Getting ink can be cheap and safe

Flash tattoos dominated Friday the 13th, but make sure to listen to your tattoo artist

Tattoos are a fantastic way to express yourself, but they aren't always easily accessible. Tattoo parlors across the nation offer a "flash tattoo" special, where tattoos that are mostly predesigned and quick are offered on Friday the 13th. 

With Friday the 13th having just passed, a lot of ASU students are boasting new ink. Tattooed Planet, Skin Lab Tattoo and Body Piercing, Gypsy Rose Tattoo and Golden Rule Tattoo are among the many tattoo parlors in the Tempe and Phoenix area that offered this special.

Many students took this opportunity to get tattoos – some students even waited around six hours for the special.

Lady Luck Tattoo, a tattoo shop located in the heart of the Phoenix arts district, had a DJ and different food trucks to celebrate the day. Another shop by the name of Extreme Salon Tanning and Tattoo in Phoenix had a DJ as well, along with food and raffles. Artistic Tattoo, another tattoo parlor in Phoenix, allowed customers to get more than one flash tattoo at a time and had no restriction on the placement of the new ink. 

ASU film and media studies senior Mayte Mendoza shows off her tattoo at Tattooed Planet in Tempe, Arizona on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017.

Although events like these encourage people to get tattoos on a whim, the health effects of tattoos need to be taken into consideration.

If people are not taking proper care of their tattoos, or making sure they are getting their ink from a sanitary, professional tattoo parlor, it can lead to infection, which could pose larger health problems in the future.

Andrew Tamayo, a tattoo artist with eight years of experience, has been working at Living Campus Tattoos in Tempe for a little over three years. 

“No matter the size, big or small, if you don’t take care of it properly, it won’t heal good,” Tamayo said. “It’s a fresh, open wound. Remember to keep it clean and be mindful when choosing what activities you’re participating in while it’s healing.”

According to Stefanie Schroeder, the medical director at ASU Health Services, tattoo infections normally occur within the first three weeks after the ink hits the skin. 

“There is diminished skin integrity and higher risk of infection,” Schroeder said. “In addition, non-adherence to proper after care, lack of adherence to infection control measures by tattoo artists, changing gloves between clients, hand hygiene, skin antisepsis, disinfection of equipment and surfaces, contribute to infections.”

Tattoo infections can sometimes be easy to spot. 

“Pustules and redness confined to the tattooed region are the hallmark of a tattoo infection,” Schroeder said. 

Some other symptoms, according to the medical news source Healthline, include fevers, waves of heat and cold, abnormal shivering, swelling of the tattooed area, pus coming out of the tattooed area, red lesions around the tattooed area and areas of hard, raised tissue.

Cleaning and treating one’s tattoo is key in promoting a healthy healing process. 

When one does not treat the infection, it “can enter the bloodstream and cause sepsis and or infective endocarditis, which is an infection of the heart valve,” Schroeder said. 

Cj Hurtado, a tattoo artist at Club Tattoo in Tempe, has been tattooing for over 10 years, three of which he spent at the ASU tattoo hot spot. He believes tattoos are very easy to take care if customers listen to their tattoo artists' instructions. 

“Every tattoo is done differently and each tattoo requires, at times, different care,” Hurtado said. “For the most part, keeping your tattoo bandaged for 2-4 hours after tattooing, washing your tattoo with warm water and antibacterial soap 3-5 times a day, applying a thin layer of fragrance free lotion ... are recommendations from artists on what to apply."

ASU political science freshman Gracie Grothe has received three tattoos this past year. The newest ink is a flash tattoo from the Friday the 13th special. She and a group of her friends made their way to a local Tempe tattoo shop and made a day out of the $13 tattoo special. 

“Definitely do your research before getting your tattoo done," Grothe said. "Make sure that the place you are going to is clean and the artists are licensed. You want to be getting a mark on your skin forever from a legitimate place."

Reach the reporter at or follow @jessiemy94 on Twitter. 

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