Old 23-03-2010, 08:17 PM   #1
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Default Tattoo bruising

Hi everyone, brand new to this forum so please forgive me if i'm posting this in the wrong section!
I had my first tattoo just over 8 weeks ago from a very reputable shop near where i live and i'm getting a bit worried that my arm will never return to its normal colour. The tatto artist did tell me that becuase he was using a very fine needle then it would be quite normal for me to bruise but 8 weeks later and it still seems a grey colour in and around my tattoo. I will post a picture but my camera isn't very good so i'm not sure you'll get the true effect. I have some writing on my inner forearm and the greyness of my skin is in between the sentences and more noticeable under where the writing stops. It was very bruised at first but that seems to have gone yet i have this grey/ blue skin still? I have done some research on the net and i keep coming accross the phrase 'blowout' and i'm not sure that i have this or not because i think that means a slightly different thing. I guess what i want to know is, does anyone think that my grey skin will fully heal in a few more weeks and is it just the bruising still hanging around slightly? Thanks in advance for any help on this matter.
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Old 23-03-2010, 08:49 PM   #2
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I seem to bruise like a bitch at the minute. I mean, I go completely purple & my tattoos turn out totally fine afterwards.

Your greyness could be down to a couple of factors;
Some people take longer to heal when they bruise.
Blowout could also be a factor.

I can't really see the greyness very well on your pic though.
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Old 23-03-2010, 08:58 PM   #3
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thanks for the reply, i'm really hoping that its just taking ages to heal but would 8 weeks and counting seem longer than usual? here is another pic, think you can see the grey after the last sentance at the bottom a bit better, cheers
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Old 23-03-2010, 08:59 PM   #4
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From the photo it is hard to tell, yes, but after 8 weeks I doubt its still bruising.

There are two degrees of blowout. Firstly when ink goes a bit too deep and into the fatty tissue under the skin, often resulting in a fat line, or part of a line.
Secondly when the ink goes deeper still, into the muscle, which is when it causes bluing under the skin, a more widespread greyness.

You probably have the latter. Tattooing is not an exact science and some people have unpredictably thin skin which can cause it, more so on the thinner white skin we tend to have on our inner arms, more usually the inner upper arm. I have some myself. Its not necessarily the tattooists fault, as with the best will in the world, there is sometimes a very fine balance between deep enough and too deep. We're talking fractions of a millimeter sometimes.

It may fade with time, some do, some don't. If it doesn't, you could consider having some nice shading effect to frame the lettering. Hope this helps.
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Old 23-03-2010, 09:06 PM   #5
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thanks for the reply. I now have to agree that it's probably the latter unfortunately but i certainlty don't mind getting some more work done around it as i'd like to have a full sleeve eventually. Although i am worried that perhaps this will always happen on my skin if i'm a bit sensitive to it? I am booked in for another tattoo on the 5th April and was going to get an om symbol on my neck, would i be right in thinking that i'm less likely to get this effect on the neck than on my inner forearm?
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Old 23-03-2010, 09:10 PM   #6
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Yes I would say its less likely, as the skin there is "thicker" for want of a better word. Generally I'd say its areas of whiter, more delicate skin that are more prone to this. More so on the back of the neck, the sides could still be thin-ish.
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Old 23-03-2010, 09:18 PM   #7
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Thanks again. I was thinking of having it down the side of my neck but i might try one somewhere else first May get something on my forearm then tie them both together somehow. I'm guessing that is how the whole sleeve process starts eh!
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Old 23-03-2010, 09:30 PM   #8
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It does indeed, but if you have a sleeve in mind, make sure your tattooist knows from now on, as there is nothing more annoying than adding bits and more bits to am arm only to find out the person wanted a sleeve in the first place. If they know that now, they can better advise you on placement and layout, making best use of the room you have.
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Old 23-03-2010, 09:36 PM   #9
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Thanks. I did wonder how the whole process worked and i may not have told them i had a sleeve in mind if you hadn't just said! Think i'll go and see them before my next appointment and see what they say. Last question - would it be normal to go in and ask for artwork or would they generally expect you to go in with more or less the finished picture on paper? I'm guessing that an artist would like to take some part in the creativity side of things and not just perform the job of tattooing?
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Old 23-03-2010, 09:54 PM   #10
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I'd say take some ideas, reference material, photos, pictures, books, magazines, whatever. It all helps the tattooist understand what you like and what you're aiming for. But steer clear of trying to do their job for them. The tattooist will be able to advise you on what elements will work best and the their relative sizes and placement.

For instance, if a client wants a Japanese sleeve, I ask them to give me a shopping list, like "koi, cherry blossoms, water, rocks" or "dragon, peonies, flames, wind bars" etc. Then I discuss the styles they like, we go through examples and agree between us on what works best where, how it all flows together.

Taking the second example, it allows you to have one big dragon throughout the sleeve, interspersed with peonies, flames etc, maybe weaving in and out of windbars. Rather than asking for a dragon which we squeeze into the upper arm only to find out later you want a sleeve, which we end up adding to, gap-filling, etc and you get a more disjointed look.

Hope that makes sense!
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