Itching to Get a Tattoo?

17 05 2010
A collection of tattoos.

Credit: Skype user "SwanDiamondRose"

Humans have adorned their bodies with tattoos for thousands of years. Even the Iceman, whose remains are about 5,200 years old, was so marked.

Why, then, is tattooing viewed with raised eyebrows by parents and secret longing by our youth?

As parents, we’ll put aside the whole “It’s a lifelong commitment and that cute butterfly on your arm is going to go all funhouse mirror on you when you’re old!” thing, and concentrate on questions of health.

We can’t speak for the secret longing of youth because those years have evaporated into the ether for us.

So, the health of it…

Those tattoos aren’t painted on. Your skin is punctured and the ink injected underneath. Because of this, you may end up with severe and long-lasting itching, skin infections, or even HIV, hepatitis, or other bloodborne diseases.

Tattoo regulations vary by state, and sometimes within a county or city.  Some are governed by the health department, while others are regulated by the department of cosmetology.

While there are regulations, not all tattoo parlors are diligent in following safe, accepted precautions.

A professional tattoo artist takes pride in his artistry and safety habits, and will encourage you to ask questions. If you’re determined to get a tattoo, do yourself a favor and follow these suggestions:

  • Ask if you can observe a tattoo in process.
  • Look around and note the following about your tattooist and the parlor:
    • What are the qualifications of your tattoo artist?  Ask to see certificates and credentials.
    • Is the tattoo shop neat and clean?  Ask to see the autoclave. Does it work?
    • Does the artist wash his hands and use and dispose of sterile gloves appropriately?
    • Latex gloves can be used only with water based ointments.
    • All equipment including needles, tubes, pigments (ink), ointments and water must be single use only, and come out of sterile, sealed, dated packages, or disposed of after use.
    • Ensure that all non-disposable equipment is autoclaved.
    • Watch for cross-contamination.
    • Be sure that the area is completely disinfected after each client with a commercial disinfectant or bleach solution.
    • Tell your tattooist if you’re pregnant or nursing, have a heart condition, severe eczema, or problems with keyloids. Your tattoo might have to wait, or may not be recommended.

This is not the time to look for a bargain!  If you want a tattoo, seek out a professional tattooist who is experienced, and follows strict safety practices in his tattoo shop.

And finally, please think twice about getting a tat where cellulite may form. It’s just, we can’t, it’s too…gah! (You’ll thank us later.)

Share





The Stink About Public Bathrooms

31 03 2010

Public restrooms!  Dirty, wet, odorous endurance trials—never fun, sometimes necessary.

Most of us detest public restrooms and we all have certain rituals we perform when we have to use them: piling on a liberal amount of toilet seat covers, hovering over the seat, using an elbow to open and close doors. Sometimes we just “hold it” until a more appealing option comes along.

Public restrooms are said to harbor an unhealthy mix of microbes. This may be true, but we were surprised to find those germs waiting in unlikely places.

Myth #1: Toilet seats are the germiest places in a public restroom.

Not so, say the experts. The germiest place in a public restroom is the floor. Also in the running are routinely touched objects: latches and sink handles.

Myth #2: The womens’ restroom is usually cleaner than the men’s restroom.

While it may smell better (due to the lack of urinals) and be more appealing (due to male grooming habits), women’s restrooms usually have higher bacteria counts than men’s restrooms, due to women spending more time in the restroom and often bringing their children with them to take care of business.

Bonus disgusting fact: germs are transported from the restroom when women set their bags and purses on the restroom floor and then take them back outside. What do the experts suggest? Use a hook or, if possible, have a traveling companion on the outside hold onto it for you.

Myth #3: The farther away a stall is from the door, the less used it is.

Actually, most people believe this and use the stalls that are farthest from the door. The cleanest stalls are usually the ones closest to the door.

Myth #4: Air dryers are more sanitary because you don’t have to push a lever/button.

Surprisingly, not so! Air drying machines blow germy air directly onto your hands, your clothes, and into the air you breathe.

Myth #5: Squatting is safer than using a cover or just using a bare seat itself.

Maybe, but squatting doesn’t allow the bladder to be fully emptied, putting you at risk for a urinary infection.

Myth #6: I can hold it, I guess! No big deal.

Holding it for too long also puts you at risk for a urinary infection.

Myth #7: Bathrooms harbor germs you don’t find in normal settings.

Bathrooms have the same germs you come into contact with everywhere else by shaking hands, touching rails, and opening doors.

Myth #8: All my rituals are useless and unnecessary.

There’s nothing wrong with turning off the faucet and opening the door with paper towels. No one is going to laugh at you for using a paper toilet seat cover. Rituals are there for comfort and do contribute to your health. You don’t need to pretend a public restroom is the same as the one you have at home, but it might be easier to “go” if you aren’t thoroughly disgusted by your surroundings. Just be sure to lather those hands after you’re done!

Share





Freaky Friday #3

26 03 2010

Freaky Friday: We can’t guarantee the following bits of weird news are true, but we almost did our best to find out!  Enjoy.

Guinea worms—in through the mouth, and out through the… knee?? In some countries, larvae of guinea worms living in water fleas lives are ingested when people drink the water. The worms grow for about a year, unbeknownst to their human host. Then they begin the painful process of leaving the body through the skin, which can take up to 2 months.  Yes, that’s right, two months with a worm hanging out of some place on your skin. The host seeks out water to soothe the burning sensation, which is when the worm deposits its larvae—and the cycle begins again. Successful eradication efforts are now taking place.

Male walruses have a baculum the size of some baseball bats.  Modesty prevents us from saying more.

Hey, need some progesterone and just don’t have time to see your provider for pills?  Here, have a walnut.

Let’s see, if a hard working adult sweats up to 4 gallons per day, then here at PKIDs, we sweat up to…anybody got a measuring spoon?

How many kids go off to school with peanut butter sandwiches?  A pound of peanut butter can contain up to 150 bug fragments and 5 rodent hairs.  Eeeewwww. Where do we come up with this stuff?  More importantly, why do we do it? Hey, it’s fun.  And it’s Friday!

Share





Freaky Friday #2

19 03 2010

Freaky Friday: We can’t guarantee the following bits of weird news are true, but we almost did our best to find out!  Enjoy.

It’s getting harder to break the law and get away with it.  We can be identified by fingerprints, ear prints, tongue prints, and now our germs are ratting us out. We each have billions of microbes in us or on us, and those critters leave a “unique bacterial genetic signature” behind as we go about our daily business.

A meal for a person with pica might start off with a pebble salad, laundry starch on the side.  Then a couple of light bulbs, perhaps halogen, and hunter green paint chips sprinkled with needles for extra crunchiness.  For dessert, soft little clouds of plastic wrapped in string.  Hey, it’s an eating disorder.  What did you think?

Botox wipes the frowns lines away.  But does it also paralyze our emotions?  The brain tells the face to frown and waits for the report indicating there was a successful frown.  With Botox, there are no frown lines, the report gets screwed up, and emotions are misunderstood.  Good news is, Botox also prevents excessive sweating!  Boooyaaaaa.

Big rains brought abundance of bugs for thousands of spiders, who decided to make nice and work together to build the biggest freaking 600+ foot web your nightmares have ever conjured.

Where do we come up with this stuff?  More importantly, why do we do it? Hey, it’s fun.  And it’s Friday.

Share