More than a few first tattoo stories begin in someone’s basement and end with a very DIY-looking piece that later on is looking less appearing than tattoos that are done at a reputable tattoo studio. The dangers of home tattoos are incredibly real. What separates a home tattoo experience from one at a studio is the studio itself. Your average tattoo studio takes a slew of safety and sanitary precautions. For example, all the surfaces in the shop are covered to ensure that they’re nonporous to avoid infection transmission, and all equipment is sterilized and re-sterilized or disposed of. Basically, every single decision is made in order to prevent the contamination of anything in a given workspace.
There’s never enough light in a home setting. There are usually kid and pet germs, cooking, sleeping, and other life habits happening around the tattoo area, thus contaminating it. With cheap tattoo supplies being sold on Amazon and, self-taught tattooers offering how-to tips on social media platforms, it’s no wonder that people get the idea that they can get a tattoo at home without running into any major issues. Most reputable tattoo supply retailers require that their customers be licensed in order to purchase their products.
Naturally, with the discrepancies in cleanliness and professionalism associated with at-home tattooing come increased risks of bacteria and infection. Without professional grade equipment and cleaning supplies, there’s no guarantee that the area or tools used will be totally sanitary. Proper aftercare is also imperative to a healthy tattoo and an inexperienced tattooer, rather than a professional artist, probably won’t be able to offer adequate aftercare instructions.
Studios usually don’t allow children or pets, and tend to be very focused and calm environments with little to no interruptions. It’s also common for studios to need a license or permit of their workspace in order to function as a legal tattoo shop. With any tattoo, make sure that you research the artist. Even if you find that they’re a licensed, professional artist, think twice before seeing them outside of a studio setting. Rather than going with the first person who says they’ll tattoo you or whoever suggests it as a cool thing to try, find your artist through research and trusted recommendations.