Getting tattoos has become so commonplace these days that having one no longer raises eyebrows. There are lots of tattoo parlors available and you can easily find one in your locality. If you are planning on getting one, there are a few things you have to keep in mind because there are certain grievous health risks associated with getting tattoos. If you plan to get inked when you are travelling abroad, you have to be particularly careful because not many countries have health rules in place concerning this and even if they do, they might not be uniformly implemented.
You have to make sure that your tattoo artist is very conscious of safety because tattoo parlors are notorious for spreading diseases like HIV and Hepatitis B. While this danger is ever present closer to home, it is absolutely rampant in tourist hot spots.
The first indicator of how safety conscious your tattoo artist is is whether he does his work with bare hands or uses a well fitting latex glove. A loose fitting glove can easily be pierced by the needle and spread diseases. You would not want to be attended to by a diseased person, would you? If you still feel that that you need more confidence, you could ask the artist whether he or she has been vaccinated for Hepatitis B.
You can look around the parlor or at other people being tattooed to see whether this place uses safe practices. For example, they should take out a small amount of ink, ointment or anything they need to do the job, for each person and throw away the rest after the job is finished. If it goes back into the universal container after use, there is a 100% chance of disease spreading.
If there is one thing you should absolutely insist upon, it is that needles should always be taken out of an autoclave bag. It is a completely sterile environment and you can be sure that the needles are safe to use. The needles should always be taken out only when you are already seated in the chair and ready to be tattooed. You must also insist that the needles used on you be absolutely new. This is not mandated in most states as long as the needles are autoclaved, but you will feel a lot less pain if the needle is not blunt with use.
Look whether the tattoo parlor has proper waste disposal facilities. All human waste, blood in this case, should be disposed off correctly so that there is no danger of it contaminating anybody else. While this will not necessarily impact you, you certainly need to give your business to a place that is very safety conscious. Needles have to be disposed off in a sharps container and not in any other way to ensure that they are not inadvertently used again.
If you keep these safety pointers in mind, you will be able to get inked without worrying about the health consequences.