Video: Teens and Tattoos: How to Make Sure Your Teen is Safe

Niall McManus, tattoo artist, discusses things to consider before getting a tattoo and how to do so safely.

Editor’s Note: Video Highlights

Things to know before getting a tattoo:

Do your research

  • Check out your artist’s website to see their style.
    • Make sure it’s what you want.
  • Go to the shop
    • Make sure you’re comfortable the person tattooing you
    • Make sure it’s a reputable shop
      • Every shop and every artist must have a license.
      • They must be displayed on site

Make certain your artist is taking the required safety precautions.

  • Wearing gloves during the whole process.
  • Unwrapping his equipment from the sterilization packages in front of you.
    • Not all artists will do this automatically, but feel free to ask your artist to do so.

Your artist will wrap the finished tattoo in plastic wrap after cleaning it.

  • This should be kept on for two hours.

Tattoos take two (2) weeks to heal.

  • Wash it with warm running water regularly.
  • Do not soak it in water.
  • It is a wound. It will scab. This is normal. Let the scab fall off on its own.
  • Don’t scratch it.
    • If it itches, pat it, don’t scratch it.
    • If you accidentally scratch it, sometimes it can require a touch up.
  • Keep it moisturized
  • If you have any questions about the healing process ask your artist.


Editor’s note: Tattoos are becoming further accepted in society. As they become more popular, more teenagers are getting them. It is important for them (and you) to know how to do it safely if you decide it is something to pursue.

** Resources outside the U.K.:

  • For more information check out the American Academy of Pediatric’s recommendations.


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About the Author

NHS Choices ( is the UK’s biggest health website. It provides a comprehensive health information service to help put you in control of your healthcare.


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