Crazy, strange and downright hilarious – which of the myths about tattoos are actually true? Editor Vanessa trawls the internet – and speaks to a holy man – in search of answers.
“Myth: you’ll stop at one tattoo… I don’t think so!”
– Aisa Head
“Tattoo myth: If you lay on the tattoo, the ink will smudge or leak out.”
– Luke Henderson
“Is it really possible to put someone’s ashes in your ink? And if so, what problems can come with it?”
– Amber-Jade Wymer
Strangely, yes it can and has been done. But as it is very rare and no research has gone into the outcomes it is not known what could go wrong in the long-term.
“That you can’t tattoo your palms as your sweat wont let the ink stay on”
– Kate Devilishkitkat Stancer
Palm tattoos are becoming more and more popular, and while they can be rather painful and can cause some swelling for a couple of days, the ink doesn’t fall out due to sweat. Palm tattoos, much like finger tattoos, wear off because we use our hands so much that skin is replaced more quickly.
“Best myth is if you get the bottom of your foot tattooed, it’s free.”
– Carl Black
“UV tattoos cause cancer”
– Laurie Whitehead
Glow in the dark ink contains phosphorus an ingredient, and has been linked to skin cancer. UV ink does not contain this, has been around for more than 10 years, and had no known effects to date.
“Myth: That you can take a class and learn how to ‘tattoo’ within a matter of weeks.”
– Stacie Mayer
“I was told that tattoos with red get infected easier”
– Rebecca Warde
Tattoo inks, except for red, are hypoallergenic, so allergic reactions are extremely uncommon. While it is very rare to have any reaction, red is the most likely culprit. Just because a tattoo turns red in the area does not mean it is infected. Mild reactions may require an antihistamine in the form of a pill or liquid. For rashes and hives, there are antihistamine creams that go directly on the skin. However, moderate and severe reactions require immediate medical attention.
“Someone tried to tell me doctors can’t do checks for skin cancer if you’re too heavily tattooed. Like they’re just going to say “fuck it” and walk away. Haha”
– Sam Robinson
“Why is it bad to get a tattoo when you’re pregnant?”
– Karlee Verheyden
Like most things when you’re pregnant, it’s all about ‘what if’. Tattooing can raise your blood pressure – a no no. There is also the risk of infection – which may not affect you but due to doing the work of two, may affect the baby.
“Some clown claims they’ve developed ‘lenticular’ (3D) ink… How mofo, how?!”
– Caraline Jane Wilson
“You can’t be buried in a Jewish cemetery of you have tattoos”
– Jessica Qheflezrehl
This is an interesting one. We actually went to see what a rabbi would say. “In general, Jewish law does not permit the intentional defacement of the human body, and this applies to tattoos. However, I do not know of any rabbi or Jewish cemetery that would refuse to bury a Jew because their body had a tattoo. That would be a terrible violation of the Jewish principle of Kavod Ha-Meit – giving honour to the dead.”
“If I get an unwanted tattoo removed will it leave bad scarring?”
– Koralee Hoeschle
Laser tattoo removal does not leave scarring, but depending on your skin and the ink type, some ink may not be able to be removed, which may leave you with some ink spots. Of course, this is if you use a reputable tattoo removalist and look after the skin while healing.
“I had some lady ask me which colour hurt the most, lmao”
– Sarah Pool-Morton
“Well, I was informed that if you have a tattoo of Ned Kelly on your body you will be three times more likely to commit suicide.”
– John Hooper
“Can a mozzie suck ink out of your tatt?”
– Tim O’Brien
Nope! A mosquito is going for a blood vessel and will hunt around till it gets one before it sucks away. It’s not interested in the ink. The blood vessels are also located below the tattoo so the mozzie would go through it to get blood, not actually suck from the skin level the tatt is on.
“That you can’t tatt over scar tissue. Completely false.”
– Trace LM
“There is an urban legend doing the rounds about women being tattooed (I’m assuming on their bellies) while pregnant, and their children being born with birthmarks in the shapes of the mother’s tattoos!”
– Nikki Rapley
“Not really a myth, but why does one of my tattoos sort of raise up from my skin?”
– Elliot Smith
A tattoo is, by its very nature, a scar. The trick is to do as little damage to the skin as possible while applying the tattoo, so that the scar tissue that forms is minimal. This is why some may be more raised than others. One theory is that it may be an area that has been overworked and therefore caused a kind of scar tissue. It also may mean that that part of the tattoo has gone too deeply. The other thought is that it is a reaction between the human body, the pigment and UV rays (sunlight) or heat (hot shower), known as phototoxicity.