Dear Leopard,
I can't tell you why the red is rejecting, but I can say that the reaction is not entirely uncommon. Certain people will find that they have trouble healing and keeping certain colors. I personally have trouble healing areas where blue and purple shade together. I can heal each just fine on their own, but once they are blended together, I get spots where it heals out and has to be shaded over again.
Most people can just have the area reshaded and get the desired coverage, but if you just can't keep the color, you'll have to work with your tattooist to see if you can redesign the coloring of the tattoo to recolor the areas you can't keep with colors that are tolerated by your skin.

I just recently got a tattoo on my leg and my friend said she used Neosporin on her tattoos and it helped them heal faster. My after care card says to use fragrance free hand lotion only So I was wondering which do you think is best? -- Tattoo Dilemma

Dear Tattoo Dilemma,
In my own healing, I have used both. When a tattoo is fresh, that is to say when the surface is still "open" I apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment. This aids healing quickly and cleanly. Persons with allergies to antibitotics should take care and not use them if they may have adverse reactions.
Once the tattoo has scabbed and after the scab has fallen off, I use unscented and uncolored body lotion. You must never pick at tattoo scabs as that can cause the ink to 'heal out' leaving a blank spot in the tattoo! Applying lotion to the healing skin can ease itching and feelings of tightness.

In your tattoo slide show you refer to the tattoo machine as a "gun". Why is that? -- Eboni

Dear Eboni,
There are many slang terms for the tattoo machine. They include "iron", "rig", "tool" and "gun." Although some people might think that is an inappropriate term, I will use all terms as found in my references and tattoo histories.

hi! i am looking to get a tattoo soon, but i have one question. right now my arms are kind of skinny, but i have just now started lifting weights, and expect my arms to get bigger. if i was to get a tattoo now, would it look different or be affected in any way when my arms get bigger? -- PJWill

Dear PJWill,
Tattoos do change with the size and shape of the body. Skin that is stretched too quickly can develop stretch marks, as experienced by pregnant women, or anyone who gains or looses a lot of weight rapidly. The body can also change overall topography with body building. You would want to discuss this with your tattooist in regards to placement so that the design will be in the right place on your arm once your muscles become more defined.

Can you tattoo over scars? -- Suzeztoy
Can you tattoo over stretch marks? -- SuperStarr

Dear ladies,
Yes, and yes. I talked with one of my tattooists, Greg Kulz, about this and his specific comment was "scar tissue is easy...feels kinda like plastic." In my vast collection of tattoo books and magazines, there are a few photos or interviews where people speak specifically of getting work done over both scars and stretch marks. The tattooing shouldn't be done if the skin is still healing or changing following whatever caused the dermal trauma.

I am about to get a tattoo but now I don't know if I should because many of my friends say it is a lot of pain. Excruciating Pain... But they don't have tattoos. Does it hurt or does it depend on the person? -- Lori

Dear Lori,
Um...let's see, it's a motorized needle puncturing your skin at a rate of up to 200 times per minute. Yes, it hurts. But... there are an awful lot of people who have tattoos, so how painful does that seem? Being tattooed is a complex sensation, IMHO, combining the feelings of pinching, scratching, burning and stabbing with hot needles. Then there's the repeated wiping with paper toweling which sometimes can scrape a fresh line, not to mention the amazingly painful tenderness of any tattooed area that gets shaded over or retattooed while still fresh. Then when the scab is coming off, and it ITCHES -- then the fun really begins....

I have a tattoo on my neck, which I had done before I was married. I love my tattoo, but at times it's not appropriate. Is there any such thing as a tattoo cover up? -- MDCRISCUOLO

Tattoos can be covered with makeup, but it can sometimes be tricky. My undergrad major was theater arts with an emphasis in costume and makeup. One of my specialties was painting fake tattoos on actors for productions that needed them. I never had to cover up a tattoo, but I have covered unwanted bruises on actors, and experimented with covering some of my own body art. Professional stage makeup is the best for color mixing/matching abilities, plus it sets well. That is to say, it can be fixed so as not to smear. Kryolan has been my fave product line either for creating or covering skin art. For covering tattoos, I recommend their DermaColor brand.

is there anyway to fix an existing tattoo. i have 2 hummingbirds surrounding a morning glory on my back shoulder. the tail on the one is shorter than a hummingbird tail should be. and it is a little fuzzy. not a clear line like i want. can it be gone over and changed or will it just look worse. it's not bad now but i don't like it. the lady that did it has done good work but for some reason this one isn't nice like the other. -- Luie

Dear Luie,
In general, tattoos can be reworked or covered up. I myself have a coverup on my left shoulder. What can be done is a ratio of what the original work is, what "needs to be done to it", and how skilled your tattooist is with coverups. There is no way of erasing, but creative artists can avoid just blacking out or over the aberrant work.

I have a question can you tell me how can I buy a Tattoo gun? I like to draw and do lettering Tattoos I have done many Tattoos for friends with home made guns but I would like to get in to the real stuff can you tell me how or where can I get a real professional gun? I would really appreciate your information thanks. -- Silas

Dear Silas,
You need to go where the tattoo business is: the back of tattoo mags and tattoo conventions, or online. Conventions are where the choicer deals are as you often get to speak with the craftsperson/tattooist who built the machine. You can see product firsthand and talk with the crafters. Other than that, look for mail order ads in the mags and see if you can check out any of them online too. eBay often has tattoo machines for sale. Don't be afraid to write or call and ask a few questions of the sellers regarding references and guarantees.

Check out this body art!

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