Questions to Ask a Tattoo Artist Before Getting a Tattoo

Have you finally decided to make the leap and ink the tattoo you’ve always admired? That’s great, but don’t head for the first tattoo parlor you see. Getting a tattoo is a big life decision, given its permanence and the social reactions it often incites, and, so, you should make sure that you get yours done to perfection by a professional and experienced tattoo artist.

Look up the top tattoo artists in Miami and book an appointment with one of them. However, before you make the book, you need to ask them some procedural and safety questions to ensure that your enjoyment of your new tattoo isn’t eclipsed by any potential health concerns. Here are some of the questions to ask a tattoo artist before getting a tattoo:

What type of ink will you use for the tattoo?

Since the FDA doesn’t regulate tattoo ink, tattoo parlors can use cheap colorants and carriers to cut costs when creating tattoos; colorants are the pigments that give the tattoo its colors and carriers are the diluents that help transfer the colorants into the skin. Unfortunately, cheap doesn’t translate to safe for use, and injecting these substances into your skin could lead to allergic reactions and increased chances of infections.

Avoid such risks by finding out what type of ink the tattoo artist uses and what its ingredients are. You should research each ingredient to make sure it is not hazardous, read the manufacturer’s material safety data sheet for its toxicological information, and also check if it is listed on the Toxic Substances Portal of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. If any of the ingredients are unsafe, ask the tattoo artist to use a different and safer ink.

Do you have a license to work as a tattoo artist?

In many U.S. states, tattoo artists must have a license to practice. The license indicates that the tattoo artist has professional training in tattooing and understands all the essential aspects of proper tattooing, including proper sterilization and first aid knowledge. It is even better if they also have voluntary certification in preventing bloodborne pathogens.

What sterilization process do you follow?

Following proper sterilization techniques with tattooing, tools is crucial to prevent infections that might result in Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV. So, you want to make sure that the tattoo artist sterilizes all their equipment and uses fresh needles. Ask to see the needles in their protective pack to make sure that the expiring date hasn’t passed.

Can I see your tattoo work portfolio?

Given the permanence of a tattoo, you don’t want to end up with something you might regret. So, make sure that the tattoo artist has the skills to execute your design exactly as it is. Seeing their tattoo portfolio can give you an idea of their work quality. You can also ask to watch them while they are creating an actual tattoo. Along with observing how confident and skilled they are, you can also discover if they follow basic safety procedures such as washing their hands and wearing disposable gloves.

What are your usual aftercare instructions?

The aftercare instructions the tattoo artist gives you after completing your tattoo are vital for preventing infections as well as for keeping the tattoo colors intact for a long time. Care instructions can include applying medical grade gauze bandages and using specially formulated ointments that help the healing process without fading the ink.

If the tattoo artists that you contact refuse to respond to any or some of these questions, consider it a red flag and find another tattoo parlor that will be more forthcoming.

It is perfectly reasonable to ask such questions and expect helpful answers. The tattoo will be on your skin, after all, and you will have to live with it, and so, you have every right to make sure beforehand that it will be perfectly safe for you. The top tattoo artists in Miami will welcome your questions and give responses that should reassure you about getting your tattoo done with them.  It may also help to check with your primary physician to make sure that getting a tattoo will not negatively impact your health.

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