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  1. I think for this post it may be important to address an issue that is becoming more and more prevalent in fields that deal with modifying skin in any sort of way.  Tattooing and piercing is what this blog is about so that is what will be addressed in reference to the material.

    In a day and age where we supplement our diet with many additional chemicals like vitamins, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids (fish oil), creatine etc. whether its for weight training or dietary supplementation it is important that we take consideration what we are putting in our bodies prior to being tattooed.  I would even go as far as to say that pharmaceuticals to any degree could generate changes in the skin.  I have not really heard too many people address this issue but this subject matter falls into my background and hopefully this information can help individuals get the best quality tattoo possible. Given, everyone’s body chemistry is unique, and this may not be applicable to everyone so keep that in mind. I would love to hear your results or if anyone has had any experience with the topics I will address in this post please feel free to drop some knowledge as this can help someone out.

    It is undeniable that in America we consume the most supplements and pharmaceuticals in the world.  Those statistics are readily available if you want to go looking for them you will not need to go far.  Most of these products hold some benefit to our health or appearance and can be quite important.  However, we do not always get to see the biochemical reactions that are taking place in our bodies during the time the products in question are circulating through our system.  Sometimes we can experience the reactions and health benefits immediately while others may take some time to acclimate into our systems.  The difficult part of this problem to assess is how are these supplements going to affect my tattoo? 

    I can give two examples first hand of supplements that can influence how the tattoo sits under the skin during the healing process.  First, fish oil is a great supplement it helps with the appearance and overall health of skin and hair among other aspects of our biology.  However, fish oil is a non-water-soluble oil and absorbs into our skin differently and can influence the pigments and inks to migrate rather than staying put.  For those of you that have not researched solubility or some of its basic principles in chemistry we say like dissolves like. I will make some sense of this because I know it sounds irrelevant. 

    When we are thinking about using a solvent in the lab for a substance we have to determine if its overall charge is polar or nonpolar.  Polar compounds are substances like water, table salt, glucose, Epsom salts, etc, hopefully you get the idea, basically these substances carry a charge and will disassociate when being dissolved in water or acetic acid (vinegar) or any other polar solvents.  Nonpolar compounds do not carry a charge and can be organic molecules but the easiest ones to identify with are hydrocarbons or oils and things like that.  Everyone has heard the reference about mixing oil and water, those compounds do NOT mix, on the other hand if we put table salt in water the granules of salt will disappear.  Water is a polar compound and oil is a non-polar compound they are not miscible with each other, but water and salt are both polar compounds and water will dissolve the salt.  Now that we have a basic understanding of this let’s think about what we discussed last week in regard to pigments and inks which are usually organic, and carbon based.  Many times, carbon-based compounds are non-polar, however, there are many exceptions to this rule when it comes to biochemistry but not so much when we are dealing with basic carbon compounds like the components to inks.  Since there are so many variants of ink and pigment on the market with different base components it is hard to determine how they will react with someone’s specific biochemistry until the product is introduced to the body.  So, we can kind of put the pieces of the puzzle together when it comes to supplements and how the polarity will influence the skin during the tattoo and healing process.  If the supplement can partially dissolve or react with the pigment it could cause it to migrate through the dermal layer appearing as a blowout during the healing process.  This could also have an influence on the immune system’s ability to break down the ink/ pigment because the particles have now disassociated and are smaller and easier for the white blood cells to attack.

    As you can see, when we introduce supplements and medicine to the mix this can add many variables that were never involved in the original equation.  Hopefully, clients are honest with tattoo artists when it comes to medicine and supplements, so the artist can be prepared for these variables.  I believe another good example of this would be an older client that is on blood thinners or a medication with a side effect that may thin the blood.  Older people generally have a different skin texture which can be determined by the artist using observation, however, the medication could cause the client to bleed significantly more than normal and extra care would be necessary on the artists end.  If someone is bleeding quite a bit during the tattoo the blood can actually help push and dilute some of the ink out of the dermis which can cause greater scabbing and

    I understand that reputable shops usually screen their clients for health issues and medication, so it is the client’s responsibility to present any additional circumstances so that they can get a quality tattoo and minimize the variables.  Medicine has been apart of our way of life for centuries and I think tattooing has been just fine.  I think a more prominent issue that will emerge are dietary supplements, these are relatively new in the grand scheme of things and although very good for you can cause issues with tattoos. In the medical field, patients are screened for all supplements and medications before a procedure, so the doctor can utilize necessary methods to be successful.  Pharmacists must do the same thing when calculating dosages for patients and cross checking to see if any medications will react adversely to a current prescription etc.  I have been exposed to quite a few tattoo artists that are discovering it is necessary to ask clients about their dietary supplements before they embark on a project because it can limit issues with blowouts and ink migration etc.  I believe the supplements are largely beneficial to our lives, they help us maintain good immune health and help our skin and hair look great.  I think we should help our tattoo artists out and let them know anything outside of a “normal” diet so they can be prepared for anything.  

    As always thank you for reading my blog post and I hope this had some educational value as well as presenting new ideas that have not been studied extensively.  I think there should be more research on tattooing especially since people are getting tattooed more than ever. Then again I am a scientist and I love learning about and researching new material.  We are living in an era where the transmission of information is second to none and we should use what we have to our advantage.  Finally, and as always please enjoy some awesome tats by Zenon for your enjoyment.

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    So I got my first tattoo 6 days ago, it’s a lotus flower with small dots for detail. I noticed on the second/third day of having my tattoo that the dots on the left side had expanded underneath the skin, I’ve done some googling and I think it might be ink blowout. However it looks quite odd compared to the right side which is supposed to have a symmetrical pattern. I’ve been wondering whether because it’s a new tattoo that this blowout with disappear?? Any help?? Thank you in advance 🙂

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    I just got my first tattoo of a little Forrest on my wrist and I’m freaking out literally till I’m crying because I think it looks in attractive.  

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  2. I have no clue what is wrong with it please help , could you let me know what I’ve done wrong every answer is much appreciated I have looked after them good no sun no touching moisturise 3 tines a day 

    i have no clue what is wrong with it 

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    Well I am planning to get a tattoo and I love this one but I really don't know what it simplifies or means to tell others if they ask me.

    Any help please?

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    Lambchop
    Latest Entry

    I got this tattoo 3 weeks ago exactly. The tattoo is no longer peeling much but it is raised and not flush with the rest of my skin. Also the line work looks so much heavier than it did when it was fresh. I am concerned about tattoo blow out and/or scarring. Any advice?

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    Nancy
    Latest Entry

    ABOUT THIS BLOG

    I just got a tattoo a week ago, this is how my tattoo looks a week after I got another tattoo by the same artist and the second one looks so much better. Should I be worried about infection, or did she go too deep and mess up or am I just completely screwed with this tattoo. It looks horrible now....

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  3. Alpha

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    It been 5 days since I got my first tattoo and it started peeling,it looks a bit greyish in some places 

    Should I be worried about this

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    marsii
    Latest Entry

    Hey, sorry 4 comeing like this out of the blue but I have a question. This will sound weird mby but plz help me. So I can't remember the name of an artist. This artist dose flying eyes, skulls,open flying mouths and really weird shit murals also. I think he is from UK and his site is brown if it helps haha. If you have any idea what who I am talking about plz answer me. :)

  4. I got my tattoo about 2 months ago and I am worried because I have white marks on it. I still have one more session with my artist but I wanted someone's opinion on it, he says he can easily shade in the white spots but I want someone's opinion. Pls reply

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    Nexy
    Latest Entry

    soooo i designed a medusa portrait for my sleeve, still not certain ill go with it though 

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  5. i have a cherry blossom tree on the top of my arm and i cant figure out what to do with the bottom. please leave suggestions xoxoxshaysgotink

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    I've tried to write this before and it just wasn't working, see how we go this time!

    Well after getting the pipes on my outer forearm (may 2015) I started plotting what would come next. For my Step Dad I want a ship in a stormy sea being taken down by the Kraken and for my Dad I want a deer head inside a rose being stabbed by arrows. ( actual hunting arrows capable of doing damage, not those whispy hipster pinterest style ones) 

    Over the space of a year I played around with ideas before settling on those while also researching ideas on a memorial tattoo for a baby I'd lost years ago. 

    I have my living children's initials on me with stars and hated that I had nothing for her. 

    Not feeling satisfied with the stock standard memorial tattoo I came up with the idea of a tarot card . Three of swords. It's a heart being stabbed by three swords. Looking at it the right way up it means pain to the heart, love loss. In reverse (upside down) it's like moving past or overcoming that pain.

    Very fitting. It was a very healing tattoo for me. Doesn't fix situations , but I feel a bit of peace now. 

    The tattoo sits under my bust , I was shitting bricks to be honest - figuring it was going to be pretty intense. But that in no way was going to deter me, I was just going to have to suck it up or pass out . Surprisingly it was easy to sit for. Cat stratch or same as when you scratch a mozzie bite too much. The tops of the daggers hurt the most but even so were only a 4/10 at most. I'm convinced my nerves are shot, cos I shouldn't have sat that well. (Honestly - I hate pain!!) 

    I must say I completely love the tattoo. The design was the artists work (I just explained the card and said I'd like it with daggers instead and in a traditional style, but happy for him to play with it ) 

    This is a healed picture, I can see a couple spots that need a touch up so I will sort that out soon.

     

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  6. I'm doing a little tattoo traveling starting this weekend and made a little blog post about it here.

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    Hey, so it's been awhile since I posted on here but I figured I'd hop on and make a post about my new shop. So around last November or so my Buddy Benjamin Haft and I Decided we needed to change our situations. He and I split from our respective shops (Fun City/Three Kings) over the winter, my wonderfully generous friend Ashley Love let me work in her private studio while we built out the raw space (a former 4 car garage). We did just about all the construction ourselves with a tiny bit of outsourcing. worked 12 hour days 7 days a week for 2 months and 6 days and opened Allied Tattoo on June 9th. To say we're proud would be an understatement, we put so much into this space and we really hope it shows! I hope if you guys are in the neighborhood you'll stop in and say hey!

    The shop IG is : @allied_tattoo

    Our Individual IGs are:

    [MENTION=2514]Andy[/MENTION]jperez

    @benjaminhaft

    @josephbrycetattoo

    [MENTION=2050]IanW[/MENTION]time

    [MENTION=1694]SheilaM[/MENTION]arcello

    website: www.alliedtattoo.com

    And here are some pics! (all signpainting done by the incredible @seanbartonsigns)

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  7. So, made three machines. Two Dietzel irons, liner and shader, which will either be headed to the UK, or sold to the highest bidder here.

    Also I figured "what the Hell? I love dangerous chemicals", so I aged an old brass frame of more than slightly dubious origin, making what I like to call ny Dirty Old Salt finish.

    All have silver contact screws and are nickel plated, then rubbed down in a sealing waxm except for the new/old brass. Prices are very reasonable too. Starting at $200, and far more classy than many I`ve seen. In my opinion anyway.

    So take a ganders, goose! Or ganders... Geese?

    Oh no. I`m all confused.

  8. Trying to incorporate them into my fashion blogging. Most fashion bloggers of course are not tattooed (or pierced) so I will see how readers will like it :p I think they go well with all my dark, gothy or nostalgic fashion posts as well as more modern stuff.

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    I thought, when I got my first tattoo, that there would be an adjustment period afterward, like the one that happens after you change your hairstyle, start wearing a different color of nail polish, get a new pair of shoes. Self ideation is a thing. We form very strong mental images of ourselves, and things that alter or challenge that image in even a small or desirable way can be jarring. 'I love that new cut on you,' we can hear five hundred times in the week after going to the hair stylist, and even though they gave us exactly what we wanted, we smile and say thank-you and maybe secretly hate it for the three weeks that it takes us to get used to it, after which we can love it again ourselves, and anything different would seem strange.

    But no: every tattoo I've had (and I don't have many, admittedly), I have loved. There have been times I've had to adjust to seeing them together, as a collection of images that are beginning to form a larger visual ambiance, some impression of togetherness greater than each individual image, but I've loved them all. I have been proud that they belong to me. They are impressive pieces of art.

    And now I have one that I don't love, for the first time, and I don't know how to deal with that.

    It isn't a bad tattoo. It's done well enough. It's a looser, simpler style than my regular guy's, but I can dig that. If I couldn't, I'd never have made the appointment.

    I just feel like it wasn't the tattoo I thought I would be getting.

    The guy's portfolio is full of charming pieces. Simple, like I said, but sometimes it seems as though the simplest pieces express the greatest amount of character -- that certain something I don't have a name for. You look at them and smile, because they've got personality. I don't feel that about this piece at all.

    I have been asking myself why it is that I'm disappointed. Is it that it's wildly different from everything else that I have? Is it that it's alone on my other arm, its difference from my other tattoos underlined by how alone it is and all of the untattooed skin around it? Does it have the charm that compelled me to make the appointment, and I just can't see it through the weirdness of something so different from what I've gotten used to receiving? Was the portfolio misleading, or did he phone it in? Is it my fault? After all, I green-lit everything, every step of the way. But traditional concepts are so simple, the stencils so far removed from the final product, just a ghost of what the piece can become on the skin -- how can anyone ever look at one and predict how it'll turn out, aside from looking at a portfolio? Until it's colored, and too late, how can you know?

    Is the problem the tattoo, or my perspective? Why can I not figure out the answer to this question? And even if I can't tell, does the answer matter when the consequence is the same -- that I look at it and experience weirdly mixed feelings, instead of the rapt affection I feel when I look at my other work?

    Tattoos are not haircuts or nail polish. They aren't new shoes. You can't try them on and find they don't work for you, and shed them easily afterward.

    Do I try to learn to love it, or do I make peace with not loving it, and surround it with things that I love? Covering it seems excessive to even think about. It's not at all badly executed. The guy who did it was nice, friendly. I enjoyed the evening. I like his other work.

    Most of these questions are rhetorical, I suppose. When the dust settles, I'll figure out how I feel and do something about the tattoo, or I won't, and that'll be that. I pick away at my feelings about it because they're new and alien to me, and even -- in spite of the anxiety attendant to them -- interesting to experience in an objective way, not something I've ever felt about something I've done to my body.

    It has been a strange two days.

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    DON B
    Latest Entry

    [quote=DON B;4

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    Have you ever thought about having a portal to the 7th level of Hell on your chest?

    Have you ever wanted to make a child cry simply by standing there?

    Have you ever dreamed about a thousand eyes in the black of the night?

    If you've answered HELL YES to any of those questions and also like things that are grown in MERICA, made in MERICA, and printed in the U.S. of MERICA then buy this god damn t-shirt!!

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    This handsome sonofabitch Carlos Rojas is here to show you how to look good.

    Paypal to cltattooing@gmail.com $23 shipped anywhere in the US(include name, address, and size), and $20 if you pick one up at the shop.

    Thanks for supporting the good folks of FTW Tattoo Parlor in Oakland, California.

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    Alright guys and gals, I know there has been a bit of talk about Saniderm and I've posted about this in another thread but I decided to start a little experiment. A few days ago a regular client/friend of mine sent me a text asking about Saniderm and just had a friend who got a decent sized full-colour piece done and healed it completely with the said product. I've asked a few friends of mine in the tattoo industry their thoughts and most of them reacted the same way I did, "Never heard of it but why would you cover a tattoo for three days?".

    Then things got a little interesting. I asked friends in the medical field (EMT, Paramedic, And Vet Tech). My EMT friend said it was really similar to other products that are used in Emergency Response for burns and that it's great but shouldn't be used solely. That often it's just for later stages of healing or first response to isolate the injury and so on. My Paramedic had the same exact answer. Now my vet tech said they don't use any product like that but rather one that is a liquid. It helps animals stop bleeding on a laceration or isolate the injured area if they we're hit by a car and suffered road rash.

    My client came in yesterday and brought the Saniderm product with her so we played around with a couple pieces, understanding how it works and sticking it on shit around the room. But what is the interesting part is she asked if she could experiment with it on her palm touch up that she was very sketch about getting touched up in the first place since she works retail. Handling money is probs the worst thing you can do with a palm tattoo. haha. Not to mention, the last two guys she went to kind of did a number on it and it has never healed right. It's difficult to EVER tattoo in someone else's hand writing (because that's what the tattoo is) and I know hand tattoos aren't the easiest spot to heal but that's why what made it a perfect candidate but these guys did NOT know wtf they were doing. And I'm fairly new to tattooing so that says a lot. So we did the tattoo, applied the saniderm just as the box directs and said that immediately, all of the post-procedure ache alleviated. She had no discomfort and even at lunch, she was using her hand, WASHED her hands after the meal, and said she was fine.

    So today (once I finish my coffee and maybe eat a banana), I'm going to begin my OWN experiment. I am currently in the process of blacking out my leg and find the healing process to be extremely annoying. It's the itchiest shit and in my opinion takes the longest so why not take a shot at it. There will be two spots each about 25mm by 25mm and about 35mm apart, one to be healed dry and one with Saniderm. So once this goes down I will post images and how the tattoo was performed (machine, needle grouping, ink, and voltage) just to get a 100% accurate idea of what's going on and follow the healing process daily for about the next two weeks. If anyone else has done this or healed tattoos side by side with saniderm and typical healing methods, please chime in. I'm super interested in this product. Like I said earlier, I have friends in the medical field and animal care field and it would be nice to give them something that they can work with and have no issues.

    Here's the link to the Saniderm website. Personally, I think the interviews look like an infomercial. Not to shame on the artist or person getting tattooed but even my wife left the room going, "Hi, Billy Mays here..." SOOOO yeah, it's a bit cheeseball.

    Photos of Saniderm in Use - SanidermSaniderm | Keep it Clean. Keep it Simple.

    Let me know what you guys think and feel free to chime in.

  9. Read on yahoo this morning. He was shot outside a smoke shop.

  10. Blog hogg

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    But they all look cool, which is what's most important to me. But lemme back up....

    A few months ago, [MENTION=2896]CultExciter[/MENTION] and [MENTION=50598]cmmercer13[/MENTION] were visiting SF from Virginia. [MENTION=3461]keepcalm[/MENTION] was out here at the same time, so [MENTION=3422]CABS[/MENTION] and [MENTION=5385]cltattooing[/MENTION] and I decided we should all meet up for tacos. The tacos were delicious, and the company was even better. [MENTION=5385]cltattooing[/MENTION] brought along her friend Rob Mopar, a visiting tattooer from Australia. Over dinner, Rob and I got to talking about his young son and my daughter and their burgeoning love of tattoos. I said that when my daughter was 3, she told me all the tattoos she wants when she grows up: a gray skeleton with white toenails, a donkey, a turkey, a birthday cake on her knee, and "a red dragon, but kinda silly, holding a lollipop." Carolyn laughed and said, "When's your daughter's birthday?" I told her she was turning 5 the following Wednesday. She asked me to text her the list of tattoo ideas because she wanted to paint a flash sheet for my daughter. Three days later, I got this:

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    I was (and remain) blown away. Look at it! How perfect is that thing? And just so kind and sweet and thoughtful. My daughter? She loved it, right down to the stars and dots and "hanker" as filler. I knew when I saw it that I had to have that dragon. My wise wife said, "You better ask our daughter for permission. After all, these were her tattoo ideas." When she's right, she's right. (Editor's note: she's usually right.) So I asked, and my daughter assented. Today, I'm happy to say that I'm the proud owner of this goofy little guy:

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    She nailed it, and I wouldn't have had anyone else do it. As a bonus, one of my closest friends also got tattooed at FTW today (his first! a beauty from Michael Bennett), so we went together. All in all, a great experience. Thanks again, Carolyn! This "meaningful tattoo" stuff is kinda cool (now and then :cool:).

    LST Forever,

    Ross

  11. As some of you may know, I have started a magazine with a few friends and some LSTers who I have connected with over that last few years. This is just a little synopsis of my thoughts on the project. I will be posting a free online edition of the magazine and will have physical copies available for any of you who want one. It is an expression of my experience in tattooing and also something that I have made to give back to those who helped me create this indescribable idea of what tattooing means to me. Thanks, LST. Hope you guys are as excited about this as I am.

    I constantly get stuck between wanting to show certain people what tattooing is and letting some people do their own thing. It takes a singular individual to take what you think you know about something like tattoos and embrace a whole different reality. Tattoos are inherently cool and rebellious and counter-culture, yet professional tattooing has so many supporters who are just regular people who happen to have very good taste; however, at the same time, there are those who will show you why you will never be as in the know as they are, and they aren’t afraid to express that. And, rightfully so, because they are the ones who have paid dues and built this house to be what it is today. We owe our coolness and sense of tattooed self to these people, the people who put in hours every day, doing what they love and building discerning tastes and frameworks for tattooing’s progress. As a humble collector and writer, I recognize when some of the more involved people pass on knowledge, and I roll with it, because this culture is tradition, progress, and friendship.

    Thank you, 12 oz. Prophet, Last Sparrow Tattoo, and all the tattooers who have influenced my tastes, ideology, and plans for this magazine. All the tattooers who I have gotten work from, I respect you until the end, and I will proudly continue to get tattooed and listen to those who are willing to pass on parts of the puzzle. Stay enigmatic, because that’s what drives me. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.