top of page

Frequently Asked Questions

Below I will go over frequently asked questions that might help you in your personal journey of getting a tattoo. Of course if you have anymore questions feel free to reach out via email and I will be happy to guide you through the process!

Touch Ups

* Are Tattoo Touch Ups FREE?

          If you are needing a touch up with a tattoo that I have provided, please come and see me within a year and I will be happy to touch it up for free! If you for some reason cannot see me within that time frame, if you schedule another tattoo appointment with me I would be happy to touch it up for you at the same time free of charge!

          If you got a tattoo with another artist and are needing it touched up, if it is extremely small and simple I would be happy to touch it up with no extra charge while you sit for a tattoo appointment with me.

          If it is a tattoo that is done by another artist and are needing extensive retouching, then I just charge my regular rate of $300 per hour to re do the tattoo. Feel free to contact me if you would like to chat about it!

* How soon do I get a tattoo touched up?

          Generally you will know if you need a touch up by the end of your healing process at 4 weeks. The best time to get any touch ups is around that time frame so the pigment is around the same age in you body. 

* How often do tattoos require touch ups?

          Ideally, tattoos with proper maintenance will last many years without the need for touch ups! If you need any refining after your initial healing, definitely reach out to schedule a touch up. The length of time a tattoo lasts in your body depends on many factors, including but not limited to: Skin care, sun exposure, hydration, personal health, placement(is it more exposed to sun or less?), and even the style of tattoo you are getting. If all things align optimally, you can expect a tattoo to still look legible for 10-15+ years without touching up. For the most part, tattoos are something that can be expected to change over time just like our bodies change. But often times if the aging of your tattoo is something that is bothersome, there is many things we can do to ensure the longest lasting potential as well as many options to refine in the future.

* How tattoos age? How will tattoo look when you get old? Will tattoos fade overtime?

          Overtime tattoos age and fade just as we do, depending on the circumstances of your life, can affect how your tattoos age. All tattoos are prone to fade overtime. Making sure you take care of your body, and especially skin can ensure a long lasting tattoo that lasts the test of time in the best way it can. Things like sun exposure, lack of sunscreen daily, lack of moisturizing, chronic dehydration, and a lack of wellness are all things that can prematurely age ourselves and our skin and tattoos just the same. Tattoos when we get older can look in an array of ways! Depending on what sort of tattoo you get can also drastically affect how it ages longterm in our bodies.

         It important to remember that tattoos will age just as our bodies do, and despite them fading overtime, can also still be a great homage to the scrapbooks of our lives. They are ment to fade and change overtime, and become a part of us in that way. Be sure to schedule a consultation to go over more ways you can keep your tattoos last as long as possible!

* Will tattoos stretch?

         Sometimes we get tattoos on parts of your bodies that may be prone to stretch marks, or areas where we experience changes over time. This is completely normal, and often times doesnt effect the tattoo enough to be noticeable. Though sometimes our tattoos can be severely effectted by stretching or stretch marks. This could look like a tattoo warping, lines becoming distorted because of stretch marks 'splitting' your tattoo, or your tattoo enlarging in size. It is something that isn't necessarily preventable but can often times be something that can be adjusted or fixed overtime!

         These particular circumstances don't happen to everyone, and often are extreme cases. Extreme cases don't necessarily mean uncommon, and more so mean that the amount of change that happens to change the look of a tattoo wont be done from minor changes in our body. But more so happen in extreme body changing events like becoming pregnant and having a tattoo on your belly. Not everyone who has these temporary changes will always have their tattoos change, but its important to note that when getting tattooed you weigh the pros and cons of your personal circumstances to see what option is best for you.

* What tattoos age the best? What tattoos last the longest?

         It is my professional opinion that that best qualities a tattoo can have that age the best is a tattoo that embodies, value. Tonal value in a tattoo goes so far in the aging process of a tattoo as it provides distinguishable shapes even over time when a tattoo is fading. A misnomer in the industry is that "bold will hold" and to a degree that statement is true. But what it lacks is the ability to convey circumstances in which any type of tattoo can age well if it embodies good tonal values. Thin lined tattoos preformed properly have the ability to last the test of time just the same as bold line and all tattoos have the potential to age poorly regardless of line weight.

          For my personal type of tattooing, another thing I practice to provide the best circumstances for a tattoo aging is making sure there is enough space or "breathing room" for tattoos to expand over time. Also something that I execute is making the 'secondary lines'(the lines that are within the inner part of the tattoo, not the main outline) in a dark grey instead of a heavy black line. These lines are usually used as accents, doing them in a grey wash helps the lines fade over time in your body unlike doing them in black ink where that dense pigment spreads out in your body. Grey lines in a tattoo tend to disappear overtime instead of making a tattoo look hazy like black lines do. This is because of the density of the amount of pigment that is in black ink rather than a grey wash that has a smaller concentration of pigment. Doing this ensures that the main outline of your tattoo is legible overtime, and the lines that could potentially distort the legibility of your tattoo disappear rather than distort the image over time. This gives a client the ability to touch a tattoo up instead of needing to coverup a tattoo because of it becoming indistinguishable.

Tattoo Ink

* Can tattoo ink expire? Can Tattoo Ink go bad?

          Tattoo ink does not technically expire, but some ingredients of ink can become contaminated, especially once opened. It is crucial for artists to check the expiration date and ensure proper storage and hygiene practices. It's best used by the expiration date.

          Most tattoo ink manufacturers provide an expiration date at around two years, but the shelf life can vary depending on usage and storage conditions. It is important to use the ink within the recommended timeframe to ensurethe upmost quality.

          Expired ink has the potential to lead to bacterial infections and serious health consequences for both the tattoo artist and the client. Potential signs of expired or contaminated ink include extreme separation of solid and liquid elements or thickening of the ink. If any extreme changes are observed, the ink should be discarded.

          Prioritizing the health and safety of clients is paramount for tattoo artists. Investing in ink from reputable manufacturers, maintaining sterile storage conditions, and adhering to expiration dates are essential practices to ensure the quality and safety of your tattoos.

* Can tattoos cause cancer? Can tattoos cause skin cancer?

          According to the Cancer Council: "We are not aware of a reported cancer case directly attributable to tattooing. However, evidence does show that some tattoo inks contain carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) – chemicals that have been classified as known or possible carcinogens by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer. Subsequently, a 2016 report from the Australian Government’s Department of Health, National Industrial Chemical’s Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS), looked into the composition of 49 tattoo inks and found a mismatch between content and labelling, as well as concern about some components. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), a group of chemicals which are known carcinogens, was found in a fifth of the samples tested and in 83% of the black inks tested by NICNAS. Other hazardous components included barium, copper, mercury, amines and various colourants. In order to achieve the permanent effect, tattoo ink is injected into the dermis – the deeper layer of the skin – and stays in the skin for a lifetime. Over time, macrophages take up pigment and may transport it into the lymphatic system and lymph nodes. This means other tissue in the body can be exposed to potentially carcinogenic materials in the tattoo ink. 

          A recent review found that the number of skin cancers in tattooed skin was low, and therefore seems coincidental, however a number of carcinogens that have been found in tattoo inks have been associated with cancers elsewhere in the body, such as the liver or bladder. If a tattoo covers or surrounds a mole you might not see changes that could indicate skin cancer, and the tattoo pigments in your skin may make it difficult for a doctor to accurately detect cancer, delaying diagnosis of melanoma or skin cancer. If you are concerned, don’t get tattooed. Or if you choose to get tattooed, ask if the inks being used comply with the European standard known as ResAP(2008)1, which sets out the requirements and criteria for the safety of tattoos."

          Basically, there is little evidence to support the idea that tattoos cause any serious negative effects especially when the products being used are tested, applied professionally, and are of the highest quality.

          

* Which tattoo ink/tattoo color lasts the longest? 

          In general with proper maintenance all tattoo ink has the potential to be long lasting. With that being said the farther away from your skin tone in value a tattoo pigment is, the longer it may show up in your body. Example, is black ink being the darkest pigment you can choose and it will likely last longer than pigment that is lighter in tone. With proper application as well as intentional safe skin practices, tattoos of a wide variety of styles have the potential of being incredibly long lasting, at even the lightest colors(like yellows). 

* Which tattoo ink is the safest?

          Tattoo ink, as far as modern science has studied, is body safe. There are many companies now that create tattoo pigment, and while they may be safe there is certain standards of companies that professional tattooers like me use in their tattoos. These companies I personally use for pigment(Dynamic, Solid Ink, Eternal, Intenze Ink) have been around for most of current day tattooing, are 3rd party tested and also have vegan ingredients as well so you can ensure the safety of the ink going into your body.

* Does tattoo ink contain heavy metals?

          In short, "heavy metals" is a misnomer. All pigments(even those outside of tattooing) derive from a natural base pigment that may be derived from carbon, iron oxides, etc. There are differences between what a "heavy metal" is and what base pigments contain for tattoo pigments. Professional ink brands and trusted highest quality pigments are body safe. Unfortunately tattoo pigments that are available in the market can be extremely variable in quality and ingredients, and not every pigment used by artists are going to be the same standard as other artists. So it's always important to make sure your artist uses only the highest quality pigment to ensure it is body safe pigments.

Tattoo Healing Process

* When do tattoos start peeling? Are tattoos supposed to peel?

          Usually tattoos take anywhere from 2-5 days to start getting peels/flaky. Depending on what methods you are using to heal your tattoo(sandiderm/secondskin/regular bandaging), what size your tattoo is, and the personal variables within your immune system, can either lengthen the amount of time you are peeling, or shorten it. You can expect a tattoo to stop peeling at around the 7-14 day mark depending on the size and intricacy of your tattoo.

* When do tattoos start itching?

          Similar with the peeling faze, tattoos take anywhere from 2-5 days to start getting peels/flaky. Depending on what methods you are using to heal your tattoo(sandiderm/secondskin/regular bandaging), what size your tattoo is, and the personal variables within your immune system, can either lengthen the amount of time you are peeling, or shorten it. The length of time a tattoo stays itchy usually is slightly longer than the length of time the peeling phase lasts. Best remedy for itching is using small amounts of lotion to soother the tattoo. Sometimes instead of itching(which is not recommended) a gentle slap on your tattoo can alleviate this.  

* Why are tattoos itchy?

          Tattoos are itchy because your skin is shedding the layers of damaged skin to bring in the fresh new skin layers on top of your tattoo. It is a normal process of healing a tattoo, and can be remedied by putting lotion on your tattoo twice a day after washing your tattoo.  

* When is a tattoo healed? How tattoos heal:

          Tattoos are a personal process that is depended on your immune system, the size and intricacy of your tattoo, and how your personal skin deals with trauma. There are basically 4 phases of healing a tattoo:

          -The open wound phase, where the tattoo is in its first 3-5 days. Often tattoos feel the most sore and achey in this time period. It is when the wound is the most fresh and most susceptible to bacterial infections or irritations. 

          -The peeling/flaky phase, where the tattoo is peeling and flaking which happens during the 5-14 time period of healing. This time period is the most frustrating part to get through while healing.

          -The shiny/scar phase, where the tattoo resembles a shiny scar and is no longer peeling or flaky. It happens at around 8-14 days after the initial tattoo depending on size and placement of the tattoo. The tattoo is also no longer in a delicate state of potential infections but it will still be sensitive to the sun and extreme scratches.

          -The fully healed phase, it is the time period in which the tattoo is no longer shiny, it is fully matte in your skin, is fully internally healed, and is no longer sensitive to things like sun exposure. Typically is takes 2-4 weeks to fully heal a tattoo.

* When tattoos scab:

          When tattoos scab it is generally due to a build up of plasma, dried blood, or excess ink that wasn't fully washed during the first 3 days of healing. A big way you can prevent this from happening is making sure that you thoroughly wash your tattoo during the first few days of healing. That 'slimy/salamander skin' feeling on a tattoo is your first indicator that you still haven't washed all of that initial plasma, excess ink, or blood off of your tattoo. A great way to remove this is similar to how we as tattooers apply the tattoo, which is to take a soapy piece of paper towel(not a cloth, just a disposable paper towel), create a hot compress with that paper towel, and gently wash your tattoo until you no longer feel that plasma slimy feeling anymore. Plasma sometimes takes up to 3 days to stop escaping your body, so it is important during that time you make sure to wash the tattoo thoroughly until you are healed enough that plasma no longer is escaping your body.

* Will tattoo blowout go away? What are tattoo blowouts?

          In general tattoo blowouts are an unfortunate potentially long lasting result of getting a tattoo. Tattoo blowouts in general do not go away but there are many options to conceal, disguise, or coverup blowouts depending on the circumstance. Certain types of blowouts may fade away after some time, and some may get worse over time.

          So what are tattoo blow outs and how do they appear? Not all tattoo blowouts are the same, and they may appear in different forms. Some tattoo blowouts appear as a blue haze outside the confines of your tattoo. Some appear as expanding lines that age faster than the rest. Not all raised lines in a tattoo are blowouts, but all blowouts generally do have raised lines accompanying them. 

         

* Will tattoo bumps go away?

          Tattoo bumps are in general a normal part of getting a tattoo(within reason). Tattoos are strategic scars, so it is completely normal to have some raised parts on your tattoo. Not all raised lines are blow outs, but all blowouts generally do have raised lines accompanying them so if you are needing help distinguishing between the two, I am happy to consult with you through my calendar!

* Can tattoos Make you sick?

          Sometimes the tattooing process can be hard on your immune system. That stress on your system cause be caused by many things including but not limited to; the adrenalin put onto your system, the anxiety involved with getting the tattoo, hormones in our body being repeatedly stressed because of the pain involved, etc. That being said tattoos can make you feel sick days folowing a session and even immediately after a session. It is best to have a rest day after getting tattooed or at least rest for a few hours after getting a tattoo done. Sometimes clients get what we call 'tattoo flu', this isn't an actual flu but just a representation of what can happen to your body after a long session.

* Can tattoos get infected?

          Tattoo infections are a potential risk of getting a tattoo unfortunately, but the good news is that there are many things you can do when healing a tattoo to prevent this extreme risk from happening with a few simple tools. Cleanliness is the biggest way you can prevent an infection, things like clean water, soap, and proper hand washing go a long way in preventing bacteria from getting into your body through your tattoo wound. Like any wound, tattoos are susceptible to the worlds bacteria so avoiding places that have a lot of bacteria is another great way to prevent infections. Staying away from stagnant water, pools, rivers, bath tubs, hot tubs, and dishwater are very easy ways to get bacteria into your wound as water is bacterias quickest vessel into our body. Avoiding direct contact with pets, pet hair, and high traffic bacteria areas are another way to prevent bacteria to enter your body.

Cover ups

* Do you do coverup tattoos?

          I personally love tattooing coverups, it is a transformative experience that allows clients to take ownership of their body again, and to have a positive relationship with their body as well. Getting coverups is an emotional tattoo experience that often times takes a lot of patience, and guidance in order to have the best possible outcome. If you are interested in booking a tattoo coverup feel free to schedule a consultation so we can discuss your ideas! 

* Can I get a coverup?

          All coverups require a different approach. The biggest thing to consider when getting a coverup is making sure you have the proper expectations. Sometimes with coverups you need to relinquish some of your initial wants in order to get the best possible outcome and to effectively cover the pre existing tattoo. Sizing, color/black and grey, and darkness of the existing tattoo can all determine what is best suited for your specific circumstance.

Tattooing Process

* How tattoos are done/How tattoos work:

          Contrary to popular belief, tattooing is not "injecting" ink into your skin, but is a procedure in which a needle creates an opening in your skin for pigment to "fall" into your skin. Tattoo needles do not technically inject anything into our skin but actually create a small vacuum for pigment to fall into the hole created. With modern tattooing practices a needle punctures your skin and quickly exits the skin repeatedly. That motion of the needle exiting your body creates that small vacuum which then pulls the pigment into the opening created by the needle. That is why angles of machines, proper viscosity of pigment, and proper stretching can severely effect the outcome of a tattoo procedure. Tattoos are preformed in the layer of skin where our hair follicles lie. It is a very topical procedure that can heal within 2-4 weeks. 

* What is happening in our bodies when we get tattooed?

          Tattoos are processed through our lymph nodes, so tattoos are forever being processed and metabolized in our bodies. Macrophages in our lymph nodes get sent to your tattoo wound to try and process them back in our lymph nodes. These macrophages get frozen in time when the pigment they absorb being too much to carry back to the lymphatic system. Tattoos are technically a foreign body inside our body, so our body basically tries to break down the pigment, just as it regenerates our skin cells constantly over the course of our lives.

bottom of page