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!

 

7 Questions People With Tattoos Always Get Asked

 

  1. “Did it hurt?”

 

The simple answer to this question is, “duh”. All tattoos hurt, but the amount of pain depends on a lot of things. Some locations on the body hurt more. Design, size, the length of time, and personal pain tolerance are also factors.

 

  1. “Don’t you respect yourself?”

 

This question is so rude and judgmental it almost doesn’t even deserve a response. People need to let go of the outdated thinking that tattoos are related to rebellion and criminals.

 

  1. “Do you regret them?”

 

Some people do regret their tattoos, but most don’t. The longer you live with a tattoo the more meaning it takes on. It becomes less about the design, or even the original meaning, and becomes a marker for who you were during the period of time when you got it done.

 

  1. “How will you feel about then when you’re old?”

 

People’s bodies change when they age. Skin gets looser, wrinkles take over, and all of this does impact a tattoo. Maybe your tattoos will be faded and distorted by wrinkles but how great will it be to reminisce about your youth when you’re older?

 

  1. “What does your tattoo mean?”

 

Here’s the thing- sometimes tattoos don’t have meaning behind them. I know, shocking right? Sometimes they do, but not everyone is willing to share those stories. It’s ultimately up to the person who has the tattoo if they’re willing to share the story behind their tattoo (if there is one). If they don’t want to then respect that.

 

  1. “What do your parents and grandparents think about them?”

 

This question assumes that everyone’s parents and grandparents think the same. Some parents are against them, other’s annoyed, some amused, and some for them. The same with grandparents. We aren’t the first generation to get tattooed so chances are that some parents and grandparents are tattooed themselves.

 

  1. “Would you ever get them removed?”

 

Tattoo removal is expensive, painful, and not guaranteed to work. Asking someone if they’re getting a tattoo removed implies that you think they should. If someone does want to change their tattoo there are tons of options out there today from removal to cover-ups.

 

Contact us to book your next tattoo appointment.

 

 

 

Oral Piercing Times

Tongue and mouth piercings have been gaining popularity recently. They are still far more taboo and out there compared to other piercings (like the ears, nose, and lip). But if you’re looking for an oral piercing here are all the options available.

Tongue Piercings

Tongue Piercing

The most common oral piercing is the standard tongue piercing. It’s also known as the midline tongue piercing since it is placed vertically through the middle of the tongue.

Horizontal Tongue Piercing

Horizontal tongue piercings are also known as snake eyes. This piercing does horizontally through the tongue using a curved barbell. This is a controversial piercing; some Toronto piercers don’t even do it since it can cause severe tongue damage.

Venom Bites

Venom bites are identical looking to snake eyes but much safer. This piercing is two separate piercings placed side by side.

Angel Bites

Angle bites are the vertical version of venom bites. Two (or more) piercings are placed one in front of the other along the middle of the tongue.

Tongue Frenulum Piercing

This piercing isn’t for everyone. It involves piercing the web of skin under the tongue, which is why it’s also called the tongue web piercing. Some people like this piercing since they can keep it hidden.

Tongue Tip Piercing

As you probably guessed by the name, this piercing is done on the tip of the tongue. It’s a horizontal piercing, not a vertical one, and is classified as a surface piercing.

Side Tongue Piercing

Instead of a standard midline piercing in the center of the tongue, some people are opting for side tongue piercings. These piercings are placed on either the left or the right side, making it an off-centered tongue piercing.

 

Other Oral Piercings

Uvula Piercing

You know that little dangly thing in the back of your throat? That’s called your uvula and it can be pierced too. It’s a risky and rare piercing, since touching it can activate one’s gag reflex.

Upper Frenulum Piercing

A frenulum is the skin that connects the lip to the gums. Getting the upper frenulum piercing is also known as vampire piercings.

Smiley

Out of all of the oral piercings, smiley piercings are probably the most popular after standard tongue ones. A smiley piercing is when the tissue beneath the lip bow is pierced.

Frown

This piercing is the opposite of the smiley piercing. It’s known as the frown since it’s the bottom central tissue connecting the lip to the gum pierced instead of the top.

Dental Piercing

When people say piercings we think of skin or cartilage. But dental piercings are becoming a hot new thing. It’s when a small hole is drilled into your tooth with a dental drill where jewelry is placed.

Gum Piercings

Gum piercings are so new that most piercers probably haven’t heard of them. The jury is still out on them but it involves piercing the actual gums. Ouch!

 

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