I want to get a tattoo. I have ALWAYS wanted one and I finally know exactly what I want. In planning to go under the needle I have been researching etc etc...

Then I came across some unsettling articles that state basically the scientific evidence hasn't been done...so NO ONE KNOWS the real health risks...

see: http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2011/tattoo-inks-fa...

I am asking this question to benefit anyone who either has a tattoo or others like me considering it. My personal concern is the potential risk of birth defects because I am planning on having more children. I have plenty of childbearing life ahead of me and I'm getting my body ready for another baby....so reading the unsettling news of the "unknown" has made me think about possibly putting my tattoo plans on hold until my childbearing/breastfeeding days are over...(Which will be YEARS from now, I'm only 31.)

So generally speaking, here's my questions: Knowing that there is some scary stuff in tattoo ink, is the risk worth it?

What do you think? Am I just being paranoid? Or should I "relax already" LOL!!!!

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@Belle Rose:

It's your body...if you want a tattoo...get a tattoo.

Two things are important...sterilized germ-free area and equipment...and...the skill of the artist.

Others have already pointed out to you the importance of future-think.

The suggestion I will offer is this;  Find the Artist First!

If tattoos were dangerous or had serious side effects we would have heard about them. I cannot find any cases of professional artists being sued because of damage being caused by inks. I have a few tattoos and intend get another in December. They are not that painful to get. Once you get over the initial sensation it is ok.

My Rules:

Spend a reasonable amount of time on the design – nothing on the spur of the moment. Check out the artist and look at his/her previous work as most studios keep a photo album. Discuss your design with your artist in advance and be sure you are both clear as to exactly what it is you want done. Do not use any homemade kits.

Keep it covered in “cling film” for 24 hours and each night for 5 nights and recover it after washing it under tepid water – no soaps or lotions and allow to dry itself (or lightly dab dry with a paper towel). Keep out of prolonged direct sunlight for a few weeks. The most important thing is to keep applying “Bepanten” after every wash….at least 3 times a day for the first 5 days. After that you only need to apply E45 cream (I guess both products are sold worldwide?) for another 2-3 weeks to keep the skin moist and protected.

Once the area starts to heal it will start to itch. Do not scratch it directly. Slap the skin nearby with your own hand (any excuse will do!) You will notice little flakes of color being rubbed off but this is natural and part of the healing process…similar to the way a bad graze would scab over….same kind of itchy sensation. Keep cleaning with tepid water, gently rubbing with your own hands…which you have first washed with a surgical hand-wash.

Once the itching stops - about 10 to 21 days after you get the tat- you are done. Hint – purchase the Bepanten, E45, surgical wash and cling film (food wrap) a few days before.

Why do tattoo artists not get you to sign a disclaimer first? Could it be because they are not harmful if done properly? Good luck with your tattoo and post a pic when done.

You recommendations for tattoo care are pretty much standard stuff, though, A+D Ointment is the product used for initial care of the tattoo for healing, and then a gentle, uncented lotion afterwards where I live.  They also recommend never applying soap directly onto the tattoo during the healing process - instead lather the soap up with the fingers and then gently rub the soap on with fingers.

Just one small suggestion, make sure the shop has an autoclave and that the staff knows how to use it.  If you do this then tattoos are an awesome form of self expression.

So is getting on a bus with a boom box blaring.

I don't get it. Why the obsession with PERMANENTLY marring your body. If it was just you like the design, why couldn't one just have it drawn on with indelible ink. It would look EXACTLY the same but it would fade away. If you REALLY like it, have it re-done every couple of months. Or replace it with one that isn't so "last-week".

I'm starting to think this has a link with sadomasochism. It's not really cool unless you endure some pain to get it.

If tats were not actually "objectively" ugly (trite designs, limited colors), why don't we see them as works of art drawn on canvas, mounted in frames, in galleries.

NOTHING is permanent - LEAST of all style. 

If tats were not actually "objectively" ugly (trite designs, limited colors), why don't we see them as works of art drawn on canvas, mounted in frames, in galleries.

We do, given that tattoo art crosses a rather broad gamut of styles (and some tattoos are directly taken from art). You'd have to be absurdly naïve about art to think that limited colours was an an objective standard. Are you also one of those sorts who thinks that black and white photography is a waste of time now that colour photography is possible? Tattoos are just one medium out of many, and the artistic integrity of the work comes down to the artist(s).

The permanence is there from those who don't want it to fade away (seems rather obvious, I would think), and not all tattoos are strictly about style or superficiality which shifts with the tides. Having it redone every two weeks would be a rather silly waste of time, especially considering some more involved pieces take many hours to complete (even if they were being drawn and not tattooed). As for the pain element, it's not all that painful to get a tattoo on many parts of your body with current equipment. Where I live, tattoos aren't really seen as 'tough' and yet many people still opt to get them.

Did you actually think that post through, or are you just going for the contentious angle to get a rise?

You're right. I didn't think about it much. Prefer not to. To me tattoos are stupid on a par with smoking cigarettes - self-destructive with absolutely no redeeming quality. Nothing on this thread implying that tattoos are a legitimate art form has changed my mind.

Unseen talked about tattooed women being easy. My perspective is similar except I would NOT fuck a tattooed woman any more than I would fuck a smoker. I don't need sex that bad.

I don't think anyone was trying to sell you on tattoos, but you tried to make an 'objective' argument which was flat out bullshit. You aren't embarrassed by that?

I put the word "objective" in quotes. If that's not enough for you then, golly, is my face red.

It isn't enough for me because I know how both quotation marks and the word 'objective' function. I read what was written, as it was written.

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