It may seem like a cool idea to use your body as a medium for artistic expression. Body art has become the “in” thing to do among today’s generation, young and old alike. One cannot walk down the street, go to the mall, or watch TV without seeing somebody with a tattoo on the arms, nape, navel, ankle or piercings in the ears, lips, nostrils, eyebrows, belly buttons, tongues, and cheeks. Piercings can now be done on just about any part of the body.
But before you think of getting one for yourself to ride on the bandwagon of being “cool” — you might want to know first how safe it is and the things you need to be aware of if you do decide to have one. A tattoo or piercing may take only a few minutes or hours to acquire but may cause possible risks of bacterial infections which may lead to long term medical conditions. Getting a tattoo should not lead to health complications and lifetime of regret.
So here are a few short notes on some of the more popular types of body art:
Body art is considered an extension of performing arts where the artist makes use of his or her own body for the purpose of artistic expression. Body art comes in different forms, the most common of which are tattoos and body piercings. Other types of body art are called scarification, branding, “scalpelling”, shaping, full body tattoo and body painting.
A tattoo, also known as dermal pigmentation, is a permanent mark or design made on the skin by inserting pigments through pricks into the skin’s top layer for decorative purposes. The procedure entails repeated piercing of a needle into the skin. With every puncture of the needle that is connected to a small machine with tubes containing dye, it injects ink droplets into the skin. There is small amount of bleeding involved in this process which may last for several hours depending on the size of the tattoo design. The process may cause slight to moderate pain.
The skin acts as the human body’s main protective barrier. Getting a tattoo puts a person at high risk of skin infections, allergic reactions, blood-borne diseases, skin disorders, as well as MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) complications.
After getting a tattoo, healing usually takes several days. When it becomes itchy, avoid picking at scabs. It may increase the risk of bacterial infections and can also damage the design.
Some people may decide to have their tattoos removed when the design becomes faded or when the design no longer appeals to them. However, complete removal may be very difficult as tattoos are intended to be permanent marks. Though there are many tattoo removal techniques nowadays, scarring and skin discoloration are likely to be left on the skin.
Body piercing is the insertion of jewelry into any parts of the human body. Body piercing poses certain risks similar to those when you get a tattoo. However, modern improvements in safety procedures and equipment have made earlobe piercing very popular as it is generally less risky than other body piercings.
Traditional body piercing is done with no anesthesia and, as such, is a painful experience. But modern techniques in earlobes-piercing makes safe use of ear piercing gun with sterilized, disposable cartridges. This single-use piercing device or gun includes one earring stud and clasp, and comes in individually wrapped sterile packages.
For other body piercings, a hollow needle is pushed through a body part to insert a piece of jewelry into the hole. The use of a reusable piercing gun for these types of piercings can put a person at risk of bacterial infections. These devices are difficult to sterilize and can easily damage the skin.
Choosing a reputable piercing and tattoo studio minimizes your chance of getting complications. These establishments employ trained and licensed tattoo and piercing artists. You can be assured of quality service as well as a clean environment. Remember, anytime the skin is punctured, there is a risk of skin infection. More than just getting an intricately designed tatoo or sporting that diamond-studded nose piercing, it’s important to know that it’s cool to be safe.