In recent years Tattoos have become increasingly mainstream with both men and women of all ages. Despite once being associated with sailors, convicts and gang members, it is now estimated that 20% of us have one. ‘Ink’ has not only become fashionable, it has also become widely acceptable within society, with the likes of Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, David Beckham and even the Prime Minister’s wife, Samantha Cameroon all sporting them.
As the number of people with tattoos increase, it’s not surprising that the number of professional tattoo parlours have followed suit to meet the high demand, with more than 1,500 spread across Britain.
However, a potentially dangerous trend has begun to emerge riding on the back of this popularity for tattoos, often targeting underage teens and cash strapped people who also want to partake in the trend. Homemade or ‘Living room’ tattoos are on the rise and the kits are available on line for very little money and no age restrictions. ProSkin investigate this new phenomenon.
How Are Tattoos Made?
A tattoo is created by deeply penetrating the skin with a needle and injecting ink into the area. Normally, your top layer of skin would get rid of the ink over time, however with tattoos, the ink is injected into the second layer of skin which makes them practically permanent.
Most tattoo parlours use electric tattoo machines, a handheld device with a tube of ink and a needle attached. The needle is continually driven into the skin very quickly, at around 80 to 150 times a second, allowing for the ink to penetrate and the design to be created.
Worryingly though, we are starting to see an increase in do-it-yourself, homemade tattoos, which can have a range of different outcomes.
What Are Homemade Tattoos?
Homemade tattoos, also known as stick ‘n poke, are just that. Kits can be easily purchased online and include all the ink and needles you need to create a tattoo. The needle is then dipped into the ink and manually stabbed into the skin. By repeating this, you will end up with a series of dots. This takes much longer than a professional tattoo and although the designs are normally very basic, you will achieve a tattoo, albeit a very primitive one.
Worryingly, Stick ‘n poke parties have also become increasingly popular; friends get together and create a tattoo, either for themselves or others, often accompanied with a few drinks and the results can often be far from what the recipient had in mind.
What Are The Dangers Of Homemade Tattoos?
Getting a tattoo, whether it’s by a professional, or at home, has risks involved. However, by visiting a professional, licensed tattoo parlour, you can minimise them.
With homemade tattoos, the risk of infection is obviously much higher. You cannot guarantee the origin of the kits or if all of the components are 100% safe and sterilised. By injecting the needle and breaking the skin, you could be exposing yourself, or your friend, to a whole host of infections such as hepatitis, herpes, HIV, tetanus and even tuberculosis.
Even if the needle is sterile, there is still a risk that the ink could be contaminated, leading to infection. Many cheap inks can create allergic reactions (especially certain colours) which can result in scarring, swelling and in the worst cases, hospitalisation.
Aside from the medical worries, homemade tattoos rarely look as you wanted them to, often with wobbly lines, or unclear text. For many, having a homemade tattoo can become a huge regret.
Whether it’s your ex-boyfriends name or a crazy tattoo you got whilst on summer holiday, many people admit to getting a tattoo that they later regret. In fact, a staggering 1/3 of people say they regretted getting their tattoo.
Luckily though, tattoos are no longer as permanent as they once were due to the advancements in laser tattoo removal.
Lasers work by breaking up the pigments within your skin, using a high-intensity light beam. As black absorbs all the light, this is the easiest colour to treat. Various lasers are used to break down other colours, however, these can often take a little longer to remove the pigments completely.
At ProSkin, we take tattoo laser removal one step further and use PicoSure lasers. They are the fastest method of removal in the world and ProSkin offer the most affordable price plans in the UK. With PicoSure, you require up to 4 times fewer treatments and can look forward to complete and permanent removal.
Do you have a tattoo that you regret? Please leave us a reply below with your thoughts! Or, if you have a tattoo that you would like removed, please get in touch with us for a FREE consultation. Call us now on 020 3757 8168, or find out more here.