By Anna Homa
I’ve been planning on getting a tattoo and I was wondering about the hazards associated with it. I know there are lots of rumors going around about tattoos, such as you can’t give blood after getting a tattoo. Is getting one really worth the pain?This is something that I know a lot about, having four tattoos of my own. To begin, yes there are some hazards associated with getting a tattoo, such as getting an infection or hepatitis, but mostly it depends on where you go to get your tattoo. Check out the place before you get any ink done and ask to see pictures of other pieces that particular artist has done. Check the equipment they use, make sure the area is clean, the needles are brand new and the ink is not reused. You definitely need to do your homework before committing to a shop and an artist.
According to the American Red Cross Web site, if the tattoo was applied in a state-regulated/ licensed facility you may be able to donate, and Kentucky is one of the states that require licensing. Otherwise, they require a waiting period of about 12 months after a tattoo to make sure you don’t carry any type of infection with it.
The art of tattooing has been around for centuries and didn’t always have the stigma associated with it like it does today. Many cultures embrace the tattoo as a rite of passage into adulthood or as to designate status in the tribe. Many people get tattoos to remember loved ones; a few of my friends have their children’s names and birthdates somewhere on their bodies.
You should definitely think about getting one, don’t just go out and do it, and definitely don’t get one after you’ve been drinking. Besides the fact most artists won’t give you one if you’re drunk, you’ll bleed a lot more and the ink won’t take as well because of all the bleeding. And you’ll almost definitely regret it. Tattoos can be removed, but it costs more money and hurts a lot more than actually getting one.
As for your last question, whether it’s worth it is a personal decision. For me, they were all worth it and I love every piece of artwork on my body. But some regret their decision just months or maybe years down the road. I won’t lie to you; it hurts like hell, but the pain is only temporary for something that can be so beautiful.
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NOTE: In Anna’s Answers last week, I wrote students needed to go to Career Services on campus and they will help you find a position for co-op or applied learning for credit. I was wrong; the office you need to go to is the co-op office on the fourth floor of the Student Services Building.