UV tattoos that make you glow in the dark!

In the far-off past, tattoos were something only sailors had, and the only body part people pierced was their ears. Nowadays, piercings and tattoos are everywhere. But like anything you do in life — from driving a car to playing a sport — tattoos and piercings come with some risks.

Taking a few precautions will help you get the best results from your new body art and avoid side effects, which can include allergic reactions to inks or piercing jewelry, infections caused by unsterile equipment and needles, and scarring.

“Body art is a popular form of self-expression, but people who decide to get a tattoo or body piercing should go to a licensed facility and take time to discuss the safety procedures with the artists working at the shop or tattoo parlor,” says Scott Bryan, a spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Ask whether they have had training in bloodborne pathogen and safe tattooing techniques,” Martin advises. “And ask if they use disposable products such as disposable tubes and needles and if they have a working sterilizer on the premises to clean their equipment.”

You’ve been working on a cool design and saving up for your first tattoo. Now it’s time to find a reputable studio and artist who will transfer your artwork from paper to skin. Tattoos are designs on the skin made with needles and colored ink. Getting “inked” is a major decision. Keep in mind that a tattoo is effectively permanent, and although it is possible to remove a tattoo, the process is expensive and painful.

Tattoo

The surprising reason why piercings are so addictive

You've probably heard someone who has a few piercings or tattoos express that getting one makes them want to have more. They're addictive, they might say, but talking about addiction in any form is way more nuanced than just saying you like doing something.

Piercings can be psychologically "addictive," in the sense that many people will continue to see how far they can push their limits once they start getting them, says Stephanie Hutter-Thomas, a professional body piercer and PhD candidate studying the psychology of body art.

"After conquering the anxiety of successfully receiving and healing that first body piercing, it becomes more exciting to choose the next one," she says. "The more exposure we have to a particular chosen event or stimuli, the less frightening or outrageous it seems because we slowly become desensitized."

There's no real research that shows that people are physiologically dependent on getting body piercings, so Hutter-Thomas suspects that people are more likely drawn to the journey or process. "From my perspective, it becomes more a matter of pursuing or maintaining a sense of personal identity, rather than a pathology like addiction," she says.

What you do with your body and how many piercings you get is entirely your choice — and if it feels good doing it, power to you. Walking away with a new piece of jewelry is just an added bonus.

But there is a lot going on inside your brain when you get a piercing, Hutter-Thomas says. When your body experiences anything physically intense, particularly stress and pain, your brain releases endorphins, she says. Endorphins then interact with your body's perception of pain, similar to the way opioids (like morphine or oxycodone) would, she says. "Unlike prescription medications, natural activation of our body's opiate receptors doesn't lead to physical dependency."
Is pain in itself addicting? Hutter-Thomas compares it to some of the "psychologically complex" practices within the S&M community (like choking or spanking). "Pain allows us to experience pleasure by presenting adequate contrast for our brain," she says. Many piercing enthusiasts describe the feeling after getting one as release and relaxation, she says. "Some people seek out a piercing procedure as a form of self-therapy, allowing them to release stress."
Of course, not everyone feels this way about their piercings, and for many people, it's just a way to express themselves. Hutter-Thomas says that someone's intentions for getting a piercing often dictate the type of experience they'll have getting it.

A person choosing a new piercing after spending their time diligently contemplating and preparing for it will often have a more positive experience during the procedure

Pleasure may feel nice, but it doesn't make us happy without something painful to compare it to.

Of course, not everyone feels this way about their piercings, and for many people, it's just a way to express themselves. Hutter-Thomas says that someone's intentions for getting a piercing often dictate the type of experience they'll have getting it.

"A person choosing a new piercing after spending their time diligently contemplating and preparing for it will often have a more positive experience during the procedure," she says. But, if you're just doing it because your friends are all doing it, she says you might not have as great of a time.

Having a solid intention for getting your piercing also means you probably won't regret it, and may pay a little more attention to cleaning the area properly than someone who just got a piercing in haste, she says.

Tattoo

What you do with your body and how many piercings you get is entirely your choice — and if it feels good doing it, power to you. Walking away with a new piece of jewelry is just an added bonus.

How to choose a body art supplier

In the far-off past, tattoos were something only sailors had, and the only body part people pierced was their ears. Nowadays, piercings and tattoos are everywhere. But like anything you do in life — from driving a car to playing a sport — tattoos and piercings come with some risks.

Taking a few precautions will help you get the best results from your new body art and avoid side effects, which can include allergic reactions to inks or piercing jewelry, infections caused by unsterile equipment and needles, and scarring.

“Body art is a popular form of self-expression, but people who decide to get a tattoo or body piercing should go to a licensed facility and take time to discuss the safety procedures with the artists working at the shop or tattoo parlor,” says Scott Bryan, a spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Go to an established tattoo shop, and ask questions when you go there,” says Mike Martin, vice president and health and education coordinator for the Alliance of Professional Tattooists. “With all your power, avoid going to somebody’s house for a tattoo.”

Fortunately, more and more states and counties are regulating tattoo studios and artists. But all too often, says Martin, tattoos are done in kitchens and garages, because tattoo equipment is inexpensive and easy to obtain. Getting a tattoo from unsterile equipment and inexperienced artists can put you, and the artist, at risk for life-threatening infectious diseases such as hepatitis or skin infections caused by certain bacteria. Martin advises tattoo seekers to do their homework. Find a legitimate facility and ask for a tour — the shop should be neat and clean. Don’t be shy about talking to the artists about safety procedures.

“Ask whether they have had training in bloodborne pathogen and safe tattooing techniques,” Martin advises. “And ask if they use disposable products such as disposable tubes and needles and if they have a working sterilizer on the premises to clean their equipment.”

Do you have what it takes to be a body piercer?

In the far-off past, tattoos were something only sailors had, and the only body part people pierced was their ears. Nowadays, piercings and tattoos are everywhere. But like anything you do in life — from driving a car to playing a sport — tattoos and piercings come with some risks.

Taking a few precautions will help you get the best results from your new body art and avoid side effects, which can include allergic reactions to inks or piercing jewelry, infections caused by unsterile equipment and needles, and scarring.

“Body art is a popular form of self-expression, but people who decide to get a tattoo or body piercing should go to a licensed facility and take time to discuss the safety procedures with the artists working at the shop or tattoo parlor,” says Scott Bryan, a spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fortunately, tattoos and piercings are safer than ever, but before you become a proud owner, it’s important to do your homework. Body artists are expected to adhere to strict safety procedures. By following safety procedures, tattoo artists and body piercers protect themselves and their customers from a range of viruses and bacteria that can cause illness.

“Ask whether they have had training in bloodborne pathogen and safe tattooing techniques,” Martin advises. “And ask if they use disposable products such as disposable tubes and needles and if they have a working sterilizer on the premises to clean their equipment.”

You’ve been working on a cool design and saving up for your first tattoo. Now it’s time to find a reputable studio and artist who will transfer your artwork from paper to skin. Tattoos are designs on the skin made with needles and colored ink. Getting “inked” is a major decision. Keep in mind that a tattoo is effectively permanent, and although it is possible to remove a tattoo, the process is expensive and painful.

“Go to an established tattoo shop, and ask questions when you go there,” says Mike Martin, vice president and health and education coordinator for the Alliance of Professional Tattooists. “With all your power, avoid going to somebody’s house for a tattoo.”