Body art is quite fashionable and it gives you a unique spunk over those who don’t sport one. But did you know everything that there is to know, about the different kinds of body art that exists?
Here is an overview of what you should know about the two of the most trendy forms of body art that have remained quite popular among the oldies and the youth alike, for generations down the line – piercing and tattooing.
But even then there are still a lot of questions that keep lingering in our minds, pertaining to these two forms of body art:
What is the difference between getting a tattoo and a piercing? Which hurts more? What kind of complications can arise if things go wrong? Etc.
Read on to find answers to your questions:
WHAT IS A TATTOO?
A tattoo is formed when a handheld machine with an attached needle filled with ink is inserted into the dermis of the skin. A tattoo can replicate upon skin almost any image. The needle pricks and injects the ink which helps in painting the desired image upon the skin, changing its pigmentation.
Permanent ink is also used for drawing permanent eyebrows, lip lines and eye lines for those who don’t want to constantly wash and redo make-up before going to bed and after waking up, every other day.
WHAT IS A PIERCING?
A Piercing is when a hole is punctured into the skin using a needle, to fit a piece of jewellery in. The two most common piercings are those done on the nose or earlobes, among other places like the eyebrows, tongue, lips, navels, etc.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH RISKS INVOLVED IN TATTOOING?
Tattoos even though they look very chic and are a great form of self expression, can give birth to a number of complications. Complications include:
Tattoo dyes may cause allergic reactions which may surface after years, in the form of rashes at the tattooed area.
Tattoos can lead to skin infections like a staph.
It can account for the formation of keloids or development of nodules of inflamed tissue known as granolumas.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH RISKS INVOLVED IN PIERCINGS?
Piercings constitute an open tract wound which can be infected for months and often for years taking a longer time to heal than tattoos.
Piercings can cause swelling around the wound, and formation of a puss-filled mass, which if left untreated can lead to sepsis or blood poisoning.
Infections may give rise to high fevers, chills, rapid breathing and so on.
Bleeding from a damaged blood vessel can continue for a long time.
THE PAIN QUOTIENT: TATTOOING VS PIERCING
Tattooing will cause you to feel a dull and annoying pain while on piercing you’ll feel a quick and sharp pain. But the only difference is that since piercings take a longer time to heal and the wound remains fresh for quite some time, the pain will follow for a longer time than in tattoos.
However, the pain that is felt from either of the two depends from person to person. I have had my experience with a nose piercing where I felt only a slight pain which had subsided within the first 2 weeks even though the wound had taken a long time to heal and would swell often. But if taken care of properly as advised, then the healing process can be faster.
I’ve had some of my friends getting tattoos done that were really small in size. Usually the pain is bearable when you’re getting a smaller part of your body inked and none of the people I’ve known have had a really bad experience with getting piercings.
The pain hence cannot really be compared, but vary from person to person and in the way that the work is done.
But what you could rather consider is the body part that you want to get pierced or tattooed if you’re worried about the pain.
THE MOST PAINFUL PLACES TO GET TATTOOED OR PIERCED
If you’re trying to minimize pain or irritation then you should avoid certain body parts to others:
IN THE CASE OF TATTOOS
It depend on the placement of nerves in our body and keeping that in mind the best place to get tattooed would be areas of the body that remain exposed to the sun, like the forearm, tops of legs and outer arms, rather than the inner thighs, inside of arms and the back of legs.
Also try to avoid areas which are less fleshy and where the bones are closer to the surface of your skin, like the nape of the neck. This won’t necessarily cause less pain but the sensation will be more agreeable. Taut and fleshy skin areas are a better bet against fatty or bony areas.
IN THE CASE OF PIERCINGS
Earlobe piercings are very common and are generally the least painful. However, lips, navel and nostril piercings too are less painful to piercings on the tongue, eyebrow, daith, conch, helix, septum or nipples.
WHAT PRECAUTIONS SHOULD BE TAKEN BEFORE TATTOOING?
Make sure you get your tattoo done from a licensed and reputable studio. Keep a follow up on the safety laws that vary from one state to another.
Make sure fresh needles removed from sealed packages are being used on you and that your artist uses a fresh pair of gloves during the procedure.
Work surfaces and all equipments which are being reused must be kept clean and sanitized.
Prior to tattooing the area to be worked on should be swabbed with a disinfectant and after the procedure is complete the area should be covered with a sterile bandage.
WHAT PRECAUTIONS SHOULD BE TAKEN BEFORE PIERCING?
It is better to have only earlobes pierced with a piercing gun, because it has relatively harder tissues. Other parts should be pierced using a hollow needle for one to achieve a uniform circular hole instead of a warped hole.
Fresh needles, a clean pair of gloves and the use of properly sanitized reusable equipments are a must.
The jewellery which is to be inserted into the hole must first be sterilized.
THE AFTERCARE FOR TATTOOS
Keep away from direct sunlight for the first few weeks. Keep the tattooed area covered for 24 hours after you’ve just got it done. Keep from touching it for the first few days. Clean tattoos gently with plain soap and water.
THE AFTERCARE FOR PIERCINGS
Clean the piercing using a warm sea-salt soak or a mild anti-bacterial soak. Don’t pick at it with your fingers because it can easily get infected. Use alcohol free anti-bacterial mouth wash to care for oral piercings. Consult your doctor or for the use of other antibacterial creams to keep it free from infections.
So, this was a general idea about the two forms of body art that you can get and what all you need to know when you opt for either of the two.
It is always best to take precautions and do a little study about the kind of body art you would like to adorn yourself with. You must very importantly have the required dedication and patience to engage in proper aftercare of your body art because no matter how safely it is done, it is after all artificial and needs to set in your body well to keep at bay any sort of complications. Oftentimes these complications can lead to severe problems which you should avoid by all means.