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Girl Getting Arm Tattoo


It’s not always an easy decision to get a tattoo or piercing, and it’s certainly not always easy to maintain a healthy one. That’s why since 2000, our team at Audacious Ink Tattoo Studio has been providing helpful tips and resources for all our clients. Here you can find some of our most recent musings that may inspire, or simply assist you in caring for your body art. We care for your health and wellbeing, which is why we invite you to peruse our helpful info below.


August 24, 2022

Exposing what's in tattoo ink -- ScienceDaily

The researchers will present their results today at the fall meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). 

"The idea for this project initially came about because I was interested in what happens when laser light is used to remove tattoos," says John Swierk, Ph.D., the project's principal investigator. "But then I realized that very little is actually known about the composition of tattoo inks, so we started analyzing popular brands."

Swierk and undergraduates in his laboratory interviewed tattoo artists to see what they knew about the inks they use on their customers. The artists could quickly identify a brand they preferred, but they didn't know much about its contents. "Surprisingly, no dye shop makes pigment specific for tattoo ink," Swierk explains. "Big companies manufacture pigments for everything, such as paint and textiles. These same pigments are used in tattoo inks." He also notes that tattoo artists must be licensed in the locales where they operate for safety reasons, yet no federal or local agency regulates the contents of the inks themselves.

Tattoo inks contain two parts: a pigment and a carrier solution. The pigment could be a molecular compound such as a blue pigment; a solid compound such as titanium dioxide, which is white; or a combination of the two compound types such as light blue ink, which contains both the molecular blue pigment and titanium dioxide. The carrier solution transports the pigment to the middle layer of skin and typically helps make the pigment more soluble. It can also control the viscosity of the ink solution and sometimes includes an anti-inflammatory ingredient.

Swierk's team at Binghamton University (State University of New York) has been investigating the particle size and molecular composition of tattoo pigments using a variety of techniques, such as Raman spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and electron microscopy. From these analyses, they have confirmed the presence of ingredients that aren't listed on some labels. For example, in one case ethanol was not listed, but the chemical analysis showed it was present in the ink. The team has also been able to identify what specific pigments are present in some inks.

"Every time we looked at one of the inks, we found something that gave me pause," Swierk says. "For example, 23 of 56 different inks analyzed to date suggest an azo-containing dye is present." Although many azo pigments do not cause health concerns when they are chemically intact, bacteria or ultraviolet light can degrade them into another nitrogen-based compound that is a potential carcinogen, according to the Joint Research Centre, which provides independent scientific advice to the European Union.

In addition, the team has analyzed 16 inks using electron microscopy, and about half contained particles smaller than 100 nm. "That's a concerning size range," says Swierk. "Particles of this size can get through the cell membrane and potentially cause harm."

After the researchers run a few more tests and have the data peer reviewed, they will add the information to their website "What's in My Ink?" "With these data, we want consumers and artists to make informed decisions and understand how accurate the provided information is," says Swierk.

The researchers acknowledge support and funding from Binghamton University (State University of New York).


February 8, 2017

Can You Read These Tattoo History Facts Without Wanting to Get Inked?

Tattoos were once used as a form of identification.

Native Americans who couldn’t read English would sometimes draw pictures of their tattoos in lieu of signing their names.

Drunken sailors would also rely on tattoos to prove their identity, since they often failed to keep track of physical documents.

Then, with the 1936 invention of social security numbers, all kinds of people were going to parlors to get the eight digits permanently painted into their skin.

You've definitely heard of the person whose breakthroughs allowed for the invention of the tattoo gun.

The electric pen – which revolutionized the art of tattooing by making it quicker, cheaper, and accessible to everyone – was actually invented by Thomas Edison.

Though the famous mind behind the lightbulb had intended the creation to reproduce handwritten manuscripts, he accidentally ended up giving himself a few tattoo dots as he was testing it out.

They used to be a symbol of "high class" in America.

After the Prince of Wales got tatted up on an 1862 visit to Jerusalem, many other royals around Europe quickly followed suit.

By the 1890s, members of American high society were desperate to get in on the trend.

New York locals offered the artist behind some of the royal ink $12,000 to open a shop in the city.

By 1900, 75 percent of the Big Apple’s most fashionable women sported designs ranging from birds to butterflies to calligraphy.

Some tattoos needed wardrobe upgrades.

During wartime, soldiers keenly missed the company of women. But with tattoos of naked or scantily clad ladies, they never had to feel so alone again.

Eventually, the Navy banned the ever-present porn. So soldiers hoping to make it into that prestigious class needed their tattoos to clean up their act. A booming “cover-up” business began with soldiers paying tattoo artists to put some clothes on their lady friends.

When one artist was charged with spreading disease due to unclean needles, he argued that he was doing “essential war work.” His fine was reduced and he was told to carry on.

You know the Macy's logo? Yeah, that's a tattoo.

R.H. Macy got the five-pointed red star tattooed on his hand as a teenager on a whaling ship in 1837.

The star was thought to symbolize the American flag and the compass rose.

Not all of the early tattoos were fashionable.

Olive Oatman never wanted the face tattoo that made her famous. But when she was captured by Native Americans in 1851, her chin was permanently marked with a blue tribal design.

After killing most of her family, the tribe enslaved Olive and her younger sister.

Though Oatman later claimed that the tattoo was meant to mark her as a slave, scholars suspect it was actually intended as a symbol of belonging, meant to help Olive enter the after-life.Wikimedia Commons

Having tattoos was once a full-time job.

Sailors were the first to realize that their heavily inked bodies were so intriguing to the general public that people would pay to get a closer look.

Eventually, sideshow acts began popping up all over the city.

Nora Hildebrandt holds a legacy as “the first professional tattooed lady.”

Trying to cash in on the fame of Olive Oatman, she spread rumors that she had been kidnapped, tied to a tree, and forcibly tattooed once every day for a year.

In reality, she was mostly inked by her own father – America’s first tattoo artist.

Tattoos were banned in New York from 1961 until 1997.

Though the ban was reportedly a response to outbreaks of Hepatitis B, undercover shops persisted and were rarely shut down by police.

Tattoo designs were even drawn on window shades in the 1960s so they could be easily hidden in case of a raid.

At least one president had one.

Can you guess which U.S. President sported his family’s seal on his chest? Most history buffs wouldn’t be surprised.

Theodore Roosevelt, the universally accepted tough guy of the Oval Office, is the only confirmed president with ink. But rumors suggest Andrew Jackson and Franklin D. Roosevelt had secret body art.

Pictured: Tattoo drawings from the late 1800s.

Women and tattoos go way back.

The idea that ink is a sign of promiscuity, which is still commonly held today, began in the mid 1900s.

There were even several instances when New York courts ruled against a woman plaintiff seeking harassment charges solely because of her body art.

Eventually though, women reclaimed the use of ink as a sign of power and independence – with many of the gallery’s portraits featuring survivors of breast cancer who have tattooed over their scars.

Cristian Petru Panaite was always intrigued by his grandfather’s tattoo.

It was a fairly small depiction of a woman and – although his grandfather didn’t like to discuss it – Panaite knew it must have been hard to get in 1950s communist Romania.

With this as his only window into the tattooing world, the New York Historical


December 28, 2020

Tattoo Aftercare: Products, Tips & More

A tattoo is more than just a piece of art and a way to assert your personal style. It’s a medical procedure too, because the artist uses a needle to insert the ink underneath your skin.

Any time you open the skin, you leave yourself vulnerable to scarring and infections.

Caring for your tattoo can prevent those complications and ensure that the tattoo heals properly. Both you and your tattoo artist play equal roles in this process. Along with going to a licensed and reputable tattoo artist, you need to take care of your new tattoo at home.

Figuring out how to care for your tattoo can be tricky, though. Many states don’t require their tattoo artists to provide aftercare instructions. The states that do require aftercare instructions often let the artist decide which information to provide.

How to care for your tattoo

Aftercare starts as soon as your tattoo is done.

Cover it up

The artist should apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment over the tattoo and then cover the area in a bandage or plastic wrap. This covering prevents bacteria from getting into your skin. It also protects the tattoo from rubbing onto your clothes and getting irritated.

Keep the dressing on for as long as your tattoo artist recommends, which may be just a few hours. It’ll help absorb any fluid or excess ink that leaks from the tattoo.

Gently wash the tattoo

After a few hours, you can remove the covering.

First wash your hands with water and soap. Then gently wash the tattoo with warm water and fragrance-free liquid soap. Pat your skin dry with a soft cloth.

Let your tattoo dry completely. If your tattoo area feels too dry you may apply a small amount of fragrance-free and alcohol-free moisturizer to the tattoo. You can keep the covering off at this point to let your skin breathe.


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)Trusted Source allows some fatty alcohols, such as cetearyl alcohol and cetyl alcohol, to be used in cosmetic products that are labeled “alcohol-free.” Unlike ethanol, fatty alcohols don’t dry out the skin.

Wait for it to heal

While your tattoo heals, you should:

wear sun-protective clothing whenever you go outside

call your tattoo artist or doctor if you experience any symptoms of infection or other problems

You shouldn’t:

cover your tattoo with sunblock until it’s fully healed

scratch or pick at the tattoo

wear tight clothing over the tattoo

go swimming or immerse your body in water (quick showers are fine)

How quickly you heal depends on the size of your tattoo and how intricate it is. Bigger tattoos will stay red and swollen longer because they cause more trauma to your skin.

Day 1

You’ll come home from the tattoo studio with a bandage or other healing barrier over your tattoo. Usually after a few hours, you can remove it unless given other instructions.

You should ask your artist for specifics about how long to wait. Recommendations will vary and may be based on the type and size of your tattoo. Some tattoo artists suggest that you only keep your tattoo covered for 1 or 2 hours for some coverings and others may remain on longer.

Once the covering comes off, you’ll probably notice fluid oozing from the tattoo. This is blood, plasma (the clear part of blood), and some extra ink. It’s normal. Your skin will also be red and sore. It might feel slightly warm to the touch.

With clean hands, wash the tattoo with warm water and a fragrance-free liquid soap. After your tattoo area is completely dry you may apply a fragrance-free and alcohol-free moisturizer if your tattoo feels too tight. Leave the covering off so the tattoo can heal.

Days 2 to 3

By now, your tattoo will have a duller, cloudier appearance. This happens as your skin heals. Scabs will start to form.

Wash your tattoo preferably once a day, and apply a fragrance-free and alcohol-free moisturizer only if needed.

When you wash, you might notice some ink running into the sink. This is just excess ink that’s come up through your skin.

Days 4 to 6

The redness should start to fade.

You’ll probably notice some light scabbing over the tattoo. The scabs shouldn’t be as thick as the scabs you get when you cut yourself, but they’ll be raised. Don’t pick at the scabs — this can cause scarring and loss of coloring.

Keep washing your tattoo preferably once a day. Apply a fragrance-free and alcohol-free moisturizer if needed.

Days 6 to 14

The scabs have hardened and will begin to flake off.

Don’t pick at them or try to pull them off. Let them come off naturally. Otherwise, you could pull out the ink and leave scars.

At this point, your skin may feel very itchy. Gently rub on a fragrance-free and alcohol-free moisturizer as need to relieve the itch being careful not to over moisturize which can lead to loss of color.

If your tattoo is still red and swollen at this point, you might have an infection. Go back to your tattoo artist or see a doctor.

Days 15 to 30

In this last stage of healing, most of the big flakes will be gone and the scabs should be going away. You might still see some dead skin, but it should eventually clear up too.

The tattooed area might still look dry and dull. Keep moisturizing until the skin looks hydrated again.

By the second or third week, the outer layers of skin should’ve healed. It may take 3 to 4 months for the lower layers to completely heal.

By the end of your third month, the tattoo should look as bright and vivid as the artist intended.

Tattoo aftercare products

Use a mild, fragrance-free liquid soap or a specially formulated tattoo cleanser to clean the area. Your tattoo artist can recommend a cleanser.

It’s best to avoid products that are 100 percent petroleum-based, like Vaseline. The American Academy of Dermatology says that petroleum-based products can cause the ink to fade.

It’s also been noted that Vaseline may be helpful on already healed tattoos or the skin surrounding the tattoo if it’s exceptionally dry.

Just apply a thin layer. Putting on too thick of a layer won’t allow your skin to breathe.

After about 2 days, you can switch to a regular moisturizer. Some products that you can buy online include:

Lubriderm Daily Moisture Fragrance-Free Lotion

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion for Dry Skin

Curél Fragrance-Free Lotion

Eucerin Intensive Repair Lotion

Whatever you choose, make sure it’s fragrance-free and alcohol-free. Also make sure it doesn’t contain additives, such as colored dye, that could dry out your skin.

When properly cared for, your tattoo can be as brilliant as one of these inspiring breast cancer tattoos.

Coconut oil and tattoo aftercare

Polynesian people, such as Samoans, have long used coconut oil on their tattoos. They apply it after the tattoo is completed or when it heals. One supposed benefit is that it makes the design shine.

Some websites claim that coconut oil keeps the skin under your tattoo moist and protects against infection. Yet evidence is anecdotal, and there’s no scientific proof that it works.

Check with your doctor before putting coconut oil or any other unproven products on your tattoo.

Dry healing

In a method known as tattoo dry healing, you don’t use any moisturizer as part of your aftercare routine. However, you do follow the other steps, such as avoiding the sun.

Supporters of dry healing believe that one benefit of avoiding moisturizers (which may contain artificial ingredients) is that it helps to eliminate the possibility of skin irritation or allergic reaction. A counterargument is that the lack of moisture leaves you vulnerable to itching.

Ask your tattoo artist whether dry healing may be right for you.

Potential side effects and complications of tattoos

For the first few days after you get your tattoo, your skin may be red, itchy, and sore. You may notice excess ink, along with blood and fluid, leaking from your skin. This is normal.

If you begin experiencing symptoms of any of the following complications, see your doctor:


A tattoo that isn’t properly cared for can get infected. Infected skin will be red, warm, and painful. It may also leak pus.

If the equipment or ink your artist used was contaminated, you could get a bloodborne infection, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, tetanus, or HIV.

There have also been reports of other infections, such as nontuberculous mycobacterial skin infections, being transmitted through tattoos.

Allergic reaction

If you’re sensitive to the ink your artist used, you may develop a red, itchy skin reaction at the site. According to a 2019 studyTrusted Source, red dyes are the most likely to cause an allergic reaction.

ResearchTrusted Source shows that red dyes, along with blue and black dyes, are also more likely to cause nonallergic skin reactions such as photosensitivity.


Damage from the needle or from picking at the tattoo can cause your body to produce scar tissue. Scars can be permanent.

Long-term tattoo aftercare tips

Once your tattoo has healed, you move into maintenance mode. Though you don’t have to specifically care for it after 3 or 4 months, there are things you can do to prevent the ink from degrading.

Tips for long

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