(Reuters Health) – Many tattoo artists may ink skin with moles or blemishes even though this can make cancer harder to detect, a recent study suggests.
Just 43 percent of tattoo artists surveyed for the study said they had received training on how to handle skin with moles, spots or other skin lesions.
About 55 percent of the tattoo artists said they had declined to ink skin with any of these visible abnormalities, but they were more apt to refuse for aesthetic reasons than out of concern for skin cancer, the study found.
“The tattoo artists’ approach may vary with how large or raised the mole is, but we know that skin cancer can occur even in relatively small and flat lesions, which should not be inked over,” said lead study author Westley Mori, a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School.
At least one in five U.S. adults have one or more tattoos, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
To avoid complications like infections, people getting tattoos should seek out a shop that sterilizes equipment, ask about where the ink comes from and what ingredients are in it, and make sure the artist wears gloves and opens sterile needles for the job, according to the CDC.
Steering clear of lesions or moles may also make it easier for tattoo customers to avoid missing early signs of skin cancer or melanoma, Mori said by email.
“Even if a lesion looks normal now, that could change over time,” Mori said. “Tattooing over the moles or other skin lesions can make tracking its evolution by a dermatologist difficult.”
While some moles and discolorations or bumps on the skin may be harmless, changes in a mole such as shifts in the symmetry, border, color, size, shape or texture can be warnings that skin cancer or melanoma is developing.
Caught early, melanoma can be cured, but more advanced malignancies can be difficult to treat and are more likely to be fatal.
For the current study, researchers analyzed data from anonymous surveys completed by 42 professional tattoo artists, half of whom had worked in the field for at least eight years.
Only 17 percent of the tattoo artists said they received regular skin exams or mole checks themselves, while about 7 percent had had a skin biopsy and slightly more than 2 percent had a skin cancer diagnosis or knew a close friend or relative with this diagnosis, researchers report in JAMA Dermatology.
Roughly 21 percent said they had had “great” knowledge about melanoma and 14 percent reported “great” knowledge about other skin cancers.
However, just 29 percent of the tattoo artists said they had refused to tattoo skin with a rash, lesion or spot out of concern for skin cancer.
That’s the same proportion of artists who said they had identified a spot on a client that might be skin cancer or recommended that a customer see a dermatologist to have a suspicious area of skin checked out.
Beyond its small size, other limitations of the study include the lack of data on what information tattoo artists actually knew about skin cancer or how well they could identify potentially worrisome things on the skin.
“Tattoo artists definitely are not trained adequately with respect to different skin lesions- not only skin cancers, but also various infections (such as warts) that can spread during the tattoo process,” said Dr. Tina Alster, director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery and a researcher at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Before getting a tattoo, customers should have a dermatologist check for moles or other abnormalities, especially if they have a family history of melanoma, Alster, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.
“The public is unaware that tattoo artists hold business licenses, but no safety licenses,” Alster said. “In essence, people getting tattoos are having needles inserted in their skin by practitioners with no medical or safety training.”
By Lisa Rapaport
BOSTON (Reuters) – Former National Football League star Aaron Hernandez’s tattoos may be shown as evidence at his upcoming double-murder trial because they appear to refer to the killings at issue, a Massachusetts judge ruled.
Two of the heavily inked Hernandez’s tattoos depict recently fired guns, one of which prosecutors contend is a reference to the 2012 double murder of two men outside a Boston nightclub, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke said in a ruling dated Monday and released on Tuesday.
Hernandez, 27, who was one of the NFL’s top tight ends while playing for the New England Patriots from 2010 to 2012, already is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for murdering an acquaintance in June 2013.
He is due to face trial next month on charges that he shot and killed two other men, Cape Verde nationals Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado, in May 2012 outside a Boston nightclub after one of them unwittingly spilled a drink on him.
One of his tattoos depicts a six-shot revolver with one empty chamber and the words “God Forgives” written in reverse, so that they can be read with a mirror. Hernandez is charged with firing five shots in the double slaying.
A second tattoo shows a smoking semi-automatic pistol and a spent shell casing. Hernandez is charged with the non-fatal shooting of a former friend in a separate incident that occurred on a trip to Florida.
Locke wrote that Hernandez getting the tattoos “could be viewed as constituting an implied admission.”
It will not be the first time the tattoos have been visible in court. Even when wearing a long-sleeved dress shirt and jacket his tattoos can be seen on his hands and reporters at a 2015 court appearance noticed a new tattoo depicting a star and the word “lifetime” on his neck, high enough to be visible over the collar of a dress shirt.
Hernandez was a rising star in the league with a $41 million contract when he was arrested at his North Attleboro, Massachusetts, home in June 2013 and charged with murdering Odin Lloyd at an industrial park. He has said he is innocent of all charges.
(This version of the story has been filed to correct reference to length of Hernandez’ NFL career in third paragraph)
(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Bill Trott)
A New Breakthrough in Technology: Digital Tattoos
It was going to happen sooner or later – the push towards an even more invasive wearable. Today, we have smartphones, smart watches and other smart wearables, but these are already getting pretty old. As we look ahead at what’s next in this genre, we see something straight out of a sci-fi movie – digital tattoos.
What is a Digital Tattoo?
A digital tattoo is a tattoo that allows digital data to be transmitted to and fro. Imagine having a digital tattoo on your hand that allows you to unlock your car or home door. Or, when you shake someone’s hand, information is shared (public info, of course). This is the concept tech companies are rolling with as they streamline their efforts towards the newest tech trend.
How Digital Tattoos May Work
According to NewDealDesign – the design consultants behind Fitbit and other activity trackers – this new technology will be more personable. People will be able to choose where to insert their data chips and tattoo, such as in the wrist, palm or arm. Your tattoo will be unique to you, pretty much like a fingerprint. It will interact with your body’s electro-chemical energy, allowing it to read your blood sugar levels and temperature, among other things.
The data will, of course, be encrypted, so as to protect your personal data. The implant will be used to protect your other belongings, such as credit cards, which can be programmed to only work when it’s in your hand.
This super tattoo would be able to track your movements and contextualize your gestures. It could distinguish between a handshake with a business partner and a hand-hold with a lover or child. The hands are intimate parts of our body, so it makes sense that this type of device would be placed here. Let’s face it – putting it on our foreheads or the back of our neck would feel a little too cyborgish.
The Probability of this Coming to Life
NewDealDesign has already talked to various entrepreneurs who are looking into Underskin devices, so it’s a very real concept that can come true as soon as the next five years. The technology is already there, it just needs to be created. What would be the hardest part of the project would be the flexible display. The communication, implantation, siphoning of your body’s energy and sensor would be the easy parts. That goes to show how close we likely are to integrating this into our everyday lives very soon.
Are You Ready?
The great thing about the digital tattoo concept is that it does a great job of fitting right into our lifestyle. This will make it more acceptable to the general public, especially if it can convince us that our data will be secured from hackers.
For decades, women all over the world have been getting tattoos and experimenting with different designs. Women from certain countries can get tattooed, but they can’t show them in public. For example, in the United States, if a woman wants to join the Marines, she must follow their tattoo policy. There are also feminist tattoos in the Middle East causing an uproar.
Feminism is Considered Negative
The reason feminist tattoos in the Middle East are causing an uproar is because feminism is regarded as a negative notion. Therefore, when women publicly display a tattoo featuring their support of feminism, the Islam Republic frowns upon this decision. While it isn’t uncommon for men to have tattoos in the Middle East, many of the designs are considered part of today’s modern Westernization of the Islamic country.
Why is it Controversial?
The controversy stems from some of the feminist tattoos supporting women’s rights that are against the law in the Middle East. For example, if the feminist tattoos are in support of abortion, which is against the law, then that would be a controversial ink design in the Middle East. Other controversial feminist tattoos include the Venus symbol, quotes depicting a woman’s power, braille spelling out the words, “I am enough,” powerful words, symbols depicting equality, and pictures of powerful women.
Will Women Stop?
Now that women know that feminist tattoos in the Middle East are causing an uproar, will they stop getting them? The short answer is likely no. The long answer is that many women in the Middle East, even if they’re feminists, still view tattoos as taboo and if they get one they’ll likely keep it hidden. If they don’t keep it hidden from sight, they may consider designing it in such a way that it’s not obviously a feminist tattoo. That way, they’re not drawing as much attention to themselves.
Are there Repercussions?
So far, the feminist tattoos that have come into question have made the press—but that’s all. They’re creating a controversy, but the issue hasn’t resulted in anything more than widespread upset. Does this mean that it’s okay for Middle Eastern women to run out and get feminist tattoos tomorrow? Not necessarily. If she does, there’s still the chance of facing public shaming.
Last year, a New York tattoo artist by the name of Scott Campbell put a spin on inking up his guests. Rather than working on their choices, they put their arms through a hole in the wall, and their tattoo was a complete surprise to them during an art installation event. Typically a tattoo artist to the stars, people showed up in droves for their tattoos when this artist announced when he was offering these surprise tattoos. This event begs the question, of course, if the tattoo parlour in your area offered them, would you get a surprise tattoo?
What Are the Benefits to a Surprise Tattoo?
For one thing, you have to have complete trust in your tattoo artist. This opportunity is the perfect opportunity to overcome your fear of trusting people, as well as getting tattooed. For those who are indecisive about what kind of tattoo they should get, deciding if you would get a surprise tattoo is the only thing you have to worry about—the tattoo artist will take care of everything else. All you need to do is sit back and get your ink. The only catch with receiving a surprise tattoo is you can’t give any input.
What Are the Cons to a Surprise Tattoo?
Of course, you may dislike the tattoo the artist chose for you. However, if you’re working with an acclaimed tattoo artist, the chances of that happening are slim. Take Scott Campbell’s event, for example. Everyone who agreed to an interview discussed how the process took about one hour, their tattoo was on their forearm, and they loved the outcome—some even said the experience was life-changing. Everyone walked into the experience knowing they couldn’t provide input and where the tattoo would be placed on their body. Your tattoo artist should be providing the same information to you.
Give it Serious Thought
Because a tattoo is a permanent part of your body, you have to give the question, “Would you get a surprise tattoo?” serious thought. It isn’t something you should ever walk into blindly or do as a dare. Remember that tattoo removal is costly and painful so, if you do decide to participate in this experience, you will be living with the decision for the rest of your life.
Image: Thomas Hawk
This article will talk about how Tattoo Recognition Technology can impact your freedoms and rights.
Tattoos have always been used to identify people, including suspects of crimes. A tattoo really is a distinguishing feature on a body and while you probably aren’t the only person out there with Pearl Jam’s stickman, a tattoo can definitely narrow you down in a pool of people. Now, this shouldn’t really matter to you if you aren’t committing crimes, but you should be aware of a new technology being used by law enforcement called Tattoo Recognition Technology.
How does it work?
Tattoo Recognition Technology started from a joint forces task force in the U.S., where they performed experiments to detect algorithms in the tattooed population. Five different tests were performed and include:
- Tattoo detection – declaring if an image has a tattoo in it
- Tattoo identification – using a tattoo to identify who a person is (much like a fingerprint)
- Region of interest – figuring out if a piece of a tattoo can be attributed to a larger tattoo
- Mixed media – doing a sketch of a tattoo as described by a witness
- Tattoo similarity – matching tattoos to a population of people with similar beliefs
As a law-abiding citizen, you may think that tattoo recognition technology can be highly valuable to law enforcement. It will be easier to identify suspects even if just a part of a tattoo is showing during the performance of a crime or on a surveillance video. Criminals including rapists, robbers, child molesters and more could be identified much easier based on the description of a tattoo.
Consequences of the technology
But, there are some downfalls for even those of us who aren’t criminals with this new technology. The tattoo similarity feature of this technology essentially lumps groups of people with similar tattoos into one broad category. This could also be seen as stereotyping, typecasting or profiling and that can be dangerous. Certain groups, including religious groups could be typecast based on their membership into that group. As well, a tattoo may have meaning for one group, but not for another, even with the exact symbol. For example, it was discovered that pedophiles share various symbols, which can be just regular symbols like hearts and butterflies. Law enforcement may be led to believe that someone who unknowingly has one of these symbols tattooed on their bodies is a child molester.
Others believe that this technology threatens free speech and privacy. Because the technology reveals a person’s cultural, religious and political beliefs, people who may not have committed a crime may have their privacy rights offended. Opponents believe that law enforcement could use this technology to single out individuals based on their beliefs and create a religious, political or cultural profile based on the tattoo.
At the moment, this technology is under evaluation and improvements still need to be made to ensure complete accuracy.
While each artist makes a different amount, this article will talk about some averages that a tattoo artist makes in different countries around the world
A tattooist is an artist who makes body art. Like many artists, they spend years perfecting their work and learning the trade. Typically, tattoo artists train as apprentices for a few years before branching out on their own and getting their tattoo license (depending on country). Tattoo schools are looked down upon as a cash grab, so real experience is really the only way that a tattooist should train. Once they’ve done that, they work to build a client base and portfolio. On top of this, tattoo professionals need to learn how to use, clean and sanitize their equipment, as well as market their services and run their businesses.
Do tattoo artists make the salaries of starving artists or can they thrive creating body art? The numbers are all variable, as just like with any profession, some people do very well, while others don’t.
What tattoo artists make
In the United States, average incomes vary from about $25,000 per year to up to $50,000 per year, depending on the state. The states where tattoo artists earn the most include District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New York and California. But, those with a huge following can charge upwards of $600 an hour, which can net them $150,000+ per year. On the flipside, new tattoo artists who haven’t built up a client base can make as low as $12,000 a year.
In Canada, the numbers are similar with the average tattoo artist making between $30,000 to $50,000 a year and with the most renowned artists making upwards of $100,000 or more.
In the U.K. tattooist make about 15,000 pounds per year for more experienced tattooists. This is equivalent to about $25,000 Canadian. Salaries will vary around the world depending on the economy and value of tattoos in that country.
What factors contribute to income?
Incomes are definitely contingent on how many clients a tattoo artist can service in one year. Typically, the tattoo artists who can effectively market themselves will make the most money, but this doesn’t just mean through traditional advertising. Word of mouth and referrals are a large part of a tattooist’s business and the better service they give, the more referrals that will come their way. Usually this comes with experience – the more tattoos a tattooist does, the better they get and in turn, the more money they can make from new and repeat clients. As well, those with very good reputations can actually charge more for the same work. Raw talent also plays a large part in what a tattoo artist can make.
Tattoo artists will also generally make more if they own their own shop, rather than work for someone else, who will take a cut of the income. They’ll also generate income by employing others, paying by commission, which is usually 50% of the total price of the tattoo.
While becoming a tattooist isn’t always a lucrative career choice, it can definitely be a satisfying one, where a person can make a career out of their art.
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – An Indian man obsessed with setting Guinness world records got 366 flags tattooed on his body and had all his teeth removed so he could put nearly 500 drinking straws and more than 50 burning candles in his mouth.
Har Parkash Rishi, who claims to have set more than 20 records, now calls himself Guinness Rishi.
Born in 1942 in a cinema hall in the capital, New Delhi, Rishi first got into the Guinness Book of World Records in 1990 when, with two friends, he rode a scooter for 1,001 hours.
The passion to get his name in the record book led him to perform some bizarre acts, including delivering a pizza from New Delhi to San Francisco and gulping a bottle of tomato ketchup in less than four minutes.
He even got his family involved – his wife Bimla holds a 1991 record for writing the world’s shortest will: “All to Son”.
While it is the tattoos on his body, more than 500 in all, that brought him fame, Rishi, an auto parts manufacturer by profession, says the toughest one was stuffing the straws in his mouth.
“I am the world record holder of 496 straws in my mouth … For that record, I needed space, I had to remove every tooth so that I could put maximum straws in my mouth,” Rishi told Reuters Television before re-enacting the feat on camera.
He is now getting images of global leaders tattooed on his body to add to images of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, U.S. President Barack Obama, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of India’s independence movement.
(Writing by Aditi Shah; Editing by Douglas Busvine)
GAZA (Reuters) – With a thick black marker pen in hand, Palestinian graffiti artist Belal Khaled carefully draws an intricate Arabic calligraphic design on a silver Skoda.
The art work decorates the sides of the car, running along the windows and down its doors, the latest in the 24-year-old’s mission to turn everyday objects into things of beauty.
From cars, handbags, street walls as well as human bodies, Khaled is leaving his prints almost everywhere in the Gaza Strip, which is run by the Islamist Hamas movement and under blockade by neighboring Egypt and Israel.
“Some of the works you don’t necessarily need to understand (what they mean), such as a specific sentence,” he told Reuters. “But it carries and adds a certain beauty to the letters.”
In his eclectic choice of objects and backgrounds, his calligraphic graffiti is brightening up the densely populated, impoverished Palestinian enclave of 1.95 million people.
He also takes photos of both daily life and vestiges of the long conflict with Israel, with which Hamas fought a war in 2014 that shattered much of coastal Gaza. But he says his work is not meant to convey any political message, or to make money.
“It is not commercial for me, it is art. I want to spread art everywhere I can get to. Soon I will introduce it to the work of fashion and design of dresses,” Khaled told Reuters.
Khaled, who also works as a photographer and sculptor, began creating his art pieces about a decade ago before turning his drawings to objects as well as human bodies.
“Arabic script is strong and I wanted to connect it to physical strength. I drew on chests and backs of body-builders.
“Some people saw what I drew on body builders’ skin as tattoos and having a tattoo is forbidden in Islam. This is not a tattoo, it is temporary writing and can be washed away.”
Khaled’s work is proving especially popular with retailers, namely those selling women’s accessories such as handbags. He is now looking to branch out by decorating women’s clothes.
“Many of the customers liked the bags and they constantly requested it,” he said. “They liked this work so this opened up other opportunities for me to expand on the products I work on.”
(Additional reporting by Mohammed Shana; Editing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian/Mark Heinrich)
Meet Jack Reynolds, he’s 104 years old and the most elderly person to ever be tattooed.
Jack Reynolds is a 104 year old man from Chesterfield who already holds multiple world records. Just last year he became the oldest man to take the “ice bucket challenge”.
But yesterday, on his birthday, he became the oldest person to ever get a tattoo beating the previous world record holder by 10 years.
“I’m honoured that he has asked me to do it. I just hope I can do him proud and it’s all for a good cause. It’s brilliant.”
– Pete Who, Tattoo Artist
The new tattoo is an inscription that reads ‘Jacko’ with his birthdate in his own handwriting. Interestingly, the oldest man in the world to be tattooed didn’t do it just for the fun – the initiative was undertaken to raise money for the Ashgate Hospice – it turns out that tattooing in a controversial manner was the best way to get the word out.
Jack, you rock. And we’re sure you’ve got a few more records up your sleeve. (at 104, nearly everything you do is a record)