Brief History

A tattoo is a permanent mark or design made on the body that is visible when pigment is inserted into the dermal layer of the skin through ruptures in the skin’s top layer. The art of tattooing has been around for centuries. In the past, these decorative markings were used to signify or convey: a rite of passage from childhood to adulthood; amulets; status symbols; declarations of love; signs of religious beliefs/rituals; adornments and even forms of punishment for convicted persons. Others were used to display rank and bravery, family crests, status and strength.

Now, ‘tats’ are so common place that people have them done without much thought. Some use it to show their alliance and affiliations with gangs and criminal groups; while others get it for less elaborate reasons like: declarations of love, to rebel against authority, to showcase artistic beauty, for sentimental reasons, and most importantly, on impulse.

Cautionary Advice

Impulsive engravings turn out to be mistakes when relationships are involved. These days, tattoos last longer than most relationships, and there is no greater regret than tattooing your Exes name on a visible body part only to get dumped (big, big mistake).

‘Tats’ may be permanent, but over time, as we age, the exact design and color begins to fade, as the ink ages with repeated washings and exposure to light. Weight gain and loss, bleaching, stretching and drooping of the skin also contribute to a disfigured look of the design/writing.

The designs may be beautiful, but getting inked is not without its risks. Most common are: bacterial infections, Hepatitis and HIV from using unsterilized equipment and needles; allergic reactions from the ink/colored pigments used on the skin; keloids developing around the tattooed area etc.

Like all good warnings, be sure to do your research before going under the needle, as you would have to live with the results of a badly written or drawn ‘tat’ for the rest of your life. As tattoos are meant to be permanent, removing them involves a painstaking process that’s not only expensive, but is painful and time consuming.

Tattoo removal involves laser treatments, abrasion, scarification, surgery etc. and must be tailored to suit each individual case as tattoos vary in color, depth and design.

Make sure it’s really something you want before taking that step. Research into tattoo artists and recommended parlors before committing yourself, because the artist only has ‘ONE’ chance to get it right.

The Truth

Having a visible ‘tat’ can get you discriminated in corporate environments. They are assumed to repel customers and cast a bad light on the company’s image.

As artistic and bold as they may be, it does have some negative repercussions… so take care.