Tattoos

www.ZeroAttempts.org

Getting a Tattoo

Tattoo Removal
Scary long-term damages of tattoo ink on your body
Environmentalist or Not, Don't Go Green
Snippets
Newsbytes

Related Issue: Body Piercing , Talking With Kids About Tough Issues

 

 


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Getting a Tattoo


Many of today's tattoo artists have had formal art training, and have also served a rigorous apprenticeship with another tattooist to learn the technical aspects of the medium. But lurking in the shadows is the dreaded scratcher. The scratcher is an untrained tattooist who, for whatever reason, has decided that he has a great artistic gift to share with the world. The scratcher may work out of a studio, but often works from his home, the back room of a bar, or even your basement if he can persuade you to let him set up shop there. He rarely bothers about sterilizing his instruments, or changing his needles between customers. He's often had no training in tattooing, having purchased equipment through the mail. He may spread disease and certainly scars people for life. Beware the scratcher.

But, somewhere in between the dark world of the scratcher and the brightly lit sanitary studio of the professional tattoo artist is a shadowy world, populated by tattooists that have managed to scrape up enough money to establish themselves in a shop, and are working according to sterile procedure. Yet the tattoos they apply are badly executed, the outlines run from thick to thin, the colors are badly chosen and splotchy, and the actual artwork - well, suffice to say that perspective, proportion, and well thought out composition is not a consideration in this shop.

The first decision that you must make, after the big one of actually deciding to get a tattoo, is that you will not settle for anything less than wonderful work. Banal, boring imagery, uninspired colors, and badly drawn imagery has no place in modern tattooing.

You are responsible for choosing a professional who is capable of rendering a beautiful work of art on your skin. You are also responsible for choosing a design that will bring you joy and make you proud for the rest of your life. You may have to travel to get work from the artist of your choice. You will certainly have to invest some money in the project, not enough to feed a small nation, but good tattoos do not come cheap (and cheap tattoos are not good). Getting a tattoo is a big decision so take the time to educate yourself before you get inked, not after.

  • Finding Your Tattoo

    Getting a tattoo is the most permanent commitment that many of us will ever make. And if you're thinking -- "but I can always get it removed" -- then you are definitely not ready to get a tattoo.

    We live in a disposable society and tattoos are decidedly permanent. That's what makes them scary, and that's what makes them powerful. Making an irrevocable choice is good for the soul.

    If you put energy and thought into choosing your tattoo design, it can become much more than just a piece of permanent jewelry. Properly chosen tattoos confer blessings on you. Ask yourself "What am I willing to commit to forever?" "What do I aspire to?" "What gives me strength?" Thinking about the answers to these questions can help you decide on the image or images that will compose a very personal tattoo. You'll also learn something about yourself in the process.

    You may want a custom tattoo, something created by the tattooist just for you, or you may find just the image you want in the flash designs hanging on your tattooist's studio wall. Flash designs are often altered slightly for each person anyway so you'll still have something of a unique piece.

    When it comes to tattooing your imagination is your only limitation. But a word of caution; although any image can be tattooed, some translate more successfully into the medium than others. In general, a big, bold image will look better on your skin than a overly detailed small piece. And if your artist urges you to go bigger with a design, listen to him. Those big pieces often have an impact that the little ones lack. American tattooist Walt Dailey sums up the "bigger is better" issue by saying "A beautiful, big, fierce bear head design just looks like an angry hamster's face when you shrink it down."

  • Styles

    There are many different styles of tattooing. Here are a few of the most popular:

    Black and Gray Work: Just what it sounds like. The tattoo is done with only tones of black and gray. This style originated in the prison systems of America, due to the prisoner's difficulty in obtaining colored ink. When several tattooists, notably California's Jack Rudy and Good Time Charlie Cartwright, saw the work they realized that there was great artistic potential in adapting it for use in tattoo shops outside of the penitentiary walls. They went on to develop this ultra refined and highly detailed style that has become so popular today.

    Traditional: These pieces have bold black outlines, strong black shading, and bright colors. The style was first developed to meet the needs of busy tattooers near military bases (it was a no-nonsense and quick way to tattoo) and to utilize the limited color palette available to a tattooist in the thirties and forties.

    Fineline: Delicate outlines, often highly detailed. Black and gray work is almost always done in this style, as are many color pieces. The success of the finished tattoo depends a great deal on the artist's use of negative space, and his or her refraining from adding yet more detail. An overly detailed fineline tattoo, or one that was not carefully planned out, may dissolve into mush after a few years.

    Tribal: Bold, black, silhouette style designs. Most of this work is based on ancient tattoo designs, though nowadays artists tend to go more for the feeling evoked by the traditional designs, rather than copying them exactly. It's a wonderful strong look that, when inked by a skilled tattooist, will certainly stand the test of time.

    Realistic: Photographic quality work, usually portraits or nature scenes.

    Custom: Original work designed just for you

    Oriental: This style of tattooing is more concerned with approach than subject matter. It utilizes the entire body as canvas, rather than the western approach of adding a tattoo here and there as the spirit moves you. The Oriental style usually incorporates swirling patterns and figures from eastern mythology into the designs.

    Do try to be practical when choosing a tattoo design. Getting the name of your current love on your arm is almost always a sure route to a cover-up. And, hard as it may be to believe, the band whose music turned you on when you were 18 may not have the same effect on you when you're 40. Your infatuations will often fade much quicker than tattoos do. Pick something that's a little open ended. On the other hand, some of the best tattoo collections I've seen have been almost like a personal scrapbook of the wearer's life. Perhaps they aren't dedicated deadheads anymore but that "Keep On Trucking" tattoo reminds them of a wonderful period in their life.

    Here's a true story from which you can draw whatever moral you want. Despite all my warnings to others that they should never, ever get a name inked on them. I have my fiance's name tattooed on my shoulder blade, But adding a permanent symbol to my body of what I hope will be a forever and beyond friendship was important to me. I was terrified for about a week after I got the tattoo, especially during our first post- tattoo quarrel, but I don't regret getting the piece. Sometimes you just have to follow your heart.

  • Finding your tattoo artist

    Tattoos are created by placing colored pigments in between the permanent base layer of your skin and the constantly changing top layer. The pigment becomes bonded to the skin cells and is visible through the translucent outer layer of your skin. So applying a tattoo properly takes much more than just the ability to draw pretty pictures. A professional tattooist is an artist, a technician and a craftsperson.

    If the ink is placed too deeply into your skin, your body fluids will cause it to "Blow Up" (spread and lose definition). If it's not in the skin deeply enough the colors will "Fall Out" (fade or actually disappear) just a few months after you get the tattoo (don't confuse color falling out with the healing process of a new tattoo. It's normal to have small pieces of skin flaking off during the healing process, much as skin peels after being sunburned.)

    So obviously selecting the artist who is going to apply your tattoo is one of the most important decisions you'll ever make. Once you get a tattoo you'll never have unmarked skin in that area again. Hopefully you'll have enough healthy self esteem to think long and hard about whose hands you'll be putting your skin in.

    First off, you want to get tattooed in a tattoo studio that is as clean as your doctor's or dentist's office. With extremely rare exceptions, you do not want to get tattooed in someone's kitchen, a bar, or in the middle of a field at a biker's meet. Sterile conditions can be met at outdoor rallies, such as in self-contained mobile tattoo studios, but not if the tattooist is working in a tent and has positioned himself, for example, close to the drag race track. Use your common sense and if sterile conditions can not be maintained in your artist's place of work, go somewhere else.

    Everything that is used to apply your tattoo should be sterilized or disposable (and if it's disposable it should be disposed of after use). For example your artist should not be dipping his needle into a big bottle of ink, he should have poured enough ink to complete the work at hand into small disposable ink containers, which will be used only for you. Vaseline and ointments should be taken from their containers with disposable sterile spreaders, not a swipe of the tattooist's fingers. Sterile, disposable gloves should always be worn. New sterile needles should be used for every tattoo.

    All non-disposable equipment should be sterilized after each use with an autoclave. Ultra-sonic cleaning does not sterilize equipment. It should only be used as a method of cleaning the equipment before it's placed into the autoclave.

    Having found a tattooist who works clean, you now want to see actual examples of his or her work. Photo albums will most likely be provided in the studio for you to browse through. The more cautious or paranoid among us will dwell on the fact that photos can be stolen or bought and will want to see examples of the artist's work in the flesh. An easy way to accomplish this, without demanding an artist produce live clients, is to attend a tattoo convention and simply ask owners of wonderful tattoos who did their work. Tattooed people are always happy to talk about their tattoos, if the person who is asking has a good attitude and a sincere interest in the art, and will be glad to recommend artists that they are satisfied with. Don't be shy, even if you don't have any tattoos yet. You'll be respected for taking tattooing so seriously.

    Also take into consideration the type of tattoo you want. Artists have their specialties, specific styles of tattooing that they excel at and love to do. Yes, a good tattooist can usually put on any style of tattoo you might desire and do a more than adequate job of it. But why not see if you can find out who originated the style you're interested in or who is doing the best work in the style? Some artists love to work in tones of black and gray, others have a wonderful sense of color. Terrific tattoos are born when both artist and client are enthusiastic about the piece.

    Tattooists have an expression "You get the tattoo you deserve". That translates to mean that attitude counts. You don't have to be best friends with your artist but you should both treat each other with respect. You have a right to have your important questions answered, and not to feel pressured into settling for a piece that's not quite right for you. On the other side, remember your artist is a business person and cannot devote hours to discussing a proposed piece with you. Most artists are happy to work with the client, if they know the client is serious about getting work. And, once you've picked your artist and design, and you're sitting in the chair getting tattooed, resist the urge to be an art director. If you've made your wishes clear, and by this point you should have, quizzing the artist about technical aspects of the tattoo process will only irritate him.

  • Keeping your tattoo

    Once it's on your body it's your responsibility. Think of your brand new tattoo as a new pet. You have to feed it (with healing ointments) water it (keep it clean) and walk it (expose it to air). And, unlike a puppy, no matter how much it begs you must not scratch it!

    Actually the above is a somewhat poor attempt to make the aftercare process a little less boring than it is. Shortly after you get your new tattoo you'll notice the skin in the area of your new acquisition will be a little bit irritated and sensitive, rather like you'd spent a few hours out in the sun. Emotionally you'll be feeling very charged up. This is a direct result of the endorphins which your body releases in response to any stimulating experience, like that little energy jolt you get when a loud noise startles you. The way you feel after getting tattooed can be summed up, rather crudely, as the "fuck or fight" syndrome. So please remember to make love, not war!

    Okay, you've got your new tattoo home. Now what? Nothing. Leave the bandage on for exactly the amount of time specified by your tattooist. No peeking. You've got the rest of your life to look at it.

    In anywhere from four to ten hours after you get tattooed you'll be able to take off the bandage. If that time coincides with the period that you'd usually be sleeping, or is close to it, leave the bandage on over night. This will give your tattoo, and your sheets, a little added protection.

    When the time comes, take the bandage off gently. If it sticks use only the amount of warm water that it takes to unstick it. Then, using your hand, not a washcloth, and some gentle unscented soap, gently rinse the tattoo clean of old ointment and all the other yucky crusty stuff that might be there. Pat dry (gently!!) and lightly cover the tattoo with a small amount of healing creme (I use one with a mild antibiotic, such as they sell in drugstores for healing cuts). You don't want to slather the tattoo with the cream, use just enough to keep it moist. During the day, reapply the cream when the tattoo starts feeling dry and tight. Wash it again in the evening. After the first week I switch to using a non-fragranced lotion for dry skin instead of the healing ointment. I also expose the tattoo to the air as much as possible to speed healing. And I take my vitamins, extra B complex and Zinc seem to help my body heal faster. The tattoo may develop a light scab, and may peel slightly. It will itch and you must not scratch it or pick at any scabs that might form. Keep your hands (and anybody else's) off it, except to wash it and apply the ointment. It will heal in about 10 days to two weeks.

    Do not soak your new tattoo. You can shower but keep it out of the direct spray of water. I cover my new tattoo with ointment, a little heavier application than usual, before I get into the shower. Don't swim for at least a couple of weeks, and don't sunbathe. You have to let your tattoo heal and settle into your skin with as little trauma as possible. I also make a point of wearing old, soft clothes over the new tattoo, things that have been washed often enough to have the excess dye removed. A fresh tattoo is an open wound - treat it with care and common sense.

  • Getting rid of your tattoo

    If you've got a horrible something or other decorating your skin, or if the person whose name is in that banner on your arm just ran off with your best friend, it's time to consider your tattoo removal options.

    If you like being tattooed but just don't like the particular tattoo(s) that you currently have, consider getting a cover-up. Years ago, artists had stock designs that they used to cover offending tattoos. These pieces usually had heavy fields of black; black panthers, black clouds with lightening, etc. Peacocks were a favorite also, you could hide a multitude of sins in those heavily shaded tail feathers.

    Nowadays we don't believe that the only way to cover a tattoo is with a large dark mass. But you need a skilled artist for a cover-up job, unless you relish the idea of eventually getting a cover-up over your cover-up ( I know someone who has had the four cover-ups, one right on top of the other, and he's still not happy with the piece!). You will need a custom piece because it will have to be designed to fit over and obliterate the existing one. Cover-up work is demanding and exacting so you will also pay more for a cover-up piece then you would for the same sized tattoo applied on virgin skin.

    Choose somebody with a good design sense, who can work out an image that will hide the old tattoo, and still give you a beautiful new tattoo to be proud of. Your artist may ask you to come back after the new piece is healed so he can go over it again and intensify the color.

    Reworking a tattoo is another repair method. This means the artist doesn't cover the old tattoo but just works with it to enhance it. Perhaps you went to a scratcher and now the color in your floral piece is faded, or the outline on your arm band is jagged? If you're basically happy with the piece you might just need some corrective work. The best example of reworking a tattoo that I've ever seen was done on a portrait piece on my friend's arm. The tattoo in question was a portrait of his wife who ended up leaving him in a particularly nasty way. He didn't have the tattoo covered up, no -- he had it subtly reworked just enough to turn the lovely portrait of his wife into that of a screaming, crazed demon who still had, very recognizably, the wife's face.

    Any reputable tattooist will also fix any skips in color or the outline that may be discovered shortly after the piece is healed. But if you picked and scratched at it during the healing process and literally stripped the color out of your skin, don't expect the tattooist to perform this service for free. If you were conscientious about your aftercare routine and still notice a problem, go back and ask the tattooist about it.

    If you're really unhappy about being tattooed, or have one of the rare pieces that can't be covered up, you can investigate laser removal. Its pros are that it can remove almost any tattoo, with very few incidences of scarring or hyper-pigmentation, and is relatively painless, it's usually compared to having a rubber band snapped against your skin. Unfortunately, it's very expensive.

    Dermabrasion has also been used for tattoo removal, which is sort of like having the tattoo sandpapered off your skin, as have chemical peels and acids. My feeling is that treatment with a ruby laser is the way to go. Check with a plastic surgeon for a more in depth discussion of your options and recommendations about who should do the procedure. And if the doctor has a lousy attitude about tattoos, go somewhere else.

    Of course, if you remember to think before you ink, you'll never have to worry about the expense and pain of getting rid of an unwanted tattoo!

  • Does it hurt?

    Last year I was at a party with a few friends and a bunch of people I didn't know. During the course of the evening one large burly man lifted the sleeve of his t-shirt and exposed a fairly new, and rather unimpressive, tattoo. He then proceeded to entertain his audience with a terrifying tale of how agonizing the process of getting this little blip on his arm was. One of my friends, a born troublemaker if there ever was one, couldn't resist lifting my sleeve and showing my upper arm, which is completely sleeved and saying "Gee, Michelle said it didn't hurt at all."

    The point of this story is not what a brave person I am (my pain threshold is normal and getting that tattoo on my arm really didn't hurt much) nor what a sissy the other person was. It's a caution to you not to believe what others may have to say about their tattoo experiences. By and large, getting tattooed is mostly just plain annoying, rather than out and out painful. There are areas that hurt more than others, and I wouldn't suggest your getting a first tattoo on your ankle, rib cage or spine. Areas located close to bones hurt more. Well padded bits hurt much less. To feel the difference pinch your upper arm between your fingernails, and then pinch the top of your hand. Actually I've found this pinch test to be a fairly good indicator of the sensitivity factor of any area where I might wish to be tattooed.

    The bottom line is that I have never gotten a tattoo that hurt horribly or I certainly would never have gone back for another (and another and another). And whatever small irritation I experienced during the tattoo process was more than adequately compensated for by the joy and pride that my tattoos bring to me every day of my life.

    Source: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Tattoos....But Were Afraid To Ask! By Michelle Delio, St. Martin's Press

Scary long-term damages of tattoo ink on your body


We get it. You didn't think the little peace sign on your wrist would do harm, and the philosophical words on your back meant a lot to you at the time. In fact, you probably worried more about hiding the ink from your parents than you did about the major health issues.

However, recent research has shown that tattoo ink is actually much more dangerous to us than originally thought. According to a recent report by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, the long-term impact is very scary.

Not only is the ink made out of extremely dangerous chemicals, like carcinogens, it has traces of lead, bacteria, nickel and arsenic. As the popularity of getting inked rises, so do concerns about it causing "cancer, genetic mutations, toxic effects on reproduction, allergies or other adverse effects on health," the report says. Additionally, the damage to the body's lymphatic system is probably significant.

As the report gains traction, so do countries researching these health effects. European countries such as Germany, France and the Netherlands are working to regulate tattoo application, and possibly "initiate the restriction process".

So, maybe the question to ask isn't "does it hurt?". Maybe it's "does it hurt my health?".
Source: www.aol.com/article/lifestyle/2016/08/30/scary-long-term-damages-of-tattoo-ink-on-your-body/21462061/

Tattoo Removal


It might have seemed like a great idea when you got that tattoo a few years back - but now you'd like to get rid of it. If this sounds all too familiar, don't despair, it might be possible to have the tattoo removed. The reason we say that it "might" be possible to have it removed, is based on the fact that there are many different things that need to be evaluated to determine what your choices are and what the end result will be.

The best way to determine if tattoo removal is best for you is to meet with a doctor who is trained in the use of lasers and does tattoo removal on a regular basis. Make a list of questions and take it along with you for your first consultation. Make sure that you get satisfactory answers to all of your questions.

What You Need to Know: About the Procedure. Who Is a Candidate? Preparing for Treatment. Pain. Recovery. Risks. Costs. How to Find a Specialist. Discussion Forums is MORE

Tattoo removal business booming

Environmentalist or Not, Don't Go Green


Getting a tattoo? If you think there's a chance you may want to erase it someday, (25% of people have them removed within 5 years), don't go green. Most green ink contains titanium dioxide, which is very difficult to remove with laser treatments. Removal of a red or black tattoo usually takes four or five laser treatments, at $150 to $500 a pop. But green tattoos can still be visible after up to 20 treatments. Note: Ankle tattoos are among the toughest to remove because the skin there is so thin.

Snippets


  • Most Painful - Penis. Imagine peeing broken glass. Takes 6 months to heal.
  • Most school friendly: Ears. Least painful
  • Most Sports Friendly: Nipples. Facial piercings can get torn off or smashed. Be sure to cover your nipples with gauze and tape before you play, in case you take a chest hit. Have it done in the off-season.
  • Most Problematic: Tongue. The metal bar constantly clacks against your teeth, causing fractures and receding gums in about 70% of cases. Other side effects: choking and drooling.
  • Biggest Waste of Money: Eyebrows. 25% of them migrate - meaning the skin expels the barbell or stuff, and you have to get pierced again.

Source: MH-18, Fall, 01

Newsbytes


Have you seen anyone with a semicolon tattoo? Here's what it's about.


One small character, one big purpose.

Have you seen anyone with a tattoo of a semi-colon? If not, you may not be looking close enough. They're popping up...everywhere.

That's right: the semicolon. It's a tattoo that has gained popularity in recent years, but unlike other random or mystifying trends, this one has a serious meaning behind it. (And no, it's not just the mark of a really committed grammar nerd.)

This mark represents mental health struggles and the importance of suicide prevention.

Project Semicolon was born from a social media movement in 2013.

They describe themselves as a "movement dedicated to presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction, and self-injury. Project Semicolon exists to encourage, love, and inspire."

But why a semicolon?

"A semicolon is used when an author could've chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life."

Originally created as a day where people were encouraged to draw a semicolon on their bodies and photograph it, it quickly grew into something greater and more permanent. Today, people all over the world are tattooing the mark as a reminder of their struggle, victory, and survival.

I spoke with Jenn Brown and Jeremy Jaramillo of The Semicolon Tattoo Project, an organization inspired by the semicolon movement. Along with some friends, Jenn and Jeremy saw an opportunity to both help the community and reduce the stigma around mental illness.

In 2012, over 43 million Americans dealt with a mental illness. Mental illness is not uncommon, yet there is a stigma around it that prevents a lot of people from talking about it — and that's a barrier to getting help.

More conversations that lead to less stigma? Yes please.

"[The tattoo] is a conversation starter," explains Jenn. "People ask what it is and we get to tell them the purpose."

"I think if you see someone's tattoo that you're interested in, that's fair game to start a conversation with someone you don't know," adds Jeremy. "It provides a great opportunity to talk. Tattoos are interesting — marks we put on our bodies that are important to us."

Last year, The Semicolon Tattoo Project held an event at several tattoo shops where people could get a semicolon tattoo for a flat rate. "That money was a fundraiser for our crisis center," said Jenn. In total, over 400 people received semicolon tattoos in one day. Even better, what began as a local event has spread far and wide, and people all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos.

And it's not just about the conversation — it's about providing tangible support and help too.

Jenn and Jeremy work with the Agora Crisis Center . Founded in 1970, it's one of the oldest crisis centers in the country. Through The Semicolon Tattoo Project, they've been able to connect even more people with the help they need during times of crisis. (If you need someone to talk to, scroll to the end of the article for the center's contact information.)

So next time you see this small punctuation tattoo, remember the words of Upworthy writer Parker Molloy:

"I recently decided to get a semicolon tattoo. Not because it's trendy (though, it certainly seems to be at the moment), but because it's a reminder of the things I've overcome in my life. I've dealt with anxiety, depression, and gender dysphoria for the better part of my life, and at times, that led me down a path that included self-harm and suicide attempts.

But here I am, years later, finally fitting the pieces of my life together in a way I never thought they could before. The semicolon (and the message that goes along with it) is a reminder that I've faced dark times, but I'm still here."

No matter how we get there, the end result is so important: help and support for more people to also be able to say " I'm still here."
Source: www.upworthy.com/have-you-seen-anyone-with-a-semicolon-tattoo-heres-what-its-about?c=ufb1

Tattoos Can Pose Health Hazards, Doctor Warns


Tattoos have become increasingly popular in the United States in recent years, but along with that comes a rise in problems such as allergic reactions and infections, an expert says.

More than one-third of Americans aged 18 to 25 report getting a tattoo, according to the Pew Research Center. But if you're thinking about getting "inked," there are some things to consider before you head to the tattoo parlor

"Since tattoos are not regulated in any way, there are many unknowns that could pose potential problems for consumers in terms of the inks and tools used," Dr. Michi Shinohara, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Washington in Seattle, said in an American Academy of Dermatology news release.

"It is especially important for consumers to be aware of the potential risks, report any problem that develops to the tattoo artist and see a board-certified dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment," Shinohara added.

Tattooing inks have changed a great deal over the years and many modern tattoo inks contain organic azo dyes with plastic-based pigments that are also used industrially in printing, textiles and car paint. Many unknowns exist about how these new tattoo inks interact with the skin and within the body.

Allergic reaction to the tattoo pigments is one of the most common problems associated with tattooing. Infections also can pose a serious threat to health. Along with localized bacterial infections, there have been reports of people being infected with syphilis and hepatitis B and C due to non-sterile tattooing practices, Shinohara said.

Skin cancer is another potential risk associated with tattoos because they can make it hard to detect cancer-related changes in moles. If you get a tattoo, make sure it's not placed over an existing mole.

A tattoo can also cause a reaction that creates a bump that resembles a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. Because it is hard to distinguish from skin cancer, the bump could lead to potentially unnecessary and expensive skin cancer treatment, including surgery, Shinohara said.

She offered the following advice for people who want to get a tattoo:

Go to a professional tattoo parlor and to a tattoo artist who is licensed according to state requirements. Insist on seeing tattoo equipment in sterile packaging.

Tell the tattoo artist if you have a reaction. If a problem lasts more than one to two weeks, see a dermatologist.

People with a chronic skin condition such as psoriasis, eczema or a tendency toward keloid scarring should check with a dermatologist before getting a tattoo.

Do not get a tattoo over a mole. Doing so will make it more difficult to diagnose a problem if the mole changes in the future.

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about tattoos and permanent makeup .
Source: www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/news/20130301/tattoos-can-pose-health-hazards-doctor-warns?src=RSS_PUBLIC

Is Tattooing Safe?


If you're thinking about getting a tattoo, you should know what risks are involved. Before you make up your mind, read this article to find out whether a tattoo is a good idea for you.
Source: www.kidshealth.org/teen/your_body/skin_stuff/safe_tattooing.html

Body Art


Piercings and tattoos carry health risks.
Source: www.healthcentral.com/news/NewsFullText.cfm?id=512187

Have you seen anyone with a semicolon tattoo?


;

Here's what it's about. One small character, one big purpose.

Have you seen anyone with a tattoo of a semi-colon? If not, you may not be looking close enough. They're popping up...everywhere.

That's right: the semicolon. It's a tattoo that has gained popularity in recent years, but unlike other random or mystifying trends, this one has a serious meaning behind it. (And no, it's not just the mark of a really committed grammar nerd.)

This mark represents mental health struggles and the importance of suicide prevention.

Project Semicolon was born from a social media movement in 2013.

They describe themselves as a "movement dedicated to presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction, and self-injury. Project Semicolon exists to encourage, love, and inspire."

But why a semicolon?

"A semicolon is used when an author could've chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life."

Originally created as a day where people were encouraged to draw a semicolon on their bodies and photograph it, it quickly grew into something greater and more permanent. Today, people all over the world are tattooing the mark as a reminder of their struggle, victory, and survival.

I spoke with Jenn Brown and Jeremy Jaramillo of The Semicolon Tattoo Project, an organization inspired by the semicolon movement. Along with some friends, Jenn and Jeremy saw an opportunity to both help the community and reduce the stigma around mental illness.

In 2012, over 43 million Americans dealt with a mental illness . Mental illness is not uncommon, yet there is a stigma around it that prevents a lot of people from talking about it — and that's a barrier to getting help.

More conversations that lead to less stigma? Yes please.

"[The tattoo] is a conversation starter," explains Jenn. "People ask what it is and we get to tell them the purpose."

"I think if you see someone's tattoo that you're interested in, that's fair game to start a conversation with someone you don't know," adds Jeremy. "It provides a great opportunity to talk. Tattoos are interesting — marks we put on our bodies that are important to us."

Last year, The Semicolon Tattoo Project held an event at several tattoo shops where people could get a semicolon tattoo for a flat rate. "That money was a fundraiser for our crisis center," said Jenn. In total, over 400 people received semicolon tattoos in one day. Even better, what began as a local event has spread far and wide, and people all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos.

And it's not just about the conversation — it's about providing tangible support and help too.

Jenn and Jeremy work with the Agora Crisis Center. Founded in 1970, it's one of the oldest crisis centers in the country. Through The Semicolon Tattoo Project, they've been able to connect even more people with the help they need during times of crisis. (If you need someone to talk to, scroll to the end of the article for the center's contact information.)

So next time you see this small punctuation tattoo, remember the words of Upworthy writer Parker Molloy:

"I recently decided to get a semicolon tattoo. Not because it's trendy (though, it certainly seems to be at the moment), but because it's a reminder of the things I've overcome in my life. I've dealt with anxiety, depression, and gender dysphoria for the better part of my life, and at times, that led me down a path that included self-harm and suicide attempts.

But here I am, years later, finally fitting the pieces of my life together in a way I never thought they could before. The semicolon (and the message that goes along with it) is a reminder that I've faced dark times, but I'm still here."

No matter how we get there, the end result is so important: help and support for more people to also be able to say "I'm still here."
Source: www.upworthy.com/have-you-seen-anyone-with-a-semicolon-tattoo-heres-what-its-about?c=ufb1

Global Semicolon Tattoo Trend Is A Sign Of Strength Among Faithful Individuals Dealing With Mental Health Problems


Ever wondered what the story is behind someone's tattoo?

Some have more significance than others, but the meaning behind the recent trend of semicolon tattoos is ever-important and heartfelt.

The trend of semicolon tattoos was started by Project Semicolon, which describes itself as "a faith-based non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction and self-injury." As to the significance of the symbol itself, the organization writes on its website, "a semicolon is used when an author could've chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life;" thus, in the case of these tattoos, it is a physical representation of personal strength in the face of internal struggle.

Though a Christian organization, Project Semicolon is quick to clarify that they do not exclude those who follow any other beliefs or religions. Founder Amy Bleuel got a semicolon tattoo in honor of her father, who lost his life to suicide when Amy was 18.

Now, two years after the movement formally began, the tattoos are popping up all over the place.

In a blog post, Bleuel says that her father's death "brought more pain to [her] life than anything [she] had ever experienced." In light of her own struggles, those of her father, and the tremendous pain she felt as a family member of someone who took his own life, Amy set out to provide support and guidance to others dealing with similar issues.

The movement meant enough to Heather Parrie that she got a semicolon tattooed on her forearm, and wrote a blog post about her own personal struggles with mental wellness.

In the post, Heather explains her diagnosis of "depression and anxiety," and describes having to leave a job she loved because her mental health problems inhibited her work performance. Still fighting these battles, but continuing on each day, Heather writes:

I will show my tattoo proudly and champion for the people who cannot champion for themselves. Every day that I say no to the dark thoughts depression tries to tangle my mind with, I am winning a battle that society has not made easy to win.

Today, the movement continues to grow and will hopefully continue to raise awareness about these issues.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Source: www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/07/project-semicolon-tattoos_n_7745358.html

Here's the Beautiful Reason People Are Getting Tattoos of Semicolons


A tattoo is always filled with hidden meaning. Sometimes, its message is personal and intimate; other times, it's global and expressive. All over the world, people have been getting tattoos of semicolons to promote Project Semicolon — a faith-based nonprofit movement that seeks to promote "hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction and self-injury."

Amy Bleul founded the campaign in 2013 in tribute to her late father, who took his own life. She chose the semicolon for its symbolism.

"A semicolon is used when an author could've chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life," the website reads.

While the organization is faith-based, the website also stresses that participants do not need to be of any denomination — all beliefs and religions are welcome. The vision of the movement is to inspire hope and spread the word that there's always a reason to go on.

The movement has gone viral in recent weeks, with many people showing solidarity with others struggling with mental health issues and celebrating the road to recovery and the determination to keep moving forward no matter what.
Source: www.cosmopolitan.com/lifestyle/news/a42920/semicolon-tattoos/

Here’s The Heartwarming Reason People Are Getting Semicolon Tattoos


There's a powerful message behind them.

It’s difficult to see the battles we fight inside ourselves everyday, and yet these feel like the hardest to win. Now, people are using semicolon tattoos as an external reminder of an internal triumph over mental health issues.

It’s part of a movement called Project Semicolon, which describes itself as “a faith-based non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction and self-injury.” Those who have struggled with mental illness, or know someone who is, are encouraged to get a tattoo or drawing of the semicolon as a sign of solidarity.

Why the semicolon? “A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to,” the site said, “The sentence is your life and the author is you.”

The movement started with Amy Bleuel, who founded Project Semicolon in 2013 after her father died by suicide ten years earlier:

Now, the movement has inspired people from all over the world. Many have taken to social media to share their pictures — and their stories:

“Project Semicolon is honored to be a part of those continuing stories, and to be an inspiration to those who are struggling,” their site said.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) or visit HalfOfUs.com.
Source: www.mtv.com/news/2204380/project-semicolon-tattoo/

Semicolon tattoos raise awareness about mental illness


A semicolon is a pause in a sentence, not the end of one.

That's why Amy Bleuel selected it for her mental health awareness campaign, Project Semicolon. The non-profit encourages people to draw (or tattoo) semicolons on their bodies as a way to represent and support those dealing with mental illness or loss of someone from suicide.

Text: I could have ended my life, but I chose not to. #ProjectSemicolon #semicolonproject

"I started it to honor my father," Bleuel told USA TODAY Network. "And to tell my story of my struggle with mental illness." Bleuel's father committed suicide in 2003. Ten years later, she launched Project Semicolon in 2013.

"I wanted to tell my story to inspire others to tell their story. I wanted to start a conversation that can't be stopped, a conversation about mental illness and suicide so we can address it and lower those rates," she said.

The semicolon is intended to encourage people to keep going in life.

"A semicolon is used when an author could've chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life," according to a statement on Project Semicolon's website.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the USA, according to the most recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2013, there were 41,149 reported deaths from suicide.

The conversation Bleuel started took off and continues today with people taking photos of their tattoos and drawings and uploading them to social media with the hashtag #projectsemicolon or #semicolonproject.

"It's impacted people who struggle with self-harm, addiction and suicide, as well as people who have lost people from suicide and addiction. It's attracted everyone," Bleuel said.

Text: I got a tattoo today. A semicolon represents a sentence the author could've ended but chose not to #semicolonproject

Text. You are the author and your life is the sentence- Don't let your sentence end; #ProjectSemicolon

Text: My story isn't ending here...its continuing.#semicolonproject

Text: not scars but a badge of honor. a road map of the journey i survived & the strength i gained #SemicolonProject

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/07/09/semicolon-tattoo-mental-health/29904291/

 

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or Text "SOS" at the Criris Text Line number 741741

Scroll down to 6:20 video

I've seen it all over Facebook and now I’m asking myself, “Why is everyone getting a tattoo of a semicolon on their wrist?” I decided to find out….First of all, the semicolon represents where the sentence could’ve ended but didn’t. Just as how suicide could be prevented but wasn’t. Many teachers are getting this tattoo in support of the fight against suicide in students. Three teens self harm every hour, teachers see this in students everyday and are spreading awareness to put it to a stop.

Their mission statement on Facebook reads…”We are trying to raise awareness about self harming. We are a group of people who will listen to your stories and help you get through any tough time, answer and questions, and give as much advice as possible.Together we can get through anything.”

If you know of someone who can benefit from this Facebook page, maybe even yourself, here is the link: www.facebook.com/TheSemicolonProject/info

Let’s stop the self harming, the suicides and the bullying.
Source: www.upworthy.com/9-beautiful-semicolon-tattoos-our-readers-shared-to-destigmatize-mental-health-challenges?g=2&c=ufb1

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53% of Millennials sport at least one tattoo and 38 is the average age most
Americans (57%) think tattoos no longer look cool on you.

Source: PicoSure/Wakefield Reserarch survey of 1,000 U.S. Adults.

One in three adult Ameericans has a tattoo

 
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