Since each of them is will be piercing the skin you must be sure the artist or piercer you choose is very sterile. The tattoo machine or piercing tools should be sterilized in an autoclave after each use, unless disposable then it should be thrown away. An autoclave is an instrument used to sterilize equipment and supplies by subjecting them to high pressure saturated steam at 121 °C or more, typically for 15–20 minutes depending on what is being sterilized(Wilkinsin pg 57). They both require time to heal, and aftercare, the proper aftercare is important to prevent infection as well. Neither should ever be done by someone that is not a professional. A homemade tattoo or piercing is more likely to get infected.

A tattoo is done with a device called a tattoo machine. The tattoo machine is a hand-held device generally used to create a tattoo, a permanent marking of the skin with permanent ink. There are needles that penetrate the skin, and place the ink all the way through the epidermis and into the dermis. This can be painful. The needles going through the different layers of skin can cause the body to bleed. A few hours to a day later it will scab up and become itchy. It is very important that you do not scratch your tattoo. Some say to apply a thin layer if ointment to keep it moist. If you scratch of the...