Quality tattooing and body piercing by Alan Park in his studio at 5 Cross Keys Mews, St Neots, Cambridgeshire PE19 2AR, tel: 01480-354484/07813281594

Frequently Asked Questions about Tattoos

Tattoo commemorating a famous motorcyclist

What exactly is a Tattoo?

A tattoo is a puncture wound made with a needle, deep in the skin, that is then filled with ink.

Why do tattoos last so long?

It is because they are made so deep into the skin. The top layer of skin is called the epidermis, which grows, dies and is shed your whole life. The ink is injected past this into the dermis, which is the deeper layer of skin. Dermis cells are very stable, so the tattoo is almost permanent.

How is a Tattoo created?

In the old days, tattoos were done manually – the tattoo artist would puncture the skin with a needle and inject the ink by hand. This process is still used in some parts of the world, but most tattoo shops these days use a tattoo machine.

The tattoo machine is a hand-held electric instrument with a tube and needle system. The sterilized needle is attached to tubes which contain ink. A foot switch turns the machine on and off, and the needle moves in and out while driving the ink about 3mm into the skin.

A tattoo depicting the owner's pride in Scotland

How long does it take?

Having a tattoo can take several hours, and sometimes over several visits to the studio. It all depends on the size and design chosen. No two Tattoos are the same – ask Alan before you decide to have your Tattoo

Is getting a tattoo painful?

It can be – but the level of pain can vary. Being tattooed involves being stuck multiple times with a needle, and it can feel like getting a bunch of shots or being stung by a hornet multiple times. Some people describe the tattoo sensation as “tingling.” It all depends on your pain threshold, and the experience of the Tattooist.

Taking care of a Tattoo

The last step in getting a tattoo is very important – taking care of the tattoo until it fully heals.

Follow all of the instructions Alan gives you for caring for your tattoo to make sure it heals properly.

Also, keep in mind that it’s very important to call your doctor immediately if you see or feel any signs of infection such as pain, spreading redness, swelling, or drainage of pus. Make sure your tattoo heals properly.