Q&A: Should I Be Worried About My Raised Tattoo?

First things first, don’t panic. Tattoos become raised for a variety of reasons, most of them nothing to worry about. We understand it can be concerning to see lumps and bumps where your ink is. Here are a few reasons as to why your tattoo may be raised and what you should do about it.

 

Rising Reasons

As we said, tattoos rise for a number of reasons. It’s not always easy to figure out the exact cause so take notes as to when, how often, and what you’re doing when the rising happens. The more information you have, the better chance you have at figuring out what’s causing it to happen. Here are a few of the likely candidates causing your tattoo to rise.

 

Healing

A big reason tattoo artists don’t freak out when a client tells us their tattoos are raised is that that is a perfectly normal part of the tattoo healing process. It’s caused by the body trying to heal itself. You may also notice scabbing, flaking, fading and oozing as your tattoo heals. None of it sounds pleasant, and it doesn’t always look it, but it’s perfectly normal. All of this should go away if you follow aftercare advice. Don’t panic if it doesn’t go away right away either. It can take months for a raised tattoo to go down. 

 

Heat

We told you to take notes on everything because the weather can have a big impact on your skin. A lot of people notice that their tattoos rise during warmer weather, like during summer. The reasons are simply your body swelling due to the heat. Humidity, heat, and dry air can all irritate skin, which can cause your tattoo to rise. It’s totally normal and if this is the cause you probably notice it goes away once it becomes cooler.

 

Scarring

Scaring is one cause that is permanent. Scar tissue can form during the tattoo process and cause it to stay raised, even once it’s fully healed. It’s pretty uncommon, but it can happen if the tattoo artist isn’t trained. The scarring happens when the artist pushes too deep into the skin causing scar tissue to form. The scarring can go down, but it will still remain. This is why it’s important to go to a licensed tattoo shop and see a professionally trained tattoo artist.

 

Infection

It’s rare, but unfortunately, sometimes tattoos become infected. The chances of infections are low when you follow proper aftercare advice and visit reputable tattoo shops, but they do still happen. Symptoms of infection depend on the individual but common ones are swelling, white dots, rashes, and oozing in the tattooed area. Always get an infected tattoo treated as quickly as possible to limit the amount of damage to your body.

 

Allergies

Being allergic to tattoo ink is uncommon, but it’s been known to happen. Allergies could cause the tattoo to rise, even if it’s been awhile since the tattoo was done. Allergies can develop at any stage of life so you may not notice them when you first get inked. If an allergy is serious you may have to get the tattoo removed. In most cases, the tattoo just becomes slightly raised, swollen, and irritated. Creams, aloe vera, and allergy medication can help relieve symptoms.

 

Individual

Honestly, this isn’t what people want to hear, but sometimes it’s just the individual. People’s bodies are different, so each person reacts differently to tattoos. That’s why it’s so hard to give an exact healing time because it’s different for everyone. If you have sensitive skin the tattoo may stay raised longer after healing or rise more often. If you have other skin conditions such as eczema, they could cause the tattoo to rise too. Don’t worry though because usually, a raised tattoo isn’t noticeable to others.

 

What To Do

Don’t panic right away if your tattoo is rising. If the rising is causing pain, discomfort, or lasts for a long time you may want to consult with a doctor. Don’t irritate a raised tattoo further by scratching it.

 

Contact us if you have any questions about your tattoos. If you are interested in getting a tattoo come by our downtown Toronto tattoo shop to set up an appointment.

 

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Nose Tattoos 101

 

Some tattoo trends are more out there than other’s, and this is one of them. Facial tattoos have a long history, but now some people are getting just nose tattoos and this trend is taking off. Demons, skulls, and tribal ink, this location is the newest hotspot.

 

Who’s Getting Them?

Right now this trend is pretty limited to those into body modification and hardcore tattooist. Facial tattoos are extremely taboo, especially in Western countries. They’re often associated with criminals and jails. Some people have embraced facial tattoos, but get them in more discrete locations where they can be hidden like on the skull, behind the ear, or along the hairline. But there’s no hiding a nose tattoo.

 

Controversy

Tattoos aren’t really in the taboo zone anymore. Most of society and most work places are pretty accepting of them as long as they aren’t of anything offensive. But facial tattoos are still pretty taboo. So if you’re interested in a nose tattoo just know that you may not get a job because of it.

 

Pain and Time

The bad news about nose tattoos is that they will hurt a lot. Even people that have multiple tattoos say they’re extremely painful. They compare it to getting punching in the face with a sharp object repeatedly. If you’ve ever had your nose pierced, just image that pain but times a thousand.

 

The other bad news about nose tattoos is that they aren’t quick. While they’re usually pretty small, the shape and curves of the nose can take awhile for the design to be completed.

 

Design

Due to the shape of noses, some designs look better than others. Skulls and demons seem to be popular and compliment the nose well. Tribal designs, like Maori and Samoan tattoos, are also popular. Some people are doing more geometrical designs, with straight lines and triangles.

 

Artist

Any tattoo should be done by professionals, but especially facial tattoos. There are no hiding facial tattoos, especially nose ones. Make sure you find an artist that has done face tattoos before and is skilled in the style you like. Look at portfolios and discuss the design beforehand. We should note that not every tattoo shop will do facial tattoos. Some places find them too controversial so they refuse them.

 

Contact us or visit our tattoo shop to talk about getting a tattoo today.

 

Stick and Poke Tattoos 101

 

Stick and Poke tattoos are all the rage right now. As a professional tattoo shop, we get a little wary about them. They can turn out wonderful, but there is risk involved too since it isn’t be done by a trained professional. This style was once dominated by jails, but it has since become a hit with a new demographic- college kids. We can’t necessarily recommend these tattoos, but here is everything you should know about them.

 

History

Hand poke tattoos are rooted in the historical practice of tattooing. Back before tattoo guns were a thing people got tattoos in the same way that stick and poke tattoos are done- by sticking a sharp object with ink on it into the skin. Some areas in the world still practice tattooing in this way. Angelina Jolie is famous for her tiger back tattoo that was done by Thai monks using their form of sick and poke tattooing. Western countries stopped practicing this style once tattoo guns became widespread, but they still persisted in the jail system. This style used to be referred to as “jail house” tattoos. Now with college kids adopting this style, that stigma has dropped.

 

What is it?

The name of this style says it all. A sharp object is dipped into ink and then poked into the skin. People used a number of sharp objects, such as sewing needles, safety pins, or even tattoo needles just not connected to the machine. There isn’t standard ink used for this style. Most inks used for hand poke tattoos isn’t FDA regulated so be warned. Sometimes people even used regular pen ink.

 

Artist

Stick and poke is a style that can be done by anyone, from traditional monks to professional tattoo artists. However, the current style has more of a DIY notion to it, with it usually being done by a non-professional individual. These people are usually talented, and some even do it for a living. They aren’t trained, licensed or work out of a shop though so there is more risk than a standard professional tattoo. Hand poke tattoos are usually done in a more intimate setting, like a home, and done by friends so there is more meaning behind them.

 

Hygiene

The biggest concern about sick and poke tattoos is the sterilization and sanitization of the equipment used. Professional tattoo artists are held to certain standards, even more so if they work out of a tattoo shop. All equipment is cleaned and sterilized regularly. With hand poke tattoos there is always a risk that the needle isn’t clean. Using a needle that isn’t new opens up the risk of contracting a disease such as hepatitis or HIV.

 

No matter who’s doing the tattoos, make sure that everything is cleaned properly. Never use the same needle as someone else too. Also, make sure you follow the same aftercare advice that you would for a professional tattoo. Keeping it clean helps prevent infection.

 

Pain

A huge downside to hand poke tattoos is that they hurt even more than professional ones. Having a machine do a tattoo means that the process goes by quicker. When it’s done by hand, every line and dot have to be done individually. It takes longer and more practice to get the ink right. The ink used also isn’t the best, meaning it takes more layer to get the ink to show. What all of this means is that it will hurt, no matter where it’s done.

 

Time

Another downside is time. Stick and Poke tattoos take longer to complete. Everything has to be done by hand, more layers of ink are required, and the design comes to life one dot at a time. What would usually take a few minutes can take up to hours.

 

Design and Size

The DIY aspect of hand poke tattoos can give you some ideas for what designs are popular. Doodle designs are common, especially on a smaller scale. Some people have become incredibly talented and skilled in this style though. They can create large, intricate tattoos that look like a machine did them.

 

Fading

There is an art to placing ink in the right part of the skin for tattoos. This is part of what’s covered and practiced when a professional tattoo artist gets trained. When the ink is placed too close to the surface, it won’t hold. If it’s placed too deep then it will blur and bleed. It takes skill to hit the sweet spot for ink placement. Due to this, and the lack of FDA approved ink used, stick and poke tattoos tend to fade more. This isn’t always the case, but most hand poke tattoos fade more often and quicker than professional ones. For some people though, this is actually a benefit.

 

Price

Price is the number one reason people are drawn to hand poke tattoos. A professional tattoo can cost hundreds of dollars while stick and poke tattoos are either free or significantly cheaper. People who have a talent for this style and have made a name for themselves may get a higher price, but the majority of people use friends who don’t charge anything.

 

As professionals, we don’t advocate these tattoos but they can turn out super cool. Make sure you get everything sanitized before getting a hand poke tattoo. If you have any questions or want to discuss a professional tattoo, contact us.

 

Everything You Want To Know (And Are Too Scared To Ask) About Nipple Piercings

 

While the world of tattoos is no longer taboo, the same can’t be said for all piercings. Society has grown to accept more piercings, first ear, then nose and lip piercings. But nipple piercings still remain a source of controversial That’s changing now though, thanks to celebrities like Rihanna and Kendall and Kylie Jenner. If you want this trendy piercing here is everything you should know, and everything you are too scared to ask, about nipple piercings.

 

You have to be 18

First things first, you have to be 18 years old to get a nipple (or genital piercings). For most other piercings you can get them done at any age with parental consent. With nipple piercings though, because of the area, no reputable piercer will do it to anyone who is no longer a minor.

 

It’s going to hurt

Nipples are pretty sensitive so yeah, it’s going to hurt to get them pierced. Don’t worry though, because the pain is pretty brief. It may be uncomfortable for a few days after, especially if they rub up against clothing. Try to wear loose items until the piercing heals.

 

You don’t have to get both pierced

When it comes to nipple piercings you can either get one done or both. The trend used to be just getting one done, but nowadays more people are getting both. It’s completely up to you though. Some piercers recommend starting with one and coming back later for the other to make sure you like it.

 

Choice between barbell or ring

There are two jewelry options, a barbell or a ring. Most piercers recommend a barbell for the simple reasons that they don’t move as much, heal faster, and don’t get caught on clothing as much as rings. They are also less visible under clothing. The choice is ultimately up to you know.

 

They take at least 6 months to heal

People heal at their own rate and nipple piercings usually take a few months to a year. Most piercers estimate 6 months on average. Even after it stops feeling tender be sure to follow proper aftercare advice. Don’t touch them (or let others touch them) until they are fully healed. Trust us, you don’t want an infection here.

 

They won’t always be erect

After a piercing, the nipple may be more prominent due to swelling. This will go down though and the nipple won’t stay erect forever. They should go back to reacting normally after they’re healing. They will be more prominent than they used to be though. After all, there is a piercing there!

 

The holes close quickly

It’s a good idea to not take out your nipple piercings, especially for long periods, because the holes close really quickly- in a matter of minutes! This is good news if you regret them and want them to heal. It’s bad news if you have to remove them for activities. Luckily you can purchase a retainer, which is a glass piercer to keep the hole open if you need to remove a piercing for medical purposes or sports. If you need to change out your piercing it’s a good idea to go back to your piercer until you feel comfortable doing it yourself.

 

Keep hands off

A lot of people are getting nipple piercing for the sexiness they bring. While this is great, just make sure you and your partner keep your hands off them for at least 4 weeks. Also, make sure hands are washed before touching them.

 

Sensitivity is a gray area

A lot of people ask if piercings make nipples more sensitive. It’s a hard question to answer because some people say yes and other’s say no. Piercings theoretically shouldn’t make a nipple more sensitive, just more prominent, which means they may get more stimulation than they used to. But some people report that they do feel more sensitivity after a piercing, so the answer isn’t black or white.

 

You can still breastfeed

Some women are afraid to get a piercing because they think it will impact breastfeeding. Don’t stress about this, because nipple piercing should have absolutely no effect on breastfeeding. Piercings should be removed before feedings though so that the baby doesn’t swallow or choke on them. There is a minimal risk that scarring will impact breastfeeding but it is very rare.

 

All genders can get them

Nipple piercings are for everyone. Anybody from any gender, race, religion, and sexuality can get them. Don’t let people judge you into not getting something you want. It’s your body.

 

Contact us today or visit our downtown Toronto tattoo shop to book your piercing appointment.

 

Q&A: Can I Copy A Design I Found Online?

The quick answer to this question is both, yes and no. Let us explain. Looking online is a great way to find design inspiration. Feel free to look at Pinterest, Instagram, or artist portfolios to get some ideas. But do not copy a design you find online.

When To Look Online

If you know you want a tattoo, but aren’t sure what you want or if you have a rough idea but can’t visualize how it will look, it’s a great idea to browse online. When you go in for your tattoo consultation, your tattoo artist should be able to sketch based on what you describe. Sometimes clients have a hard time explaining what they want though. This is where inspiration pictures of similar designs come in handy.

Many people want original tattoos that express their individuality and personality. By looking online you can see what other people are getting to avoid getting the same thing. Maybe you love Harry Potter but you don’t want the same lightning bolt everyone else has gotten. The Internet is a great way to rule out popular ideas.

Absolutely look online for design inspiration or to brainstorm ideas or styles. You should even bring in pictures to help out your tattoo artist. Understand though, that these images should strictly be for inspiration, not for copying.

Why Not To Look Online

Here’s a big reason you shouldn’t get a tattoo of a design you copied online- it’s stealing. Someone worked really hard to design and tattoo that piece. Taking it in to get the tattoo on yourself, especially if it’s not even the same artist, is a form of theft. Chances are both the original artist and person they tattooed wouldn’t be happy with what you did.

Remember how we mentioned that tattoos should be original and the Internet is great to weed out the popular ones? Well, if you’re copying a design you found online chances are others have done the same thing. That means hundreds, if not thousands, of people, are going to have the exact same tattoo as you.

It’s also important to know that most tattoo artists won’t tattoo copied work. If it’s not original work, a public design (such as a cartoon character), or you don’t have permission from the artist most of them will turn you away.

How To Design A Tattoo

Every artist and tattoo studio have a different design process. However, it’s always a good idea to go into your consultation with some idea of what you want. Tattoo artists aren’t mind readers so make sure to bring in some inspiration pictures. Think about every aspect of the tattoo such as subject matter, size, placement, style, and color.

Once you discuss your desired tattoo and talk about your inspiration pictures your tattoo artist will begin designing. Be honest with them about everything you like and don’t like. Your artist will put a stencil of it on you in your desired location for you to get an idea.

The last step is to enjoy your new tattoo! Make sure you follow proper aftercare to keep it looking amazing. Contact us today to visit our studio to get started on designing your new tattoo!

 

12 Celebrities That Seriously Regretted Their Couple Tattoos

As much as we love tattoos, we never recommend couple tattoos. Even the most stable relationships can end. Just ask any of the celebrities below and you’ll get the same advice. From initials, wedding dates, names, and even jersey numbers, these celebrities have regretted their couple tattoos so much that they’ve gone through the painful process of removing or covering up their ink.

 

  1. Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp has a unique way of getting rid of his couple tattoos. He doesn’t just remove them or cover them; he changes them into something unique and new. He was once in a long-term relationship with fellow actor Winona Ryder. But after that relationship ended he changed this arm tattoo from “Winona Forever” to “Wino Forever”.

Depp didn’t learn this lesson about couple tattoos though. When he got married to Amber Heard he tattooed “Slim” on his knuckles, which was his nickname for her. After their extremely messy divorce, he changed that tattoo to read “Scum”. Harsh.

 

  1. Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera might be a pop princess, but even she makes mistakes. When she divorced her husband music executive Jordan Bratman in 2011, she got her tattoo honoring him removed. She had his initials in Hebrew on her arm, but they have since been removed.

 

  1. & 4. Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen’s love life can be hard to keep track of from his multiple failed marriages to his beautiful “goddesses”. Once upon a time though he was married to Denise Richards. They were so in love they even got each other’s names tattooed on each other, with Richards getting “Charlie” on her ankle, and Sheen “Denise” on his wrist.

Not surprisingly they ended up divorcing. Denise covered up her “Charlie tattoo” with a cute fairy. Charlie, however, went a different route. He covered up “Denise” with his favorite saying, “Winning”!

 

  1. Marc Anthony

Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez once had one of the most covered relationships in Hollywood. Unfortunately, they didn’t last. When they divorced though Marc wasn’t just left with a broken heart- he also had Jennifer’s name tattooed on his wrist. In 2014 he finally covered it up with a new design.

 

  1. Angelina Jolie

Before “Brangelina”, Angelina Jolie was in a relationship with Billy Bob Thronton. The couple did numerous odd things, such as wear vials of each other’s blood. Angelina didn’t stop there though, she got his name tattooed on her upper arm. After the split though she got the tattoo removed. It has since been replaced with the coordinates of where her children were born. It seems she finally learned that relationships aren’t forever, but being a parent is.

 

  1. Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria made the mistake of getting, not one, but three tattoos honoring her ex-husband basketball player Tony Parker. After it came out he cheated on her, it’s no surprise she got that ink removed. She once had his jersey number “Nine” on her neck, their wedding date “07-07-07” on her wrist, and his initials somewhere hidden, but they have since all been removed.

 

  1. Heidi Klum

Model Heidi Klum and singer Seal seemed to have the perfect marriage. Klum even celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary by getting his name tattooed on her arm. Unfortunately, they divorced in 2012 and she began the process of getting his name removed.

 

  1. Amber Rose

Nothing says love like getting your husbands face tattooed on your arm…until you divorce that is. Amber Rose ran into this problem when her divorce to rapper Wiz Khalifa left her with his face on her arm. Thankfully, she has since removed it and replaced it with some gorgeous roses.

  1. Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea might sing about being fancy, but it’s not so fancy to have a tattoo of your boyfriend’s name after a breakup. The singer got “Live”, “Love” and “A$VP” on her fingers in honor of boyfriend ASAP Rocky but after they broke up she was photographed with bandaged fingers suggesting the tattoos are now gone.

 

  1. Nick Cannon

At least most people that get the names of their significant others do it on a small scale. Not Nick Cannon though. He got a giant tattoo of ex-wife Mariah Carey’s name on his back. Since their divorce, though he has replaced with another huge tattoo to cover it up.

 

  1. Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner is fond of small tattoos. She even got a tiny “t” to honor her on-and off again boyfriend, Tyga. He in return got “Kylie” in massive script on his arm. Unfortunately, this young couple is over for good now. Kylie recently covered up her ink, turning the lowercase “t” into “la”. Tyga still has yet to cover up his Kylie tattoo, maybe he’s hoping they’re going to get back together. They probably won’t though considering Kylie just got matching butterfly tattoos with her new boyfriend Travis Scott.

 

All of the Tattoos and Piercings Kylie Jenner Has

You can hardly go a week without hearing something about Kylie Jenner. She’s become a cultural icon of coolness and youth culture. From her makeup line to her endless love life, people love to talk about her. More than anything it’s her body they talk about- Plastic surgery, fashion, and body modification.

When you live a life in the public eye it’s pretty hard to keep things secret, especially permanent fixtures like tattoos and piercings. Thankfully, Kylie is pretty open. She documents her growing collection of body modifications on Instagram and Snapchat.

Here are all of the known tattoos and piercings that Kylie Jenner has.

Piercings

Kylie Jenner is constantly doing new photo shoots and red carpet appearance. This can make it hard to know which of her piercings are real and which are just for those. We do know she hasn’t just limited herself to ear piercings though.

Here are all her known piercings:

  • Industrial piercings: In 2015 Kylie posted a picture on Instagram revealing a stunning industrial piercing in her right ear.
  • Daith piercing: Kylie sports a beautiful ring in her daith in her right ear.
  • Forward Helix Piercing: Also in her right ear, Kylie sports a small dainty forward Helix ring.
  • Lobe Piercings: It looks like Kylie has one lobe piercing in both ears
  • Cartilage Piercings: Kylie has multiple cartilage piercings. In her right ear she has one about mid-helix. Her left ear has at least five cartilage/helix piercings, which she debuted with piercing spelling “KYLIE”. It looks like she upped that number to 8 now.
  • Nipple Piercings: Kylie Jenner’s nipple piercings continue to make headlines. They’re constantly being coyly flashed on her social media. They look so good that they actually convinced her big sister Kendall to get her own too.

Tattoos

Many people don’t realize that Kylie Jenner actually has quite a few tattoos. She prefers smaller, minimalist ones so they can be easy to miss. She got her first one for her 18th birthday and hasn’t looked back.

Here’s a list of her known ink:

  1. Ankle “t”

Kylie has a small lower case “t” on her ankle. It was done as a tribute to her on-and-off again (now seemingly permanently off) boyfriend Tyga. Tyga himself rocks a large Kylie tattoo on her arm. We wonder how he’s going to cover that up now that the breakup is final.

  1. Back of Arm Heart

The first tattoo Kylie ever got was a small red outline of a heart on the back of her left arm. This tattoo was supposedly also a tribute to her Tyga, although this isn’t verified.

  1. Hip “Sanity”

Only 3 months after her first tattoo Kylie Jenner went under the needle again. Hey, they do say it’s addicting. Her second tattoo was another red piece. It featured the phonetic spelling of the word “sanity” (\′sa-nƏ-tè\) on her right hip. Due to the placement, size, and color of this ink though people often joke about it looking like a best-before date stamp on an egg.

  1. Arm “Mary Jo”

Kylie definitely seems to be fond of red tattoos. Her third tattoo was another scarlet one, this time something a little more personal. She got her grandmother’s name “Mary Jo” on her left bicep in February 2016. To add an extra level of sentiment, the tattoo was done in her late grandfather’s handwriting.

  1. Finger “M”

Yup, you guessed it, another red one! In May 2016, Kylie got a squiggly “M” tattoo done on the inside of her pinkly finger. This was done with her BFF Jordyn Woods. We’re not always a fan of couple tattoos, but getting matching ink with your best friend does sound sweet. They do say boyfriends come and go (sometimes the same one, looking at you Tyga) but friendship is forever!

  1. Hip “Before”

In July 2016 Kylie added to her “sanity” hip tattoo. She put the word “before” in the area so that the tattoo now reads “before sanity”.

  1. Leg “Butterfly”

You’d think Kylie Jenner would have learned that boyfriends aren’t forever. That didn’t stop her from getting matching butterfly tattoos with her new boyfriend Travis Scott. It’s a minimal butterfly design (this time not in red!) on her lower left leg. The tattoos seems to reference Travis Scott’s new single “Butterfly Effect” which people suspect is about Kylie.

Contact us to get your next Kylie Jenner inspired tattoo or piercing!