Tattoo Basics

Tattooing is a process of opening the skin to introduce pigment or ink into the skin. Cosmetic tattooing, SPMU/PMU, microblading and SMP scalp micropigmentation owl tattoo treatments and are all covered by the same health and safety requirements and legislation. Tattooing uses a hand-held machine or a tool. The machine is like a sewing machine, with one or more needles, piercing

the skin repeatedly. With every puncture the needles insert tiny ink droplets. Then non-machine methods use a hand-held tool which is fitted with small needles (eg. microblading).

The tattooing process can cause a small amount of bleeding. A lot of blood loss indicates that you’re working too deep. Blood and blood contaminated items can transfer pathogens that are potentially hazardous to health. Ensure you follow appropriate protocols for handling and disposal.

Many clients have concerns about the discomfort. Experience of pain varies greatly from person to person. Before treatment discuss ways that this can be managed with your client. Often second or subsequent sessions are more comfortable for the client so it’s possible that anxiety is a contributing factor to discomfort. Remember to reassure your client at all stages of treatment and appear professional and confident.

Depth of treatment is assessed by looking at the skin and feeling the vibrations on the surface of the skin. As skin varies in thickness, the technician assesses by checking the quality of the skin, elasticity, age and health of the client, and how the treatment ‘feels’ while working. Wipe away surface pigment and check implantation of ink or pigment. This takes skill and experience. Always start lightly, assess and repeat if necessary. Check technique and adjust if necessary.

Working too shallow – The ink or pigment will be lost as the skin sheds the top players during healing. Working too deep – Likely to be very uncomfortable with a risk of more bleeding. The ink or pigment may heal blue grey. Ink or pigment can also become ‘blown’ and look fuzzy when implanted too deep.

As the tattoo process opens the skin, infections and other complications are possible including allergic reactions, skin infections, bumps called granulomas, keloids, bloodborne diseases.

Minimise risks

  • Training and continuous professional development
  • Pre-treatment preparation; use the Medical Form (check for contraindications) and Treatment Plan for each client.
  • Assess your client’s suitability for treatment. Check the medical form for anything which needs further discussion.
  • Discreetly assess if their emotional and mental state is suitable. Confident, positive, informed clients are likely to be happier with the outcomes.
  • Don’t promise outcomes or how long treatment will last.
  • Use high-quality professional equipment made for purpose
  • Use high-quality professional need needles and pigments/inks
  • Have a good cleaning protocol in place
  • Set up the treatment room appropriately. Check with your city, County or state health department for information on local licensing and regulations.
  • Give clients after care information
  • Be available to support clients after treatment. They may need reassurance. If there are any issues don’t discuss what you cannot see. Invite them in for discussion. It is always important to allow the correct healing time before making any decisions about treatments.
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