What type of Body Art do you want? To get what you want from body art, you first need to decide if it’s right for you. To be happier with your decision: Be sure body art is right for you. Make the decision without pressure Check out the studio Interview the artist Consider it permanent Ask yourself: Will you like your body art 5 years from now? 10 years from now? Will the design still be the statement you want to make? Will you feel proud of it if you get a new job? Change careers? Get a new partner? In any social situation? Things to consider before getting a tattoo: Consider a tattoo permanent. While laser treatment can remove tattoos sometimes, it is expensive and removal can cause scarring. Try a temporary tattoo or use markers to decide if you want a tattoo. Approximate the size, design and area you are considering. Getting a tattoo hurts. Most people find the pain is more annoying than unbearable. Some think the outlining of a design hurts more than the shading. Where Will It Hurt? Least painful areas to get a tattoo are the fleshy parts of the arms and legs. Chests and back areas are more painful. Sternum and ribs are the worst. Areas over bone hurt more. Areas near joints (wrists, elbows, knees, and ankles) hurt most because more nerves are located there. Taking Care of Your Tattoo Tattoos take about 2-3 weeks to heal. The tattoo artist should supply specific instructions for treatment. In general: Don’t pick at the skin or at scabs that form after a tattoo, even if it itches. This can increase the chance of infection and postpone healing. Stay out of the sun. Use sunscreen. Sunlight will fade a tattoo over time. Moisturize your skin, but not too much. Things to Consider before Getting a Piercing: A piercing gun should never be used except for earlobes. The size of jewelry inserted matters. It must be large enough to allow for swelling and to minimize infection. Only certain metals are safe. Jewelry used in piercing should be made from 316L surgical-implant-grade stainless steel, 14-or 18-karat solid gold, niobium or titanium only. Jewelry made from anything else increases the risk of infection or allergic reaction. Don’t use jewelry for pierced earlobes for any other site. Healing Times for Piercings Lip: 6-8 weeks Earlobe or eyebrow: 6-8 weeks Ear cartilage: 2 months to 1 year Tongue: 4-6 weeks Cheek: 2-3 months Nipple: 2-6 months Navel: 6 months to 1 year Genitals: 4 weeks to 8 months, depending on locations of piercing. Body Artists’ Associations The Association of Professional Piercers and the Alliance of Professional Tattooists: Set standards of practice and ethics that members agree to follow. Provide ongoing education. Work to keep their professions safe and legal. Belonging to a professional organization shows that the artist has a strong commitment to the practice and to high standards. There are no comparable associations for those who practice branding and scarification. Branding/Scarification Branding and scarification make marks or designs by scarring the skin. They should be considered permanent. Branding is done by heating surgical sheet metal to 1900-2100 degrees and then applying it to the skin. Scarification is done most frequently (and most safely) with a scalpel blade making small cuts to the skin. Things to Consider before Branding/Scarification Flat, fleshy areas are the usual sites for branding and scarification: shoulder, back, thigh and arm. Avoid branding/scarification near joints. It may hinder movement and mobility. Plan on a healing time of 3-6 weeks. It’s important that the artist and studio practice good health and safety standards. Unclean, unsterilized instruments carry a risk for HIV and hepatitis B infection. The price of body art depends upon its size and elaborateness. Don’t skimp on price. It often means skimping on quality as well. If you have any of the following signs of infection, see your health care provider: Thick yellow or green discharge from the body art, including pus Continuos oozing or bleeding Heat or read streaks originating from and moving away from the art The pain doesn’t go away or increases You have any unusual pain or swelling Check out the Studio Is the studio an established business? Is the studio clean? Everywhere? Floors, counters, tables, and personnel? Are new disposable needles or scalpels used for each customer? Are all instruments and equipment sterilized? Are new containers of ink used each time? Does the artist always wear latex gloves? Are the gloves changed every time he/she touches a nonsterile surface? Does the staff answer all your questions willingly and thoroughly? Do they provide specific instructions for taking care of your body art? Interview the Artist What training does the artist have? A good professional will have received training and/or served as an apprentice. How much experience does the artist have? What is his or her specific experience? Does the artist belong to a professional body artists’ association or organization? What other education does the artist have related to this practice? Look for knowledge of anatomy and physiology, CPR training, prevention of blood-borne diseases and seminars specifically related to the work being done. Ask to see a samples book. Body artists often document their work by taking photos of the final product. Look for a wide range of styles and designs. Ask for other clients and references. Check them out. For more information contact ETR Associates at P.O. Box 1830 Santa Cruz, CA 95061-1830, Call: 1-800-321-4407 or e-mail a www.etr.org About the creator of this bulletin board… About the Creator of this bulletin board: Christa Sandelier is currently serving as the Area Coordinator for the Jester Center at the University of Texas in Austin. She received her Bachelor's degree at Delaware Valley College in PA and her Master's at Shippensburg University in PA. After spending time as a Residence Director and working on her Master's at Shippensburg University she worked as an Area Coordinator at Colorado State University. Christa has written a number of works for ResLife.net and also co-authored a chapter for ACUHO-I's Pursuing a Career in Housing. She has also served as a panelist for an audio conference for Paperclip Communications on supervision. Christa is an active member in ACPA, serving on the Placement Center Committee. She is looking to begin her doctorate in the near future.
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