Beginner’s Guide to Getting a Body Modification

In an earlier post when I interviewed Kristen MacMillan, she gave some tips for people who get mods for the first time. Kristen is a student at Rowan University with four tattoos and multiple piercings.

Some things she said were:

  1. Do research! APT, the Alliance of Professional Tattooists, has a safe list on their website of parlors they consider safe according to their guidelines.
  2. Get references about the shop and the artist. Tattooparlorreviews.com is a website where you can look at reviews other people posted about parlors.
  3. If you have a bad feeling at any point, say no.
  4. Make sure you think about stigmas and how other people will think view your tattoos.

Some safety tips APT gives are:

1. Always insist that you see your tattooist remove a new needle & tube set-up from a sealed envelope immediately prior to your tattoo.

2. Be certain you see your tattooist pour a new ink supply into a new disposable container.

3. Make sure your artist puts on a new pair of disposable gloves before setting up tubes, needles and ink supplies.

4. Satisfy yourself that the shop furnishings & tattooist are clean & orderly in appearance; much like a medical facility.

5. Feel free to question the tattooist as to any of his sterile procedures & isolation techniques. Take time to observe them at work & do not hesitate to inquire about their experience & qualifications in the tattoo field.

6. If the tattooist is qualified professional, they will have no problem complying with standards above & beyond these simple guidelines.

7. If the artist or studio does not appear up to these standards or if they become evasive when questioned, seek out a professional tattooist.

The most important thing to remember is don’t feel bad! Tattoos are¬†permanent¬†and stopping an artist before they do something you don’t like or something you’re not comfortable with is way easier than getting it removed. Make sure you follow the safety guidelines because body modifications CAN get infected and it CAN cause serious damage.

an infected sternum piercing

infected neck piercings

an infected arm piercing

These pictures were used in accordance with a Creative Commons License. The first belongs to Chelsea Oakes. The second belongs to Kim. The last photo belongs to Ed Hunsinger

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