Saturday October 10th, 2009 @ 12:15 AM

Filed under: Tattoos

First of all, I’m a rookie. I have minimal visible modifications (1g lobes and a tragus piercing), and two reasonably sized tattoos that generally are not visible. I tend to be pretty private about my mods (largely because my folks are still helping to support me through contributions to my education).

I’ve also followed BME for about 7 years, and am looking forward to a time in my life when I can comfortably be more visibly modified (and can afford it). Anyway, I love reading about tattoo conventions, and there is one that’s going down in my vicinity in the near future. I want to go, but in light of some recent comments on modblog (dealing with someone “earning” various modifications etc.) and my own observations on the community — I am very intimidated by the idea. Are conventions typically open-minded settings in the sense that they are welcoming to people who are not visibly modified?

Hope it’s not too silly of a question.


You shouldn’t be intimidated; these days tattoo conventions are more “pop culture” than they’ve ever been. The last convention I attended had more people wearing Miami Inked shirt than people with heavy tattoo coverage. So go and have a good time. If people look down on you because you’re not “modified enough” you can still have a good time knowing that you understand something they’ll never be able to. Have fun!

+21 / 23 votes Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up
Loading ... Loading ...

Posted by Shawn Porter | Permalink | 6 Comments

Tattoo Tipping

Sunday October 4th, 2009 @ 7:14 PM

Filed under: Tattoos

I know the question of how much/what to tip your tattoo artist has been covered extensively, but this question is a little different. It seems a lot of people prefer personalized or thoughful tips instead of money. My next tattoo will be my largest and my first time with this artist. I don’t feel like I know him well enough to get something personal/special yet. How do you get something for someone you don’t really know?

In this case, monetary compensation is probably best.
But while you’re getting this tattoo… look around their station. Get to know them over the course of the big tattoo and you’ll figure out what they dig.

+9 / 9 votes Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up
Loading ... Loading ...

Posted by Shawn Porter | Permalink | 1 Comment

Occlusive Bandage Tattoo Aftercare

Thursday October 1st, 2009 @ 8:42 PM

Filed under: Tattoos


I remember a thorough discussion of occlusive dressings on Ask BME once upon a time. I’m attempting it as an aftercare method currently, though it’s difficult to dig up any information on it, even searching in regard to burn aftercare and other medical internet sources. A general description is present enough, but I want details!

Currently I’m using plastic wrap, medical tape, Badger Evolving Skin Balm, and very very diluted Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap. To clean, I pour lots of warm water over my tattoos from a pitcher. Then I slowly pour one last pitcher-full, with less than 1/4 teaspoon of Bronner’s soap, gently touching. After briefly air-drying, I apply a thin but thorough layer of Badger Balm. I lay plastic wrap across my tattoo and trim excess. The entire edge of the wrap gets medical taped.

Besides EVOO, castor oil, and beeswax, the balm contains

Rose Hip (strengthens connective tissue, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, commonly used to heal scars & burns, mad VitC&A),

Seabuckthorn Berry (promote cell tissue regeneration, antioxidant, mad VitA&E, effective healing of burns),

Calendula (anti-viral, anti-genotoxic and anti-inflammatory, heavily trusted for healing skin),

Lavender (antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, but cytotoxic and increases photosensitivity when topically applied),

Roman Chamomile (antiseptic, antibiotic),

Gum Benzoin (fixative),

Rose Oil (hemostatic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, astringent)

And, of course, Dr. Bronner’s contains astringents and many things with positive skin healing effects. Though it’s SUPER drying which is why I diluted it so much.

My submission here is two-fold, to initiate search-able discussion on occlusive bandaging in AskBME, and to get more input on what I’m doing here.

How often do those with experience recommend I clean and change bandages? Once daily? Twice daily? Thrice Daily?

Should I continue this method until FULLY healed, or is there a point at which I can move on from anaerobic healing, continue t

Wow. That’s super complicated.
I’m a minimalist when it comes to aftercare, but I’m also a believer in “do what works for you”.
Me, I leave it alone. Practically no aftercare. But if this is leaving you with a beautiful healed tattoo, keep it up. My only advice would be watch out for zits due to the occlusive bandage.

+9 / 11 votes Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up
Loading ... Loading ...

Posted by Shawn Porter | Permalink | 6 Comments

My artist added something i didn’t ask

Monday August 10th, 2009 @ 4:59 PM

Filed under: Tattoos

Hi there ,

i hope you can give me some advice .

I’m having a Japanese style dragon done and still have 2 more sessions to go .

The artist previously did all the outlines and shading including the waves of water that are in the tattoo .

Today he finished the second session of filling in the scales of the dragon .

Up until now i was very happy with his work and the tattoo looked perfect .

But today he did something that i really cannot understand why he did it .

I have a wave that covers a part of the dragon which he partially coloured in with scales .

The wave was already shaded in and was perfect .

So why he decided to fill in the wave and not ask me before he did it really upsets me .

I couldn’t see what he was doing at the time because it’s on the back of my shoulder .

And i didn’t wanted to ask him about it afterwards until i knew what the best way was to handle this .

This is my first tattoo and although i thought i did plenty of research before getting it , i’m now finding out that some people sign a contract before getting started .

I’ve talked to at least a dozen of his clients and they also didn’t had to sign anything .

The artist is very well known here , has a very good reputation and has won almost a dozen of prizes for his work .

Although it’s a big tattoo , 3/4 sleeve that goes over my shoulder and chest , and the area he filled in isn’t that big , i just don’t understand why he did it without asking me because the wave was finished and i didn’t expect he was going to do that.

So if you could help me out and give me some advice on how to try and work this out it would be helpful and very appreciated .

Thx alot


Are you certain that the scales in the wave isn’t supposed to have the look that the water is washing over the dragon? Water is clear, afterall and you would therefore see scales through it…

If you’re not happy with the result of the tattoo - tell your tattooer! Who better to explain the reasoning behind the choice in artwork execution than the artist himself!

+15 / 17 votes Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up
Loading ... Loading ...

Posted by Lexci Million | Permalink | Comments

Skin bumps

Monday August 10th, 2009 @ 4:52 PM

Filed under: Tattoos

I have a lot of bumps on my chest, boobs, stomach and back… Pretty much JUST on my torso. They’re not itchy or whiteheads or anything. I’m not a very hairy person, I have VERY VERY fine hair on my arms and legs.

The picture doesn’t show all of the bumps since most of them can be felt but not really seen.

I’m just wondering if the bumps will complicate getting a tattoos on my torso.



Tattooing over irritated and broken skin isn’t a great idea and you’ll find many artists wouldn’t be interested in tattooing it.
Check with your doctor to find out exactly what the condition is and if tattooing over it will affect the rash itself or put the tattoo at risk of becoming infected.

If the rash seems to clear up from time to time, try treating it dilligently until it subsides and then get tattooed.

+5 / 5 votes Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up
Loading ... Loading ...

Posted by Lexci Million | Permalink | 5 Comments

Condition Interaction (Medical Inflamm./Uveitis)

Monday June 22nd, 2009 @ 10:07 PM

Filed under: Tattoos

I’ve looked everywhere for an answer to my question - I hope this is it. I have a condition called Uveitis. It is inflammation of the eye. I take prednisone to control it. I really want a tattoo - eventually alot. And I’m doing fairly well right now with the disease but I would absolutely HATE if a tattoo brought it all back. I asked a specialist in my condition and he doesn’t know. I’m afraid no one knows my answer and I’m worried about getting one. I’ve also heard blue ink CAUSES uveitis in some cases. Any information would be MORE than appreciated. Thanks in advnace.


Hey Lauren;
I spoke to a modified friend in the medical community who’s asked to remain anonymous and to make it very clear that this is not an official diagnosis. Their answer:

“so by the way Lauren is talking about it, it seems to be an autoimmune disorder for her, rather than an infectious process. autoimmune issues are always difficult because its your body attacking itself, causing the inflammation, which is why the prednisone works to keep it under control. I have the same answer the specialist had: I dont know. the reason I give that answer is because so many things can trigger an autoimmune disorder to flare. tattoos in general is one big wound that the body then has to take care of. the prednisone already supresses the immune system so the body doesn’t have AS good a defense mechanism. each person is different and the body reacts different ways to autoimmune issues. there are many case studies on different reactions to tattoos and flares of many autoimmune disorders, however there has been no clinical trials showing the specific relationship. based on the case studies, its not just blue ink they have seen it in. has been red, blue, black. I know this doesnt answer the main question but its more info. the only thing she can do is try something smallish to see her body’s reaction and go from there.”

So that’s the best answer we have for you… I hope it helps!

+15 / 17 votes Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up
Loading ... Loading ...

Posted by Shawn Porter | Permalink | 3 Comments

Chicago: BodyArt Expo at Navy Pier

Thursday June 11th, 2009 @ 8:39 PM

Filed under: Tattoos

Hello, this is my first time posting…

This will be my first time getting a tattoo…We are going to this:

I would like to know if anyone knows of any good artists that will be there that they can suggest? What do I need to look for and such?

Thank you!

Tattoo Conventions can be overwhelming; so much going on and so many people…. I generally don’t recommend people to get their first tattoo at a convention; the experience can be a little intense (the tattoo or the convention- take your pick) and there’s a possibility that you’ll be shortchanging yourself in the experience department.

That said- my advice for picking an artist is the same at a convention as it is for finding a good local tattooist…. take your time checking out portfolios, talking with the artist, watching them tattoo. Does their work look amazing overall or is it hit or miss? Do they have a good rapport with their clients? Are they following sterile (or realistically, aseptic) procedure? Do they seem interested in your design choice?

Best of luck and if you get a chance, swing by Clark Street for me and grab a Clark dog… dill pickles on a hot dog? I’m in!

+13 / 15 votes Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up
Loading ... Loading ...

Posted by Shawn Porter | Permalink | Comments

white tattoo

Tuesday June 2nd, 2009 @ 3:40 PM

Filed under: Tattoos

I’m planning on getting a white tattoo of a ship anchor. The design is simple and about and inch by two inches. I am very pale and will have the tattoo in an area that doesn’t see the sun.

What problems may I encounter with a white tattoo? What should I ask of the tattoo artist? In addition, does anyone know a good tattoo artist in San Antonio who works with white ink?

Thank you

White Pigment (generally titanium oxide) is usually thinner than other tattoo pigments, which increases the chances of your artist overworking the skin. Worst case scenario, scarring.

There’s also an increased chance of ‘holidays’ (missed spots in the tattoo) since the swelling and redness make it harder for the artist to get the pigment in, particularly when they’re trying not to overwork the skin.

Let’s say they get it in all spiffy- over time, there’s a fair chance that the pigment will take on a yellowish hue (think the meat of a banana) so if you’re getting a white tattoo so it’ll be semi-hidden, keep that in mind.

I only recommend tattooists I have personal experience with, so I have no one to recommend in San Antonio.

+16 / 22 votes Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up
Loading ... Loading ...

Posted by Shawn Porter | Permalink | 2 Comments

What could I change my tattoo to?

Tuesday March 17th, 2009 @ 4:17 PM

Filed under: Tattoos

I have an empty photo booth strip on the backside of my left arm. It’s about an inch and a half wide and nine inches high. The concept was nice to me. Fill it in with the things that i love to represent points of my life. The only thing is that now after I got the strip, I don’t like it. It looks awkward on my arm. Because it’s such a straight line, and my arm never lays perfectly straight the way it was put on it always looks warped or crooked.

So my questionis what could I turn it into so I don’t have to get it removed and can be happy with it?

Thank you so much.


The designs that could cover what you have are only limited to the ability and creativity of the artist covering it. This isn’t really a question we can specifically answer- the best thing to do is find a tattooist who’s work you like, show them the piece and get their feedback….

For cover-ups, it’s best to see healed pictures of their cover-up work. A creative tattooist can cover/rework just about anything- your main goal is to find a tattooist who can really get into your piece. My standard advice is to hit the web to find artists in your area (or where you’re willing to travel to) who’s work you like. Then go in for a consultation, check out their cover-up work and go from there. Anyone who gives you an attitude or treats you like you’re bothering them is someone you probably don’t want to work with anyway. Shop around- for something like this price shouldn’t be a deciding factor- just skill.

Good luck, let us know how it goes!

+8 / 8 votes Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up
Loading ... Loading ...

Posted by Shawn Porter | Permalink | Comments

tattoos & stetch marks

Thursday February 26th, 2009 @ 9:56 AM

Filed under: Tattoos


i’m wanting a pretty big tattoo on my belly of my dogs & horses, but i’m worried that in a few years time when i decide to have kids the tattoo will stretch & be distorted. Am i better to wait til after i have kids to get it?

Thanks Bryony…

I think that it’s a wise decision to hold off on tattooing your stomach until after having kids, yes. We don’t all bounce back after pregnancy as well as Twwly (sadly!), and stretch marks will surely change a tattoo!

+5 / 11 votes Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up
Loading ... Loading ...

Posted by Lori St.Leone | Permalink | 3 Comments

Search ASK

BME shop

Give to BME's Legal Defense fund!

Check out who else has donated and how you can help make a difference!


Highest Rated Posts