Debunking Myths About Tattoos

Tattoos have been a part of human culture for thousands of years, yet they still carry many myths and misconceptions. Whether it’s about the tattoos themselves, the industry, or the artists, these myths can create unnecessary stigma and misunderstandings. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the most common myths about tattoos, the tattoo industry, and its artists, and shed light on the truths behind these misconceptions.

Common Myths About Tattoos

Myth 1: Tattoos Are Permanent and Cannot Be Removed

While tattoos are meant to be permanent, advances in laser technology have made it possible to remove or significantly fade tattoos. Tattoo removal is a process that may require several sessions, but it offers a solution for those looking to alter or eliminate their ink.

Myth 2: Tattoos Are Unprofessional

The perception that tattoos are unprofessional is changing rapidly. Many industries have become more accepting of tattoos, recognizing that body art does not reflect a person’s professionalism or capabilities. Even in conservative fields, attitudes are shifting as society becomes more inclusive.

Myth 3: All Tattoos Fade Quickly and Look Bad Over Time

Tattoos do age, but their longevity largely depends on the quality of the ink, the skill of the artist, and how well you care for them. Proper aftercare and protection from excessive sun exposure can keep tattoos looking vibrant for many years.

Myth 4: Tattoos Are Extremely Painful

Pain is subjective and varies from person to person. While some discomfort is expected, most people find the pain manageable. The level of pain also depends on the location of the tattoo and the individual’s pain threshold.

Myth 5: People With Tattoos Regret Them

Regret is not as common as some might think. Many people see their tattoos as meaningful expressions of their identity or experiences. While some may choose to modify or remove their tattoos later in life, it’s often due to changes in personal preference rather than regret.

Myth 6: Having Tattoos Causes Health Conditions

Some people say tattoos can lead to illness or even cause cancer. This myth might stem from the fear of the spread of bloodborne pathogens, which can happen if tattoo artists don’t use sterile equipment. Additionally, some clients will have allergic reactions to ink. However, there is currently no evidence that simply having tattoos can cause health problems. In fact, some studies show that having tattoos raises the number of antibodies in your blood, which can help fight off some illnesses like the common cold.

Myth 7: Color Tattoos Hurt More Than Black and Gray

All tattoos hurt, and color does not hurt more than black and gray, but there is a reason people believe this. Artists have to use different techniques for inks with different consistencies. If the ink is thin, it might take an extra pass or more time to get the ink in, which adds an extra step to your tattoo process. While it depends on the brand, color ink tends to be thicker than black ink. This is why it seems like color tattoos hurt more.

Myth 8: Getting a Tattoo Drunk Hurts Less

Plenty of people think that having a few drinks before their appointment will make the pain more bearable. However, alcohol actually causes the opposite reaction. In fact, most artists warn people not to drink the night before or day of their appointment. Because alcohol thins out the blood, it causes a person to bleed more during their appointment. Alcohol also dehydrates the body, which makes a tattoo more painful. This is the same case for painkillers, especially ibuprofen, because they thin the blood. This means a person will bleed much more during their appointment, which can make it harder for a tattoo artist to work. In most states, it’s illegal to tattoo someone who is under the influence. If a client shows up to an appointment drunk because they wanted to dull the pain, there’s a good chance they’ll get turned away.

Myth 9: You Cannot Donate Blood After Getting a Tattoo

If you have tattoos, you can give blood. However, each state has different regulations on how long you have to wait after getting a tattoo before donating blood.

Myth 10: Covering New Tattoos With Ointment Will Help Them Heal Better

While it might seem like a good idea to keep a new tattoo “hydrated” with a ton of ointment, using too much can keep a tattoo from healing properly. If there’s a thick layer of ointment on top of it, a new tattoo can’t breathe, and the ointment will actually pull ink out of the tattoo. It’s best to just apply a thin layer to assist the skin in its natural healing process. Some people like to use Vaseline, but petroleum products can clog the skin. We recommend going with something water-based, like Lubriderm.

Myth 11: Chlorine Can Fade Your Tattoos

This one is partly true. While swimming in a pool with chlorine can cause the ink to fall out of an unhealed tattoo, once the tattoo is healed, going in the pool won’t fade your tattoos. If there are higher levels of chlorine in the pool, it can cause some mild damage to the top layer of skin (redness and irritation). However, tattoo ink sits in the second layer of the skin, out of reach of the chlorine. Tattoos are more likely to fade from too much time spent in the sun, whether that time is spent in a pool or not.

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