Wednesday 24 May 2017 News Updated at 11:05 AM IST
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Get inked in style! - Deccan Herald
Get inked in style!
DH News Service,
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Tattoos’, the word itself conjures up images of biker guys and gals, entering a bar (that’s it! there’s no punch line here). In many ways though, tattoos have outgrown their initial target audience and have become yet another flag-bearer of modern popular culture.

Demystifying tattoos
The origin of tattoos is the subject of speculation. We know for a fact that they were initially used as either symbolic warrior totems or in shamanistic rituals. Body art, as a whole, is a very tribal concept and the most celebrated tattoos of antiquity, therefore, were the warrior emblems and sleeves worn by Samoan and Polynesian warriors. In fact, even the word 'tattoo’ is derived from the Polynesian word tatau, meaning 'to write’.

So, it is rather fair to say that the bearer of the tattoo is scripting or writing their own stories, recalling events and occurrences that hold special significance to them. Tattoos are not just funky style statements for yuppies who want to look cool. As it was with ancient cultures, tattoos today too are meant to tell a story of great personal significance to the wearer, and no two tattoos are ever the same.

So, here’s all you need to know before you go in for your first tattoo:
  • Don’t make the mistake of going too big on your first tattoo.
  • Avoid sensitive areas like the ribs, knees and elbows.
  • Never skimp. If you don’t have the money to get it done from a tattoo artist of repute, don’t get one done in a hurry.
  • Avoid putting names on your body, for obvious reasons.
  • Consult your dermatologist to figure out your skin’s sensitivity index.
  • Take time to research the design you’re going with. Remember this is permanent and rushing into it only means opening yourself up to massive regrets.
  • Always take a friend along. Not just for moral support but to help you choose the location, design and placement of the tattoo.
  • Pay attention to your tattoo artist’s instructions and ask plenty of questions.
  • Ask your dermatologist about what products are best suited for a tattoo.
  • Always be 100% sure about the tattoo before committing to it.
Getting a tattoo used to be a challenge back in the 80s and 90s when for a decent tattoo people would actually travel abroad. These days, however, with tattoos as popular as they are, a short trip to a renowned tattoo artist across the city is all it takes.

Tattoos are more than just a personal statement, they are a lifestyle choice. But wearing a tattoo isn’t all fun and games. Tattoos are art on the canvas of your body and like any other artefact, they need a lot of care.

So, here’s the ultimate tattoo care hack sheet:

What’s the best thing to do after you’ve gotten freely inked?
Tattoos take nearly two to three weeks to recover completely, and in the mean time, the area around the design can get swollen and red. Much like a sunburn. So, the best thing to do when you’ve gotten freshly inked is to always keep the area covered.

Is it okay to wash the area?
It most certainly is, as long as you simply wet the area with water and not soak it in a tub or under running water. Soaking the area is not advisable as the water can react with the chemicals in the ink and cause it to run or even cause dermatological issues.

How important is moisturisation?
Since the tattoo wound will be fresh for a few days, moisturisation becomes extremely important. But what you use to moisturise the tattoo is very important. Using products that are specifically formulated for tattooed skin will keep your tattoo in pristine condition and not adversely affect the pH balance of your skin. Using it is simple: just pour a few drops of the product on your palm and dab it on the tattoo and the surrounding area.

How important is it to keep the tattoo covered?
For the first few days when the wound is fresh, it is advised to keep the tattoo covered. In fact, even while bathing, use cling film to cover the area of the design, and keep water away from it. Wear long-sleeved clothes for at least five days as the fresh tattoo ink can react negatively with UV rays from the sun, and your tattoo can be disfigured or lightened.