Tattoo artists advise students to keep their body art clean

Laura Cordle

Research says risks are things of the past

Ten to 20 years ago tattoos were thought to be dangerous, but Steve May, owner of Defiance Tattoos, said research has debunked some of these rumors.

Some of the main concerns of tattooing were ink poisoning, Hepatitis B and the possibility of a staph infection.

“There is no such thing as ink poisoning; it is totally fictitious,” he said. “In the 1930s Hepatitis B was the main concern of tattooing; it’s still possible of getting, but it is not very possible, and it never was really possible, even in the dirtiest of circumstance.”

Hepatitis B could only be contracted by unsterile needles used to tattoo the skin, he said. Now tattoo parlors are under police regulation to make sure health conditions are met to lessen the chances of contracting diseases.

“Another way to contract diseases is by not taking care of your new tattoos,” said Scott Voltz, junior art history major, who wants to someday be a tattoo artist. “By not washing it, not cleaning it at all, going tanning or swimming while the tattoo is healing also can infect it.’

Jeremy Kales, owner of Smokin’ Tattooz, stressed how important it is to keep new tattoos clean.

“You (have to) keep washing your new tattoo after you get it,” Kales said. “Every couple of hours just slick on some tattoo-goo or Neosporin. Not cleaning it could infect your skin or at best make your tattoo look bad.”

Because of the lack of possibility in contracting diseases from getting tattoos, people today are more concerned about other causes of tattoos, such as the amount of pain the tattoo will cause or regretting their choices.

“I was most nervous about it hurting, because I heard getting one on the ribs would be painful, and I was concerned of maybe regretting it,” said senior accounting major Kelli Raines.

Contact news correspondent Laura Cordle at [email protected].