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You may have noticed that we are pretty big advocates of safety in the tattoo industry.  This article is for those of you who are looking for a cheap way to get a good tattoo.  There is no such thing, and you would do good to remember that!

Tattooing is a "You Get What You Pay For" industry.  Remember that one too, it's important!  What I'm saying is, don't be surprised if your $30 kitchen tattoo turns into a $400 cover-up.  Or worse, an infection that lands you in the emergency room!

While a professionally tattooed, well cared for tattoo can be beautiful, they can be expensive.  However, the end result of an in-home tattoo, or something from a  “tattoo party” can be one of life's biggest regrets.  Most of the time they are done very poorly, slow to heal and, in a worst case scenario, infectious.  Not to mention that it’s against the law in most states.

Because of the rising popularity of tattoos more and more “artists” are picking up their 2nd rate tattoo machines, dipping a dull, used needle into alcohol and putting their friends and family at risk.
The most popular room in the house for most amateur tattoo artists, known commonly in the industry as scratchers, is the kitchen.  It makes perfect sense, the floors are tile, and there is usually a Formica or marble counter-top.  How easy to clean when you’re done!  This sort of thinking couldn’t be further from the truth.  Unsanitary conditions made by a person without the proper trainin, can lead to all sorts of infections, and the transmission of blood borne pathogens will be much higher.  The amount of bacteria and mold spores found in the kitchen and all of its surfaces are staggering!  This makes cross-contamination almost inevitable.

Below are some of the risks involved in getting a tattoo from an unlicensed individual inside their home.  

1.     Sterilization Methods:
The single most important piece of equipment used in tattooing is the Autoclave.  An autoclave is the only recognized form of sterilization, using a combination of steam and pressure to kill any virus, bacteria and mold spores.  There have been many instances of people simply dipping the needles and tubes into alcohol, burning the needle tips with a lighter, or boiling them in water.

2.     Equipment:
Most people tattooing out of their homes are not using the proper equipment.  This can pose a major risk to both the artist and the person receiving the tattoo.  A tattoo apprenticeship is required in order to correctly set up your machines, and also to keep them in perfect working condition.  A tattoo apprenticeship will sometimes last up to 3 years in order to gain the knowledge and confidence to safely apply a tattoo according to local health regulations.

3.     Use of Tap Water:
There are hidden dangers in simply using tap water for your soap during the tattoo process and to rinse ink out of tubes.  This danger applies to professional tattoo studios as well.  In the past few years there have been rare cases of bacterial skin infections from contaminated city water.  It is not required, but it is recommended to use distilled bottled water for anything coming in contact with the skin during the procedure.  

4.     Artist Reputation:
The internet makes it easy to purchase cheap equipment, just because the artist has the equipment, doesn’t mean they know what they are doing!  It’s very common now for people to scour the web for tattoo images and use them for their own portfolio.  Make sure you go to a respected tattoo studio with artists that have experience!  Browse the portfolio of everyone who works there, you might find a style that suits your own personality.

5.     Tattoo Parties:
These are something you just need to stay away from!  Tattoo parties are also a party for bacteria.  Usually there will one or two artists set up in a kitchen or basement, I consider this situation “Production Line Tattooing”.  They try to get as many people through as quickly as possible.  This usually means proper sanitary and sterilization procedures are overlooked.

The bottom line is this, get your next tattoo from a clean, licensed and experienced tattoo studio.
I will post more, this is just part 1.

Check out some these lovely specimens below.  If your a Facebooker, you may have already seen some of these.

REMEMBER:  These tattoos were done done by some asshat from some unknown creepy basement, not at Chroma Tattoo!