what-is-a-tattooA tattoo is an insertion of ink into the skin normally using a needle. The needle is inserted deeply into the skin and the wound is then filled with ink usually forming a pattern or design. There are different layers to the skin, the epidermis (top layer), dermis (layer below) and the sebaceous gland. The reason tattoos remain permanent is because the ink is inserted into the dermis and dermis cells are very stable. Tattoos have been around for a long time since 1769 in fact but back then they used to do them manually. The tattoo artist would puncture the skin with a standard needle then inject the ink by hand. This tattooing method is still used in few countries around the world although now a tattooing machine is popularly used. A tattooing machine is a needle attached to a tube containing ink. The machines tend to be powered by a foot pedal and controlled by the steady hand of a tattoo artist. This drives the ink about 1/8 of the way into your skin which is approximately 3 millimetres. Not going far enough into the skin can cause a ragged tattoo that can fade drastically over time. Going too far into the skin will cause excessive pain and bleeding, but most professional tattoo artists know how far to go.
Tattoos can take hours to be completed depending on the size and detail of the design you have chosen. Tattoos can be also be very painful depending on different factors. The pain can be less or worse depending on your pain threshold, where on your body you have the tattoo or how good the tattoo artist giving you your tattoo is. Some people describe the pain as a tingling or burning sensation. It can be described as being stung by a bee multiple times. Here is a step by step guide of the procedure of getting a tattoo so you know what to expect!
•    The tattoo artists will first wash their hands with an anti-bacterial soap.
•    The area of your body you are getting tattooed will be cleansed thoroughly.
•    The tattoo artist will put on clean gloves and maybe a face mask.
•    The tattoo artist should explain to you about the sterilization of equipment and open up the single use equipment, such as needles.
•    Using the tattoo machine the tattoo artist will draw the outline of the design you have chosen under the skin first.
•    The outline will then will cleaned with water and antiseptic soap
•    Using a thicker needle (also fresh, single use) to start the shading on your design, they will again wash the area, change the needle again and then start injecting colour to your design.
•    Any blood will be removed with a sterile, anti bacterial cloth
•    When you have your finished tattoo the area should be cleaned once again and bandaged up to keep any air born bacteria out of the open wound