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Older People Skin - -1

Hi Folks,

I just had my first 65+ year old client tonight and during the outlining I noticed a TON of bruising, welding, etc. of the skin....mind you, this guy is a Harley dude, and has been riding for 40+ years......so I knew his skin was gonna be a mess to begin with.....but I was still surprised (Tattoo was on his forearm).

I couldn't finish it in one session as the bruising became so overwhelming......I read in a few posts that you should treat older skin as you would tattooing a foot, etc. because the skin is so fragile.....which I did......but wow!

The outline came out nice but I had to stop right after.....didn't wanna traumatize the skin too much....and I know it's gonna be awesome after the 2nd session......just hate leaving someone with an unfinished tattoo.

I would be very appreciative of any pointers/advice in regards to "older" skin......

Thanks in advance!!!

J.


Replies:

RE:Older People Skin - -1

with older skin i

slow the machine down
use less depth on the needle then usual

i did an older client once.... ink blew out horrifically, looked like bruising, never made that mistake again. only bit of info i can offer in my experience
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RE:Older People Skin - -1

might check other health issues, medication he is on. blood thinners, daily aspirin both cause easy bruising.
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RE:Older People Skin - -1

This is a tricky situation, as aged skin can often be like working on tissue paper and can tear quite easily too. The only thing i could suggest is that if your design could be done without an outline and maybe utalize some background to frame the picture, other then that bloodlines or a really soft greywash my work if you aren't relying on a defined line.
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RE:Older People Skin - -1

.



Hey bro.



With aging, the outer skin layer (epidermis) thins, even though the number of cell layers remains unchanged.
The number of pigment-containing cells (melanocytes) decreases, but the remaining melanocytes increase in size. Aging skin thus appears thinner, more pale, and clear. Changes in the connective tissue reduce the skin's strength and elasticity. This is known as elastosis and is especially pronounced in sun-exposed areas. The blood vessels of the dermis become more fragile. This leads to bruising, bleeding under the skin sub glands produce less oil as you age. Men experience a minimal decrease, usually after the age of 80. Women gradually produce less oil beginning after menopause. This can make it harder to keep the skin moist, resulting in dryness.The sub fat layer thins, reducing its normal insulation and padding. This increases your risk of skin injury. As you age, you are at increased risk for skin injury. Your skin is thinner, more fragile, and the protective sub fat layer is lost. Rubbing or pulling on the skin can cause skin tears. Fragile blood vessels are easily broken. Bruises, flat collections of blood , and raised collections of blood may form after even a minor injury.This is most easily seen on the outside surface of the forearms, but can occur anywhere on the body. Skin changes and loss of subcutaneous fat, combined with a tendency to be less active, as well as some nutritional deficiencies and other illnesses contribute to pressure ulcers. Aging skin repairs itself more slowly than younger skin. Wound healing may be up to 4 times slower. This contributes to pressure ulcers and infections. Diabetes, blood vessel changes, lowered immunity, and similar factors also affect healing.
When Tattooing older skin, you kinda got to treat it like trying to tattoo a slice of sandwich ham laid over a balloon. Press too hard your gonna squish the ham, stretch too hard your gonna separate the ham, keeping the needle too long in one area and your gonna hamburger the ham. all this is contributing to bruising.... go too deep and your gonna pop the balloon, and the ham(tattoo) is gonna blow up in your face, so to speak, lol...... I know this might sound like a strange analogy, but if you treat the skin like a piece of sliced ham you will change your normal tattooing habits.. when you do line work, don't do too long of a "one pass line", instead use shorter passes, set your machine to hit softer, the skin can handle a second pass to clean up a line if your machine is set soft enough.. remember the underlying fat is lost and you have no cushion to help resist the penetration of the needle, so having a hard hitting machine is gonna be much harder to control going too deep. When you put your lines in, think of the skin as a thin piece of clay only 1mm thick, and you want to scrap out a groove just enough without touching the bottom, if that makes sense.. you might want to hang your needle out a little more to help get a better view and control.. also, use bug pins, #8,#9. they will help reduce the surface trauma of the skin, and the long taper will reduce needle bounce , thus reducing the bruising a little.... also. use black inks that have a little thicker viscosity, and that you know are not prone to causing blowouts.. also, older skin has lost a lot of its elasticity, so it will be much easier to stretch, so don't stretch as hard as you normally would. just keep a close eye on your needle bounce to judge... when you are color packing, set your needle depth to about a dime, or 1mm. use smaller mags like 7MBP, the less needles per square inch of skin the less surface resistance and the better the ink flow.. also, keep a close eye on your tube, don't let it get too dirty, take a quick dunk in the water almost every time before you go in with any ink, the less time you have to go over an area the better. and try to finish the tattoo like a printer, get one area to completion before moving on, if you move around too much, the irritation of the skin will increase the bruising and cause you more trouble... also when you tattooing the area, try if possible to have the area being tattooed, higher than the heart of the client, this will decrease the blood flow to the area and help with irradiation and bruising.. for example, if your tattooing a clients forearm, don't position them as you normally would sitting down and draping their arm over the arm rest, but have them lay down flat and place their arm on the armrest slightly higher than their heart, if you know what I mean.. in some cases you may have to tattoo standing up, but if it helps with the situation, its worth it... when prepping the skin be very diligent in trying not to cause any irritation prior to tattooing, you don't want blood in that area before you start, so the less irritation the better. be mindful of shaving in the direction of the hairs only, use alcohol or hand sanitizer to help remove the oils from the skin, and be very gentile with cleaning the area. when you are done prepping the skin, lay a cold damp paper towel on the area to help calm the skin and reduce blood flow for about 5 mins... keeping the skin cool while tattooing will help, when you complete areas that you just tattooed, go ahead and lay a damp cool paper towel over the area as you move on to the next section... this will help keep the area, cool and clean so that you will not need to do any unnecessary wiping if you get a finished area dirty with ink again...

Well bro, I hope that helps a little,

Take care.



Stephen Stacey.
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RE:Older People Skin - -1

Thank you guys for all the great information and advice - I will definitely take this to heart.

It is much appreciated!!!!!

J.
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RE:Older People Skin - -1

tattooed a 60 yr old with a jap tiger half sleeve a month ago. 1 line blew as i got carried away talking to him but luckily its gonna be covered by the background.. and when i started shading the skin just rejects the ink so i asked him to come back for next session. i figured it must be the old skin thats causing it so i didnt want to take chances..
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RE:Older People Skin - -1

I thought this was a great topic and well covered by superman as usual. I thought I'd post on it to re bump it to help out others who might miss the info.

I recently had a bad blowout on small simple tattoo on the chest near the collarbone and I should have been softer on the skin. Hard lesson learned. So this information above my post should help everyone out if you've yet to run into this problem in your tattoo career and want to prevent it.
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RE:Older People Skin - -1

I got a tat at age 60. It is a fantastic one, but within weeks it faded. The tattoo artist was surprised and touched it up. After several weeks it faded too. He is a talanted artist and uses the best inks. I am wondering if older skin doesn't hold color as well? I want another tat, but am hesitant. Thanks.
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