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Growing tattoo craze in Himachal Pradesh
Tattoo for the newer generation to add some oomph to their lifestyle has taken to it with a vengeance, never mind about the hygiene, place or the person who is inking them. This fashion is an invitation for hazardous infectious diseases from unsafe method

TATTOOS OF the older generation, a small Om on men’s hands, arms or the three dots on ladies’ chins, are passé. The newer generation to add some oomph to their lifestyle has taken to it with a vengeance, never mind about the hygiene, place or the person who is inking them.

Aman Devrani, a professional tattooist from Manali, said, "in Himachal we see numerous folks getting themselves tattooed by tattoo-hawkers present in the melas. I remember once I had been to a nearby mela where I asked a tattoo-hawker sitting on the side for a tattoo, he told me a very cheap price and said that he’ll be using fresh needles as a safety measure. When I saw him working on a guy, I found that he did change the needles but ink, gloves, etc. were same. There was no proper sterlisation of the equipments and even the ink used was not of a good quality. This scene of severe health risk sent a chill down my spine!"

It’s sad to know that people are deliberately inviting hazardous infectious diseases to attack them from unsafe methods of tattooing. Many folks are unaware that they can be infected by surface infections of the skin, herpes simplex virus, fungal infections, hepatitis-c, staphylococcus aureus (infected tattoo), and HIV/ AIDS via the use of unsterilised equipments. This is not the end, use of FoodandDrugAdministration (FDA) unapproved ink can also result to worst nightmare of allergy.

"Make sure the inks are branded like Starbrite, Kurosumi and Intense to name a few and not some cheap quality. See the place yourself and make sure it’s clean and hygienic. Do a lot of research before you tattoo anywhere," says Lokesh Verma, owner of Devil’s Tattooz, New Delhi.

Though, in recent years tattoo industry is gaining popularity in India. However, the history of tattoos began over 5,000 years ago and is as diverse as the people who wear them. It is believed that the word tattoo is derived from two Polynesian words – ‘ta’ meaning striking something and ‘tatau’ which means to mark something.

No wonder tattoos are a new way of expressing oneself and the best expression can be made with good designs and nice colours deep soaked into your skin. For all those playboys temporary tattoo like that of Saif Ali Khan’s ‘Kareena’ can be an option to show their mock-eternal love. Anyway, this is a kind of tattoo to satisfy your desire for a tattoo without permanence. A latest and hottest trend of tattoo art is "Black Light Tattoos" that are almost invisible in daylight but, show in great detail in darkness. Though, black light tattoos are more expensive and take longer to ink.

Finally, some helpful tips to save your precious tattoos from fading:

  • Check that your tattoo artist does not place the pigment on the epidermis, as this constantly sheds dead skin cells to make room for new skin cells. The pigment should penetrate into the middle layer of the skin. Even the middle layer rejuvenate its cells but, developing a healthier eating habits help to supply your skin with the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants so that it remain youthful and slows down the process of regeneration of new skin cells.
  • Proper care for about 3-4 weeks is required by a new tattoo. Timely moisturising and application of ointment is necessary because this will avoid scabbing as scabbing can pull up some of the pigments.
  • Like our skin even our tattoos need good protection from sun rays. As sun’s powerful ultraviolet rays break down our skin and cause wrinkles similarly, they can break down the pigments used to color our tattoos. Therefore, application of liberal amount of SPF sunscreen lotion is recommended on the tattoo wherever you move out in sun or go for swimming. In case of swimming and sweating remember to reapply sunscreen lotion over the tattoo.
  • Selection of colors is another factor responsible for the fading of a tattoo. Keep in mind that dark colors like black, blue and greys are more resistant to fading than other colors like red, orange, yellow, purple, magenta, etc.

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