Artists Talk About Grabbing a 270 for a 360 on Back Pain

Mark Schilling :: Agape Art Collective – Costa Mesa, CA

– How has the chair helped your career?

The 270 chair has helped my career as far as back pain goes, being comfortable helps my performance and gives me peace of mind.

Its versatile and helps me tattoo in different positions comfortably. Oh, and its fucking badass looking! It perfectly curves to my ass.

– What sorts of problems were you experiencing before buying the chair? What made you buy it?

Constant back pain, especially lower back pain. In this thing I can sit for 15-16 hours straight if I needed to! Its so awesome! I was in that much discomfort, I was willing to spend the money to get something better.

As an artist I feel it is important to invest in better products, just like buying the Envy Needles and Wrath Tubes. The client is paying me and they deserve the best.

– How did you hear about the chair?

I think I was at the storefront in Baldwin Park and there was a video playing in the lobby and I thought it looked badass. I did a little more research, and it was totally worth it.


Nikie Trerotola :: Black Tie Affair – Artesia, CA

– How has the chair helped your career?

The 270 artist chair has helped me tremendously by providing maximum comfort and therefor allowing me the ability to tattoo more efficiently for longer hours.

– What sorts of problems were you experiencing before buying the chair? What made you buy it?

Before I purchased the chair I was experiencing back pains, which caused me to take breaks frequently. This chair really alleviated the strain on my back and I’m able to get through long sessions without needing a break.

– How did you hear about the chair?

I came across this chair originally through the TATSoul website, but decided to purchase it after hearing great feedback from other tattooers.


Rob Marra :: New Addiction Tattoo – Johnston, RI

– How has the chair helped your career?

The chair has really reduced my lower back pain. I am able to tattoo for significantly longer periods of time.

– What sorts of problems were you experiencing before buying the chair? What made you buy it?

Before buying the chair I was finding myself standing and tattooing most of the time.I was taking breaks often and soon into sessions to rest my back. I bought it because it has features that allow you to mimic standing while leaning and it looked comfortable.

– How did you hear about the chair?

I heard about the chair through the website. I usually order my supplies through TATSoul and I found it on there.


Mark Sheppard :: The Ink Spot – Delaware, OH

– How has the chair helped your career?

Oh its awesome! Especially if you have back pain problems. It is perfect for getting different positions, especially when working on a chest piece.

– What sorts of problems were you experiencing before buying the chair? What made you buy it?

Just back problems, standing and stooping to do the tattoo. Now I can get them in more positions so I can be comfortable too. I use the X Portable Table from TATSoul and prior to getting the 270  I couldn’t get my knees under it with my current chair. The 270 allowed me to get a little lower, fit better and get closer to the client.

– How did you hear about the chair?

I would guess probably a Youtube video and word of mouth. I had been looking at them for about three years before actually buying.

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SKATE TATTOO OR DIE : Entry 1- Parallels between skating & tattooing

I started skateboarding when I was 13 and what I loved about skateboarding the most was being able to go down to the local mom and pop shop to buy skate products. I remember it giving me the feeling of being a part of something unique; free from corporations and mass produced products. Most skate companies at the time were independently owned so the common public in the early 90s had no clue what any of the brands I wore at the time were. I remember getting made fun of for my puffy DC shoes with the tongues popped out. Ironically those same brands are worn by the same people who made fun of me 20 years ago. I think this concept bleeds in all communities & “industries”, whether you’re into building motorcycles, putting together a skateboard, or tattooing a sleeve on someone’s arm. The most important part of anything is the equipment.

This is what separates a skateboard at a shop & a skateboard at Toys R us? The same thing that differentiates buying your supplies from a credible source that “gets it” and buying starter kids out of china or even just low quality tubes and needles from people who aren’t involved in the community. How important is your craft to you? I know for me I will never be caught dead riding a razor scooter or a fresh deck that I picked up off a shelf at a local Walmart. For me, good products mean reliability and deliver the same results every time. Bad products can and will make you less than what you are truly capable of. This is exactly why I always trip out whenever dudes try bartering with me for supplies at conventions. It’s like you never go the Apple store and try to bargain on an iPhone, because we all know no matter where you go, it will be the same price. You can’t re-do a tattoo, so why not use the best quality tools out there?

Here’s an example, Nike is the number one athletic shoe company in the world and whenever you think of a professional athlete you can easily associate them with Nike. Nike failed attempting to branch into the skateboard community in the 90s despite its reputation and trillion dollar budget. They had not connected to people that skateboard. They didn’t successfully break into the skate industry till about 8 years ago. The way they did this was by making the best skate shoes by working with people that skate, working with known skateboarders and finding out their needs. Nike also did what Nike does best, get behind and support some of the best skateboarders out there. Once they made that transition everyone else hopped on board. Style, intuitive design and most of all quality.

A skateboarder by the name of Stefan Janoski released a shoe that was so neutral. It was/is great for casual everyday wear for anyone and skateboarders love skating in them. 3 years ago while in Oregon for the Portland tattoo expo, I made a trip to the Nike headquarters. I asked them what their top 10, highest- grossing shoes were, low and behold, the Nike Janoski was one of them!

Ten years ago I wouldn’t have skated in Nike’s if someone gave me them for free, they wouldn’t have supported my skating the way I need them to. The point being, like tattoo products, you have to dial into what the user wants, whether that means being the user or working alongside them. The problem with low grade products is they have no soul, no style, just something to make money from. You need people who are passionate about what you are trying to do behind the products. In the end, real WILL recognize real. I have been using the same skate products and skating my same pair of Nikes for the past 8 years and I won’t let up anytime soon because in the end I like the way they “help me” skate. So the next time someone asks you why you like TATSoul products. The answer is simple. I like the way they help me tattoo.

– George Wang

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TS Cornerstone Interview, Episode 1: Nate Fierro

Proud to launch our new TS Cornerstone Interview Series with Episode 1 featuring High Voltage Tattoo resident, Nate Fierro. Watch to learn about his start in tattooing & inspiration for his illustrative, neo-traditional Americana and Japanese style to skating & eating right.

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Growing up I had one of those dads who thought any type of body modification was considered gay. Thanks to Dennis Rodman in the early nineties, my parents thought the idea of tattoos, colored hair and earrings were for insane people. I remember the first time my dad voiced his opinion outload. It was a bright sunny day and this man who had these long dangling earrings walked past us and into my dad’s office “Jr, you see that guy? He’s gay!” I go, “how so?” My dad’s response “he wear the earrings, this is for women, not a man. How you like me pick you up from school wear the long earring, say hi to all your friends!!”

Secretly, what he didn’t know is how bad I wanted my ears pierced. Maybe it was from over exposure of gangster rap music videos and seeing dudes with “bling” in their ears that made it cool. I was always so scared of getting a tattoo or piercing my ears, not at all because physical pain, because I knew my dad would think I was “gay”. Finally, after one year, I mustered up the courage and I went with my girlfriend to the mall at a little chain store called Claire’s. I was so nervous, like it was the biggest life decision I had come across yet. I held on to my girlfriends hand like I was getting a full back piece from Filip Leu. After a 2 second hole-punch, that felt like that stupid optometrist vision machine that shoots wind into your eye, I remember seeing the two little cubic zirconia’s sparkle in the mirror. All I could think was how cool and not-gay I was.

The next thing I pierced was my top cartilage. Eventually this became an obsession. I was listening to a lot of punk rock at the time, so it felt “cool” to have “body modifications”. One night, I got super drunk and thought it would be cool to pierce my lip. I wanted to look like Mark Hoppus from Blink 182 and I failed miserably. I ended up looking like one of those Asian emo kids trying be so different from the other Asians so they pierce their lip. Some faces were built for the piercings, like Hellraiser and those super pierced up guys we see at tattoo conventions, most were not.

I had an ex with nipple piercings and that was super-hot. I had a friend who had his nipples pierced and I didn’t know until we went skating one hot summer day and he took his shirt off- that WASN’T super-hot. I felt like my dad at that moment, I totally judged him. I started traveling around 2009 and when body modifications were abundant it was during the time every chick was getting the mole piercing, the “Monroe”. I felt like people were running out of ideas to pierce things so it led to dermal implants which was a process where it took people and turned them into Klingons. People actually put horns under their head. It’s not every day where you see your friend become the warlock from the movie Legend.

As a skateboarder I personally always looked at piercing similar to roller blading. There is technique for sure but only with the really talented ones doing crazy flips and stuff, it also always struck me as safer. No disrespect to any piercers out there, because it is a very complex procedure only few can do correctly but it’s not permanent. Holes can heal and people get over it. How many girls do you know now in their 40s rocking a “Monroe” or a septum piercing? Tattoos last for life, it’s a more complex decision that takes patience, timing and judgment. The majority of us who have been in this community have something so stupid we want to laser off right now but don’t for a variety of reasons- mainly it being that it’s not a quick and easy thing. You don’t “take out” a piece of ink from your skin and it heals and goes back to normal over time.

– George Wang

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Who is Bryce Oprandi?

Bryce Oprandi – Owner/Tattooer at The Martlet Tattoo Parlor – Hollywood, CA

George: So how long have you owned and operated The Martlet ?

Bryce:  It’s going to be 6 years in October.

George:  When did you start Tattooing?

Bryce:  I got my apprenticeship in 2007, then one year later I started working at Red Hot Tattoo with Joe Caram, Pat Sweeney and Jen Mclellan. Jen was the one who taught me.

George: Did you go in there and get tattooed a lot and then all of a sudden they saw potential?

Bryce:  Yeah, I would be getting tattooed there and a couple of other spots and I didn’t know shit about tattooing. I would just go in there and get whatever.

George: So what was the first tattoo you got?

Bryce: Matching stars with Courtney my wife, we were dating at the time.

George:  So that was your first tattoo?! A matching tattoo? Haha..that eventually spawned all these other tattoos?

Bryce: Yeah

George: Did you have any idea that it would turn into this and you would become a tattoo artist? How did that happen? Was your job shitty at the time?

Bryce: When I was in high school one of my girlfriends would get tattooed. She was messing around and was trying to learn and would try to teach me how to tattoo and I wasn’t really into it. Never really thought much about it. I was running a lot of track.

George: You ran track?

Bryce: Yeah for about 5 years.

George: I never took you for an athlete. You were a jock?

Bryce:  Yeah, not like a football jock

George: Did you have any sort of scholarships being offered

Bryce: This was in Pasadena before I started tattooing. It was coming down to tattooing or going to run for Arizona State. It got really political.  It wasn’t fun anymore and at that time I was halfway through a sleeve.
George: How soon was it before you would run and after getting tattooed did you decide on one over the other?

Bryce: Back then, I had to run every day. I was getting paid to do that

George: You were getting paid to run?

Bryce: Yeah

George: Did you skateboard before running

Bryce: All through high school I skated, my friend’s older brother got us into it

George: Were you street or ramp?

Bryce:  Street for sure. I like to jump stairs

George: No way! What was the most stairs you cleared?

Bryce: 10

George: You did 10?! That’s pretty big! I haven’t even done 10!

Bryce: Holly Avenue, they have a little 10 stair

George: Anyways, back to it, so you started going to Red Hot and you got the apprenticeship. Did you ask for it?

Bryce: I asked the guy tattooing me. His name was Joe Caram. He gave me a bunch of homework, so I came back with a bunch of drawings showed him and he talked to the boss. She told me I needed to come back with more drawings, so I came back with more drawings and it just so happened that someone one had just quit, so I ended up getting the apprenticeship

George: Did you have any artistic ability prior to this?

Bryce: Nothing really great.  I wouldn’t call myself an artist

George: So you had to learn from the grassroots?

Bryce: Yes

George: So could you draw?

Bryce: I could draw certain things, back then we did not have social media to see millions of people tattooing and I had magazines to look at and would cut out photos of tattoos and try to replicate them

George: Was there anyone you try to emulate? I know for me in standup comedy there are certain people I look towards for inspiration. I don’t want to sound the same but they give me an outline of how I want to sound? Any artists for you?

Bryce: This cat from Australia Stevie Edge. I bought a round trip ticket to Australia and got my chest done. That guy was killing it, coolest guy ever. I got tattooed and he was the nicest guy, I was surprised because I had this idea that a lot of tattoo artists could be rock stars, but he was like the nicest guy and a few years later I went over there and worked with him

George:  Painful as hell?

Bryce: Yeah, 4 hours on the chest…4 hours anywhere is super shitty.

George: It’s a good feeling because you went through all this to get them though right? I Googled you and an image where you tattooed Snooki from The Jersey Shore popped up. Elaborate?

Bryce: A girl that does her hair recommended her. She’s actually really smart and far from the character she played on TV

George:   It was awesome to be able to attend your wedding. It was super classic and had a traditional theme to it. It was one of the nicest weddings I have ever been too. Very 1950’sish. Are you a fan of that era?

Bryce: It was an era of very clean, very structured look.  Looks rough and tough and still very simple . It’s the enchantment of it and nostalgia after

George: Does your wife play a role in your creative process?

Bryce: I bounce ideas off her and she tells me this could be good or this can work better but most of my inspiration just comes from LA, and the culture I live in

George: So LA has played a part in shaping you professionally. Do you feel like travelling and getting tattooed by artists has as well?

Bryce:  Definitely! For sure! Learning different things, there’s so much knowledge out there.

George: Do you feel like there are any parallels between skateboarding and tattooing?

–One of the other shop artist jumps in.  Justin Klegka:

Justin: Exact same thing! There are the guys who have true style and are actually doing it cool and then the guy who is so good but you can care less that he has no style, it’s the mentality if you’re doing a good job with it people are going to like it. It takes more than being good it’s super hard and super frustrating.

George: How important is style

Justin: It’s the only thing you have.

George: What’s your favorite Envy Needle configuration?

Bryce: I like the traditional 8’s where it’s not so bold and it’s not so tight where it’s not going to look too dainty

George: How about the Wrath Tubes?

Bryce: The Nexus is my favorite. I love the beveled angle and the tiffany color. Look at my shoes, we love taking them to conventions because they are easy to pack also.

George: Top 3 most influential artists?

  1. Cheyenne Sawyer @ Atlas – He’s a killer daddy
  2. Ross Jones @ Idle Hand – He’s a legend who’s been tattooing forever and such a nice guy
  3. Chris Marchetto @ Iron First & Redemption Tattoo

George: How about outside of tattooing?

Bryce: There are so many. YG inspires me. My little sister inspires me the most though she’s tough. She’s adventurous is only 5 foot 4 and works on a boat in Alaska and is getting her captain’s license right now

George: Most annoying walk in?

Bryce: When people want words… It’s never really that simple and they want way more and in their minds, they really don’t know the difference on what sounds good as opposed to what looks good for a tattoo.

George: What do you like the most about being on the road?

Bryce: The adventure. The new food, the tattoos, the people. I feel like it’s been a part of tattooing history for so long

George: Any favorite places to tattoo ?

Bryce: Australia is dope! I’m in love with that country and I love to tattoo in SF

George: Where do you feel like in the world is killing it the most for traditional tattooing?

Bryce: I feel like Europe is killing the traditional game

George: Do you feel like you have a technique to making your tattoos pop?

Bryce: I definitely think more black pushes out the color and I find myself using more color than black and it just balances itself out, bright colors pop

George: What ink do you prefer?

Bryce:  I really like that Solid Ink now

George: Pros and cons about owning a shop?

Bryce: Being your own boss, but everyone here is their own boss. I’m basically here to keep things in check.  The con would be management. Here in LA especially

George: How did you come up with name Martlet?

Bryce: I wanted to figure something out that wasn’t done.  There were sailors on ships who would see little swallow birds and they were so small people thought they didn’t have any feet so with the inability to land these fuckers thought they were going to fly forever. To me that symbolized knowledge and adventure associated with that type of learning and freedom, constantly moving and learning. Everything is an adventure

George:  So for anyone reading, thinking about starting a new shop, what would you say to get the name out and draw more people to the shop?

Bryce: Now with social media it’s important to have your own voice. Conventions used to be the thing but now you have to have a good presence online.

George: That’s pretty much a wrap dude thanks so much man!

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10 Pounds of Shit in a 5 Pound Bag

I had a friend complain to me about a client once who wanted to get a lion tattooed on his arm to symbolize courage. My friend spent a really solid chunk of time drawing this lion out. He had sketched it out in different angles, really worked on making a beautiful mane that would stand out, wanted to make sure the face captured “courage”. When my friend presented the drawing to the client, he did not approve. He demanded it be redrawn with a million other things added to it. He proceeded to ask my friend if he could include a rose and that the rose petals have his kid’s names on them. His dad drove an Impala, so of course now the lion needed to be in a car. My friend advised including all of these things was not aesthetically the best idea. Still, he redrew the image to the best of the ability and showed it to his client. The client said it wasn’t what he was specifically looking for and ended up wasting my friend’s entire morning. Granted, my friend was able to keep the small $50 deposit he charged but ended up missing out on much more.

The problem with this was the lion my friend had drawn up was for a tattoo. He is a tattoo artist by profession and he knows what will make a good tattoo. Enthusiasts might have an idea of something they want and think it will look great anywhere but different images work for different places on the body. What will work on a leg might not look good on a forearm. The placement of the lion and the demands of this dude was too much for the small space on his forearm, so instead of working with my friend and trusting him as a professional that puts art on bodies for a living he decided to bail on it altogether wasting my friend’s time. A lot of artists I have talked with have identified this as one of their pet peeves and biggest annoyances of the job- trying to throw 10 pounds of shit into a 5 pound bag.

Ultimately in the end. It’s the artist’s responsibility to make sure the client is happy but it’s also their responsibility to make sure the tattoo looks good as it is a reflection of his or her art. No hair stylist will send a client out with a messed up haircut and expect referrals. If you want something that will be on your body forever, you need to trust your tattoo artist’s judgement.

George Wang, Humanitarian

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Hell City Killumbus Tattoo Festival Recap

In the past 9 years traveling and working convention booths for TATSoul, I have only attended a Hell City event, one time prior to this past show. Back in early 2009 we released our first Envy Needle and all we really sold at the time was a few different model chairs. I was working as THE outside sales rep for TATSoul. Hell City was one of the very first shows I attended, and my job was to pass out sample needles.

The show was held at the beautiful, historic Biltmore Hotel and Spa. It has been said that nearly every president that’s been alive during the time has stayed there at least once since its opening in 1929. Not that anyone cares, it’s just cool to know that you might sketching for your morning appointment or watching porn in the same room that Herbert Hoover slept in.

It was my first year being a part of the tattoo community and I was overwhelmed by the caliber of talent. You could walk around and see guys like Nick Baxter tattooing a Venus fly trap, eating a bee, propped up on a piece of fruit or Hell City home town favorites like Kore Flatmo throwing down a perfect pluribus skull. I remember being seated next to Skull & Sword which was awesome and handing Grime a sample one of our needles to try out. It felt like an all-star game for tattoo artists.

Fast forward to today, and this would be TATSoul’s first time back to the show in 8 years. It’s almost like those movies were the hero is left to embark on his own adventure only to return to his birth right like the sword in the stone. Only my birth rite was in the form of a traditional whipped magnum needle. Durb was one of those names I constantly heard about but only had the pleasure of meeting a few times. I remember bumping into him one time at another convention and hearing him talk about True Tubes. It’s awesome to see how far along both respected companies have come. I also want to mention how cool Durb has always been to us through the years. This guy has shouted us out and included us in any video he has made on artist caring for their bodies without us even asking him to include us. We have nothing but love and respect for him.

This was mine, as well as my best friend and travel buddy’s (TATSoul’s Creative Director) first time in Ohio. I honestly in my whole life had such a racial profile of the state. I pictured cows and lots of white people who drove John Deer tractors and wore straw hats and were Trump fanatics. I also assumed people would imagine I knew Kung Fu, had a tattoo of a Koi fish and was good at video games. Columbus was quite the opposite. It was a progressive town. We completely immersed ourselves in the city, soaking up the local recommendations of places to eat and drink after the show.

Before every trip I like to map out local skate parks, because as much as I love being at the show and meeting artists, I like to see what the city has to offer. One of the oldest skate parks in the US is located in Kettering, OH. It was designed in the early 1970s by Tony Hawk’s father and features a classic snake run. I recommend to any tattoo artist looking to get a little exercise before the show. It is located next to the Columbus River and has the most gorgeous skyline to take a picture and upload to your Instagram. Our hotel was actually next to the head office of the White Castle fast food chain which was cool to see, as they were going to be tearing it down in the next few months.

Our TATSoul booth for this year ended up not being on the main floor but on the art fusion floor with a bunch of other vendors and artists. The main floor was beautiful though. What I dug the most, is unlike all the other shows, where the setup is so basic; black cloth hanging in a big room with white tables, this show has theme to it. You felt like you were a part of something more than just a convention. There were mascots walking around, signs on the wall that resembled amusement parks with arrows pointing. It had a much more creative and fun element to it. They had an art fusion project with some legendary names: Paul Booth, Filip Leu, and Guy Aitchison. The project is an art performance that involves between 3 to 5 artists collaborating, changing canvases every 3 to 5 minutes, and completing pieces of art done in charcoal, color pastels, or other mediums. Burlesque shows, porn stars, wrestling giants are all just additions that set the vibe. An interesting fact is, this year, the show was held on the same weekend as a senior prom and an anime expo. This means, at any moment a guy dressed to the 9’s as Raiden from Mortal Kombat could be in front of your booth showcasing his fake powers. You would look over and see a crowd full of senior prom-goers, reminiscent of Pretty In Pink huddled together discussing who was old enough to get tattooed. All I could think about was how interesting that would’ve been to experience that in your prom.
This show was important, not just because it’s such a rad group of artists in one place, but for us specifically because we were unveiling our ENVY CARTRIDGES. Why is this such a big deal? I’ll tell you why, because we didn’t take the lazy way out and source some crap from China. It’s our actual premium Envy Needle pins in every single cartridge. Anyways, we were stoked to have them and we were even more stoked that artists loved them.
The whole weekend was awesome, we got to meet some guys we have only ever see their names pop up in our backend from ordering and catch up with some friends. At one point, a friend and artist came up to our booth looking defeated grabbing his lower back after a sparring sesh with Durb. I asked him what was wrong, He said “Durb doesn’t play fair” I told him “what do you expect, you’re in Hell City, you have to play dirty!” On the last night as we got in our Uber back to the hotel, our driver had saw our badges and it immediately gave him the green light to ask us about tattoos. He told us about his idea of a sort of symbol that represented his family and showed us the image on his phone and it looked like a tattoo that you would put on someone in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater game when you’re customizing a character. It was literally a tribal armband with a Celtic design in the middle. We told him to go see Durb! I’m finally glad we came out of purgatory to experience Hell City again for the first time in years. Thank you Durb and the staff members. We had a HELL OF A TIME 😈

George Wang, Outside Sales


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Posted in Hell City Killumbus Tattoo Festival, Main Blog, Product Feature, Tattoo Expos

Envy Cartridge Release

The wait is over. The unparalleled quality Envy Needles you love and can trust are now in cartridge form!

Envy Needle Quality Process: Every Envy Needle must pass through multiple layers of meticulous inspections on dozens of metrics, as well as thorough artist testing to earn the name Envy.

Enhanced Ink flow: Additional indentation on tip allows for enhanced saturation.

Membrane Mechanism: Prevents ink spit back.

Plunger: One piece needle over mold provides stability and control.

Available in Round Liners, Round Shaders, Magnum and Curved Magnum. Stock up today!


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Musink Tattoo Convention Recap

Had a blast catching up with everyone at Musink! Always happy and humbled to be able to provide such a dedicated group of artists with top quality tools that aid in increasing the longevity of their career.

We hope to see some of you at the Baltimore Tattoo Arts Convention, April 7 – 9! You can also catch us at these upcoming shows:

Hell City Ohio: April 28 – 30

Seattle Tattoo Expo: August 18 – 20

Hell City AZ Convention: August 25 – 27

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Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your support!

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Functional Life Saving Tattoos


Flickr image via chuckula

OVERVIEW—There has been a new tattoo concept flowing through the industry as of late that is both functional and potentially life-saving. Medical ID tattoos are now on the radar as a substitute for the more conventional medical ID bracelets and wallet-cards.

For those suffering from chronic and/or life-threatening conditions, medical ID alerts are crucial for times when a person is unable to communicate on their own regarding a medical condition. These alerts have historically been common for people with diabetes and life-threatening allergies, and are often indicated with the use of medical ID jewelry. However, those with the need for such alerts have been getting more creative – and might we add, stylish – in the way they indicate their medical conditions.

While many people feel that a more permanent marking is better suited to convey serious conditions, there are some who argue that medical ID bracelets or wallet-cards are a safer bet. Looking into why someone may not feel safe with a medical ID tattoo, a few reasons were uncovered that have more to do with the standard EMT protocol than the efficiency of these tattoos.

For instance, emergency responders are trained in a standardized protocol that includes quickly scanning a person’s wrists and wallet for medical identification. They are not, however, trained to check a person’s arms, chest, etc. which means that there is the potential for a medical ID tattoo to go unseen by paramedics. This makes sense, as EMTs respond to emergency situations where time is often limited. Another inconsistency with medical ID tattoos is that they are not moderated the way medical ID jewelry is, so it is possible that EMTs might mistake the identification tattoo for a medical awareness tattoo. There is also no standard guideline for medical tattoos, so designs could vary drastically and potentially confuse paramedics.


Flickr image via Char James-Tanny

So why look into getting a medical ID tattoo anyway? There are plenty of people who have had negative experiences with ID jewelry, such as the jewelry breaking off or becoming misplaced—certainly not an issue with a tattoo. Having a medical alert that you never have to think about make living with a chronic condition that much less stressful. Having a unique medical tattoo can also open up the door for casual communication about serious medical conditions and allow people to educate others about their condition.

When balancing the pros and cons of replacing conventional medical alerts with medical ID tattoos, it seems that different alerts may just work better for different people. These innovative medical alert tattoos are best suited for people who do not already, or do not plan to, have an abundance of other tattoos, people who do not like the inconvenience of jewelry (replacements can get expensive), or those who simply do not like the style options available for medical ID jewelry.



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