So What Exactly Is a Montreal Tattoo?
A tattoo is a puncture wound, made deep in your skin, that's filled with ink. It's made by penetrating your skin with a needle and injecting ink into the area, usually creating some sort of design. What makes tattoos so long-lasting is they're so deep — the ink isn't injected into the epidermis (the top layer of skin that you continue to produce and shed throughout your lifetime). Instead, the ink is injected into the dermis, which is the second, deeper layer of skin. Dermis cells are very stable, so the tattoo is practically permanent.
Tattoos used to be done manually in many Montreal tattoo parlors — that is, the tattoo artist would puncture the skin with a needle and inject the ink by hand. Though this process is still used in some parts of the world, most Montreal tattoo parlors use a tattoo machine these days. A tattoo machine is a handheld electric instrument that uses a tube and needle system. On one end is a sterilized needle, which is attached to tubes that contain ink. A foot switch is used to turn on the machine, which moves the needle in and out while driving the ink about 1/8 inch (about 3 millimeters) into your skin.
Most tattoo artists in Montreal know how deep to drive the needle into your skin, but not going deep enough will produce a ragged tattoo, and going too deep can cause bleeding and intense pain. Getting a tattoo in Montreal can take several hours, depending on the size and design chosen.
Does It Hurt to Get a Tattoo at your favorite Montreal tattoo parlor?
Getting a tattoo can hurt, but the level of pain can vary. Because getting a tattoo involves being stuck multiple times with a needle, it can feel like getting a bunch of shots or being stung by a hornet multiple times. Some people describe the tattoo sensation as "tingling." It all depends on your pain threshold, how good the person wielding the tattoo machine is, and where exactly on your body you're getting the tattoo. Also, keep in mind that you'll probably bleed a little.
If You're Thinking About It getting a tattoo at a Montreal parlor:
If you're thinking about getting a tattoo, there is one very important thing you have to keep in mind — getting it done safely. Although it might look a whole lot cooler than a big scab, a new tattoo is also a wound. Like any other slice, scrape, puncture, cut, or penetration to your skin, a tattoo is at risk for infections and disease.
First, make sure you're up to date with your immunizations and plan where you'll get medical care if your tattoo becomes infected (signs of infection include excessive redness or tenderness around the tattoo, prolonged bleeding, pus, or changes in your skin color around the tattoo). Most Montreal tattoo parlors will give you a list of how to care for your tattoo.
If you have a medical problem such as heart disease, skin disorders, a condition that affects your immune system, or infections — or if you are pregnant — ask your doctor if there are any special concerns you should have or precautions you should take beforehand. Also, if you're prone to getting keloids (an overgrowth of scar tissue in the area of the wound), it's probably best to avoid getting a tattoo altogether.
It's very important to make sure the Montreal tattoo parlor is clean and safe, and that all equipment used is disposable (in the case of needles, gloves, masks, etc.) and sterilized (everything else). Professional Montreal tattoo parlors usually take pride in their cleanliness. Here are some things to check for:
- Make sure the tattoo parlor has an autoclave (a device that uses steam, pressure, and heat for sterilization). You should be allowed to watch as equipment is sterilized in the autoclave.
- Check that the tattoo artist is a licensed practitioner. If so, the tattoo artist should be able to provide you with references.
If the Montreal tattoo parlor looks unclean, if anything looks out of the ordinary, or if you feel in any way uncomfortable, find a better place to get your tattoo.
What's the Procedure Like?
Here's what you can expect from a normal tattooing procedure:
- The tattoo artist will first wash his or her hands with a germicidal soap.
- The to-be-tattooed area on your body will be cleaned and disinfected.
- The tattoo artist will put on clean, fresh gloves (and possibly a surgical mask).
- The tattoo artist will explain the sterilization procedure to you and open up the single-use, sterilized equipment (such as needles, etc.).
- Using the tattoo machine (with a sterile, single-use needle attached), the tattoo artist will begin drawing an outline of the tattoo under your skin.
- The outline will be cleaned with antiseptic soap and water.
- Sterile, thicker needles will be installed on the tattoo machine, and the tattoo artist will start shading the design. After cleaning the area again, color will be injected. A new bottle of ink should be opened for each individual.
- Any blood will be removed by a sterile, disposable cloth or towel.
- When finished, the area, now sporting a finished tattoo, will be cleaned once again and a bandage will be applied.
Taking Care of your new Tattoo
The last step in getting a tattoo is very important — taking care of the tattoo until it fully heals. Follow all of the instructions the Montreal tattoo parlor gives you for caring for your tattoo to make sure it heals properly. Also, keep in mind that it's very important to call your doctor right away if you see or feel any signs of infection such as pain, spreading redness, swelling, or drainage of pus. To make sure your tattoo heals properly:
- Keep a bandage on the area for up to 24 hours.
- Avoid touching the tattooed area and don't pick at any scabs that may form.
- Wash the tattoo with an antibacterial soap (don't use alcohol or peroxide — they'll dry out the tattoo). Use a soft towel to dry the tattoo — just pat it dry and be sure not to rub it.
- If you don't have an allergy to antibiotic ointment, rub some into the tattoo. Don't use petroleum jelly — it may cause the tattoo to fade.
- Put an ice pack on the tattooed area if you see any redness or swelling.
- Try not to get the tattoo wet until it fully heals. Stay away from pools, hot tubs, or long, hot baths.
- Keep your tattoo away from the sun until it's fully healed.
Even after it's fully healed, a tattoo is more susceptible to the sun's rays, so it's a good idea to always keep it protected from direct sunlight. If you're outside often or hang out at the beach, it's recommended that you always wear a sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 on the tattoo. This not only protects your skin, but keeps the tattoo from fading.
What Are the Risks?
If you decide to get a tattoo, chances are everything will go as planned. But if disinfection and sterilization steps aren't followed, there are some things you need to be aware of that can go wrong. If you don't go to a tattoo studio or the tattoo studio doesn't follow precautions like using sterilized equipment or if it shares ink between customers, you're putting yourself at risk for getting viral infections such as hepatitis, bacterial skin infections, or dermatitis (severe skin irritation).
Do Montreal tattoo parlors remove tattoos ?
A lot of people love their tattoos and keep them forever. But others decide a couple of years down the road that they really don't like that rose on their ankle or snake on their bicep anymore. Or maybe you broke up with your boyfriend or girlfriend and no longer want his or her initials on your stomach. What then?
In the past, tattoo removal required surgery, but now there are several other methods that can be used. One common method is laser removal. Some Montreal tattoo parlors offer tattoo removal, but it's a better idea to make sure the person doing the removal is a medical doctor.
Although it's called tattoo removal, completely removing a tattoo can be difficult depending on how old the tattoo is, how big the tattoo is, and the types and colors of inks that were used. Removal of the entire tattoo is not always guaranteed. It's best to consult with a dermatologist who specializes in tattoo removal to get your questions answered — such as whether anesthesia is used. The dermatologist can also give you a good idea of how much (if not all) of the tattoo can be removed.
Tattoo removal can be pretty expensive. Depending on factors like the size and design of the tattoo, removal can cost significantly more than the actual tattoo.
So Is It Worth It?
Is getting a tattoo worth it well that’s up to you.. Some people really enjoy their tattoos and keep them for life. Getting a tattoo is a big deal, especially because they're designed to be permanent, so do your homework and choose your design wisely! Join the thousands of Montrealers enjoying their tattoos today!