BEST PRICKS IN TOWN
Asked Questions and Aftercare
embark on the adventure of body art, here are some
tips on choosing the right studio and artist and how
to care for your tattoos and body piercings.
Consider Before you Make a Decision
Be an Informed
- Make the decision sober. If you
make the decision while drunk, you may regret it
- Don't let peer pressure
influence your decision. Your friends don't have
to live with your tattoo or body piercing, you
- Consider the risk for getting a
disease such as HIV/AIDS or hepatitis B. If
tattoo or piercing needles are not properly
sterilized or thrown out, you have an increased
risk of contracting these diseases. Also,
infected blood may get into the paint that the
tattoo needle goes into.
- Make sure the body art is right
for you. This is a permanent decision. Consider
how it might affect current and future
relationships and future job
Questions to Ask Your Tattoo Artist or Piercer
Before Getting a Tattoo or Piercing
- Call or visit several places
before choosing the studio where you will have
your tattoo or piercing done. Make sure the
studio is an established business.
- Ask to see pictures of the
tattoo artists' work to get a better sense of
their skill and the quality of their work, and
to see if their designs match your tastes.
- Look at the studio to see if it
is clean, well-organized, and well-lighted. Make
sure that piercing is done in a separate
- If the tattoo artist or person
that is piercing is not helpful, or refuses to
answer any of your questions, move on to another
place. Measure how the person you talk with
answers your questions - are they considerate
and answer all your questions, or do they seem
annoyed by your inquisitiveness?
The answer to all these questions
should be yes.
- Do you thoroughly wash your
hands with antibacterial solution immediately
before and after each tattoo or piercing?
- Do you wear latex gloves during
- Do you use one-time service
materials and equipment and set up and open them
in front of the client?
- Do you use sterile disposable
needles and never use a gun for piercing?
- Do you have an FDA-regulated
autoclave for sterilization on site?
- Do you sanitize your work area
with a viricidal disinfectant, approved by the
EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), before
and after each client?
- Do you properly dispose of
- Do you use appropriate jewelry
for body piercings (see "Choosing the right
- Keep your a bandage on your
tattoo for at least 2 hours. Wash your tattoo
thoroughly using soap and water, making sure to
remove all crusted material.
- In about 4 days your tattoo will
begin to flake and peel. Do not peel off the
skin or scabs that may form. The peeling will
stop in about 7-10 days.
- No swimming, sauna, or tanning
on the new tattoo during the first two
- Make sure the artist uses
- New ink caps and new latex
gloves should be used for each customer.
Piercing should always be done
with a sterile, disposable needle, NEVER a
gun. Piercing guns should not be used because they
cannot be properly sterilized in an autoclave,
earring studs are much duller than a piercing
needle, causing more tissue trauma from the force
of a gun, and piercing gun earring backs are hard
to clean and may trap bacteria.
Choosing the right jewelry
Caring for your new piercing
- Match the jewelry to your type
of body. Jewelry that is too thin can tear out.
Jewelry that is too thick can cause an abscess
or keloid scarring.
- Jewelry should be made of 316L
or LVM surgical stainless steel, 14-karat or
18-karat solid gold, titanium or niobium only.
Gold-filled, gold-plated or sterling silver can
chip, tarnish or degrade in a piercing.
- If you are sensitive to metal,
monofilament nylon, Bio-flex, or Teflon may be
- Don't use jewelry that has
nicks, scratches or irregular surfaces.
Tongue, lip and cheek piercings
- Clean your piercing 3 times a
day with a sea-salt solution ( sea salt can be
purchased at Wild Oats or Publix) A pinch of
sea-salt with hot water and a q-tip. Do NOT
use hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol to
clean your piercing, this will slow
- Do NOT touch, play, or
take out the jewelry before you are healed.
- No swimming, rough play or
oral contact with the piercing during the
healing period. Listen to your body when
engaging in any type of activity. If it hurts,
don't do it.
- Don't use antibacterial
ointments. They are difficult to clean out
of a piercing and may trap bacteria once the
antibacterial action wears off.
- Rinse for 30 seconds with
a bottle filled with 1/2 LISTERINE and 1/2 WATER
after eating, smoking,drinking, or doing
anything with your mouth.
- Rinse your mouth between
12 and 24 times a day whether you are eating or
- Avoid oral sexual contact
for 4-6 weeks, including French kissing, even if
you are in a monongamous relationship.
American Dental Association
position on intraoral/perioral piercings:
The American Dental Association
(ADA) has come out with a position opposing oral
piercing. The reason for this is because of the
many adverse outcomes that can occur secondary to
the piercing. These outcomes include increased
salivary flow, gingival injury or recession,
damage to teeth, interference with speech,
scar-tissue formation, development of metal
hypersensitivities, and airway obstruction due to
prolonged swelling. The National Institutes of
Health has identified piercings as a possible mode
of transmission for bloodborne illnesses such as
hepatitis B, C, D and G.
For more information on the ADA
position on intraoral/perioral piercings click here.
infections CAN arise long after the piercing
Typical healing times of
different types of piercings:
Earlobe: 4-6 weeks
Ear Cartilage: 2 months - 1
Tongue: 4-6 weeks
Nipple: 2-6 months
Female Genitals: 4-8 weeks
Lip or Eyebrow: 6-8 weeks
Nostril: 2-3 months
Cheek: 2-3 months
Navel: 6 months - 1 year
Male Genitals: 3-6
All instruments and equipment
should be properly sterilized by using
autoclaving. Do not assume everything is
sterile. Use of nonsterile equipment and
instruments can lead to the spread of HIV or
There is also no inspection or
regulation of tattoo pigment/dye. Pigment mixtures
are of unknown safety.
SEE YOUR PHYSICIAN IF THE PAIN
DOES NOT DECREASE, IF IT IS RED, SWOLLEN OR
OOZING BLOOD OR A COLORED DISCHARGE.
Piercing, Branding, Tattoos Division of
Student Affairs, Department of Student Life,
Texas A&M University.
Taking Care of
Body Piercings ETR Associates, 1998.
Go Ask Alice!
Columbia University's Health Education