Sinking Into Your Skin

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By Ky Newport and Alisha Dziennik

With the growing popularity of tattoos and piercings, people are rushing to find the next big thing  before it becomes too mainstream. No longer are regular old tattoos turning the heads of people on the streets (unless of course it’s a head tattoo); those are still abnormal. So here are a few options to make sure you still stand out:

  1. Ear Stretching
  2. Dermal Piercings
  3. Microdermal
  4. Glow in the Dark Tattoos
  5. White Ink Tattoos

With each of these body modifications comes risks and cleaning routines that you may not be up for, so to make your job a little easier, as well as inform you about what you might be diving into, here are the risks, cleaning routines and a bit about what each of them entail to make sure you stay safe, informed and don’t get any infections.

Ear stretching

Twenty years ago, earplugs were unheard of. Thanks to the booming growth of the more relaxed work environments, people aren’t having to go through the whole suit and tie dress codes. The plugs and tapers have become just as regular as seeing tattoos, but have you seen the new shapes you can try?

There are two ways you can get the desired size. Stretching, by enlarging the taper or plug over time. Or punching a hole through your ear, which is normally recommended. Most of the time people don’t want to wait for the size they want, but why would you when you can get it in one shot? A word of caution: this method isn’t recommended for a big hole, as it can change the shape of your ear.

Dermal/Microdermal Piercings

Just recently coming to fame, dermal piercings have made their mark on the population, specifically on women. Unlike regular piercings that go completely through the skin, dermals stay on the surface. With no exit point, you can get them anywhere on your body. Micro-dermals are smaller, usually for places such as your face. Besides the obvious technical difficulties of piercing, dermals can also be tricky to keep clean. They take anywhere from 10-15 days to heal, and during that time you need to make sure nothing catches on it. It is advised, if you decide you want a dermal, to get it somewhere your skin isn’t going to fold over the piercing. Professionals recommend not eating any fried foods, avoid all swimming and bath taking, and making sure that you don’t sweat too much. Yes, that means holding back on the daily workouts for a few weeks while it heals. A major precaution before getting a dermal is making sure you tell the professional if you’re allergic to any of the antibiotics that are being used to clean and sterilize.

Glow in the Dark Tattoos

Everyone has seen those ‘cool’ pop art, bolded, glow in the dark tattoos. The ones that pop out under the rays of black lights in the clubs. Neon colors in the night, but invisible in the day, right? Well, they’re not quite what they seem.

These tattoos, otherwise known as UV Ink Tattoos, can be seen under a blacklight.  Just like every other tattoo, they come with their own specific sets of risks. Unlike regular tattoos, the ink is not hypoallergenic. Radium is found in the mixture, which definitely has its own problems when coming into contact with your skin, meaning that rashes and itching might happen. This specific tattoo also takes longer to heal than the standard colored ink tattoos.

Something you have to consider before you get this type of tattoo is the actual artist developing the piece because they need to be familiar with the ink they’re using and be able to handle it comfortably. You wouldn’t want your best friend who is majoring in math help you with your English assignment. Likewise, even if your chosen tattoo artist is good with traditional ink, they might not be very good with UV ink. The ink is thinner and takes more time to get the same coverage as a normal tattoo.

Another assumption for a UV tattoo is that they are invisible in the daylight. While they are rather hard to see, they leave a yellow outline of whatever you have done with the ink. This yellow coloring takes about a year to fade, so if the only reason you are getting a UV tattoo is so that no one will see it, you might want to hold off.

White Ink Tattoos

As a hypoallergenic alternative, or for those who simply feel like a UV tattoo are a little too risky, there are white ink tattoos. These tattoos are just like the normal colored ink tattoos, only they don’t have any pigmentation.

White ink tattoos also take about a year to fade, but once they do, they leave an impression like a beautiful birthmark or scar. This is just an effect you can’t get with the normal black, blue and red ink.

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