10 Tattoo Myths and Misconceptions Debunked

Published March 19, 2024
By Celebrity Ink

Tattoos have been a form of self-expression for centuries, weaving through various cultures and societies with rich histories and meanings. However, despite their widespread popularity and acceptance in many parts of the world, there are still many myths and misconceptions surrounding the art of tattooing. These misconceptions can deter people from getting tattoos, foster judgement, and create misunderstandings about those who choose to wear their stories on their skin.

This article aims to debunk the most common myths and misconceptions surrounding tattoos to encourage you to get the tattoo you’ve always wanted.

Currently, there is no evidence showing that having tattoos causes illnesses or cancers. In fact, there are some studies that show having tattoos can increase the number of antibodies in your blood, which can help fight off some illnesses.

1. Tattoos Cause Health Conditions

Can tattoos cause cancer? There is a common myth amongst the tattoo community that tattoos can cause certain illnesses and cancer. This myth potentially stems from the fear of the spread of bloodborne pathogens. However, this is only a risk if tattoo artists don’t use sterile equipment and a single-use needle. 

Currently, there is no evidence showing that having tattoos causes illnesses or cancers. In fact, there are some studies that show having tattoos can increase the number of antibodies in your blood, which can help fight off some illnesses.

2. Tattooed People Cannot Donate Blood

Can you donate blood with a tattoo? Many people believe you can’t because of this common tattoo misconception. A Lifeblood survey found that more than 15% of Australians believe that having a tattoo prevents you from donating blood at all. 

The truth is that having a tattoo doesn’t impact your ability to donate blood. In Australia, you can give blood as soon as seven days after getting a tattoo in a licensed studio or cosmetic clinic.

3. A Colour Tattoo or White Ink Hurts More

It’s no secret that getting a tattoo hurts no matter where on your body you get it. However, some places on your body hurt more to get a tattoo than others. The myth that a colour tattoo or white ink hurts more may come from the fact that white ink is often applied at the end of a tattoo session due to its lighter pigment. 

Pain is subjective, but the ink's colour does not impact how painful the tattoo is.

4. Tattoos Are For Criminals, Bikie Gangs, or Delinquents

One of the most common misconceptions is that if someone has a tattoo, they’re either a criminal, delinquent or part of a biker gang. However, while tattoos were once deemed the exclusive domain of outcasts and those who defied societal norms in some cultures, they’ve come a long way over the years. 

Today, people from all walks of life have tattoos, debunking the myth that only criminals wear stories on their skin.

5. Applying More Aftercare Cream Heals Tattoos Faster

Another tattoo myth that has become quite popular amongst those considering getting a tattoo is that applying more aftercare cream heals it faster. No studies have proven that applying more aftercare cream makes your tattoo heal faster. Instead, applying aftercare cream only stops the tattoo from becoming infected. 

If your tattoo becomes infected, it’ll take longer to heal. Therefore, it’s important to remember to apply the aftercare cream as recommended by your artist to ensure it heals properly

6. Tattoos Hinder Your Chance Of Employment

A common reason people choose to put off tattoos is that it hinders their chance of employment.

When it comes to tattoos and employment, the law is on the employee's side. While many companies are against tattoos, it’s not illegal to have them. However, there also isn’t any law that states companies cannot refuse potential candidates because of their tattoos. If you’re worried about being discriminated against for your tattoos when going for a job, consider getting a tattoo that you can easily hide.

7. Drinking Alcohol Causes The Tattoo To Hurt Less

It’s common knowledge that drinking alcohol before getting a tattoo is a big no-no, as it thins your blood and causes you to bleed more when getting inked. However, there is still a misconception that drinking alcohol before going to get your tattoo causes it to hurt less. Not only does having alcohol in your body cause you to bleed more during the tattoo appointment, but it also dehydrates your body, making getting a tattoo more painful. So, avoid drinking alcohol for at least 48 hours before your tattoo appointment.

8. Tattoo Artists Are Mean, Intimidating or Obnoxiuos

While this myth can partially be true, it is only because the only people who used to get tattoos were “rough around the edges”. However, with more and more people getting tattoos and customer service being a big part of their job, tattoo artists are welcoming and friendly.

9. Tattoo Machines Only Use One Needle

This misconception is definitely not true, especially if you’re getting inked at a reputable, licensed tattoo studio.

Using sterile equipment is paramount in tattoo studios to ensure that blood and bacteria aren’t transferred from one person to another. Therefore, you’ll be pleased to know that when you get a tattoo, the needle comes in a sealed package, meaning it’s used for you and you only.

10. Tattoos Are Unsafe And Unsanitary

The myth that tattoos are unsafe and unsanitary is primarily based on misconceptions and outdated information. 

In many countries, tattoo studios are regulated by health departments and must adhere to strict guidelines regarding sanitation and safety. Tattoo artists are also often required to obtain licences and follow specific procedures to ensure cleanliness and safety. Also, reputable, licensed tattoo studios in Australia use sterilised equipment, including needles, ink and other tools, to prevent the spread of infections and diseases. Single-use disposable needles and tubes are commonly used to eliminate the risk of cross-contamination.

Book A Consultation at Celebrity Ink

Debunking common myths and misconceptions about tattoos is essential in empowering individuals to make informed decisions about body art. 

Addressing concerns regarding safety, sanitation, and potential risks associated with tattoos can help dispel unfounded fears and promote a more accurate understanding of the tattooing process.

It is important to recognise that reputable tattoo studios, such as Celebrity Ink, prioritise hygiene, professionalism, and client safety. With our commitment to following strict regulations, utilising sterile equipment, and providing thorough aftercare guidance, clients can feel confident in their decision to get a tattoo. 

If you’re considering getting a tattoo but still have questions or concerns, book a consultation at your nearest Celebrity Ink. Our experienced tattoo artists can address any doubts you may have and answer any questions about the tattooing process.

We look forward to providing you with a positive experience in getting a tattoo and bringing your design to life.

Get your next tattoo at Celebrity Ink

The team at Celebrity Ink can provide you with not only a tattoo that tells your story but also detailed aftercare information that goes beyond the question of how long does a tattoo take to heal.

Our team sets standards in tattoo design while working alongside you to bring your vision to life. Whether you’re seeking traditional tattoos, realistic designs, mandalas, or any other, we have artists specialising in a range of tattoo styles that can provide you with the tattoo you have envisioned.

Book a consultation to discuss your tattoo design, get in contact with the crew at Celebrity Ink, and we will lock you in for your next ink session.
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