Give your HANDS to serve!
Your hands are incredible!
Think of all the things they can do—grasp objects, scratch an itch, play an instrument, plant a seed, pick your nose! The hands have 27 bones each, providing support and flexibility, so I can sit here and use my phalanges to type this very blog.
And unless you are this badass guy, 29 year old Brian Tagalog, born without arms, you use your HANDS to tattoo!
Tattoo artists must be diligent in taking great care of their hands, from simple grooming issues like trimming hangnails, to excellent hand hygiene.
The single most important thing you can do is wash your hands. And the second is WEAR disposable gloves when you tattoo. Gloves help prevent disease transmission from bodily fluids.
But remember bacteria thrive in the warm, damp environment they create. Eww!
So a tattoo artist must:
- Wash or sanitize hands thoroughly and often
- Remove rings and bracelets before wearing gloves
- Inspect hands for cuts or sores and cover them with bandages
- Remove hangnails and keep nails short to prevent punctures to gloves
- Check gloves for tears during tattooing
- Remove contaminated gloves to dispense additional ink during tattooing
- Refrain from tattooing when experiencing lesions, dermatitis or allergic reactions
- Wash or sanitize hands after handling financial transactions because money and credit/debit cards can harbor bacteria.
Also take great care of your hands by strengthening, stretching, maybe do regular yoga. Also consider the joints and wrists—keep them flexible and happy by applying peppermint oil or some other healing balm at the end of a long day of tattooing or drawing.
And if you’re feeling especially luxurious– get a hand massage. (Hey, you can write it off on your taxes as a business expense!)
After all, you gonna need those strong, supple hands to produce beautiful art for many, many years!