Most "stick and poke" tattoos are done impulsively by a close friend on a random day inspired by ideas on Pinterest or Instagram. Look up #stickandpoke and you will find over 500,000 images and videos related to this risky trend.
It is a type of tattoo using a single sharp point or needle and ink. It is a slower process as the single needle dipped in ink punctures the skin and the tattoo is made by each dot.
Typically this method of do it yourself tattoos were once reserved for cellmates. This type of tattooing is a growing trend amongst young teens and creatives due to the low cost and accessibility to supplies. Professional tattoos done in established offices require sterile equipment and sanitized environments which can cost a pretty penny.
The biggest concerns are health and safety risks. Are the instruments sterile? What type of inks are used and are they contaminated?
The use of a sewing needle or needles from a DIY tattoo kit seem questionable. Needles need to be thoroughly sterilized and running them through a lighter will not suffice.
There is the risk of sharing needles and the possibility of infecting yourself and others with diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and other infectious diseases.
The types of inks used pose another concern. Most of the DIY tattoos use inks that are for drawing and crafting not for tattooing. Cases have been reported for homemade tattoos where inks contained bacteria or harmful allergens.
When a tattoo is administered by an amatuer there are too many unknowns. The area must be kept clean to prevent infection and without the experience of a professional safety standards are compromised.
Be advised in the state of California anyone administering a tattoo must be licensed and certified by the Department of Health to follow specific safety and sanitation regulations.
Stick and poke tattoos are easier to remove with laser tattoo removal than professional tattoos because of the the amount of ink used and the depth of the ink.
These DIY tattoos are lighter and the ink is superfically applied. Professional tattoos use more ink and the ink is placed deeper into the skin.
PicoSure laser tattoo removal safely and effectively removes stick and poke tattoos.
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