On the Brink of Ink teaches students risks of body art

On the Brink of Ink teaches students risks of body art

On the Brink of Ink teaches students risks of body art
March 04
22:00 2019

For years, tattoos and piercings have generally been a taboo topic and going to college is often portrayed as a student’s first time having the freedom to express themselves however they want.

When students consider getting a tattoo or piercing, it is important to know the risks and what to expect from body art studios and their practices. Hosted by the UNT Meadows Center for Health Resources, On the Brink of Ink is a program that informs students about the importance of getting tattoos and piercings safely.

The campus introduced On the Brink of Ink two years ago after the emerging popularity of stick and poke tattoos, a practice in which a needle is poked into the skin and ink is dripped into the flesh wound. Stick and poke tattoos, when done by nonprofessionals, can lead to allergic reactions and infections of the skin.

Terrance Jackson, the student health peer educator for the Meadows Center for Health Resources, was this year’s On the Brink of Ink speaker, who informed students of these potential risks.

“We want students to look more into what they’re doing, making sure they are not confused and that they understand the safety of it all,” Jackson said.

On the Brink of Ink emphasizes the importance of knowing the necessary sanitizing equipment, the laws and safety codes studios must abide by and the aftercare techniques students need to implement after getting a tattoo or piercing.

“The biggest mistake students make is getting a tattoo done by someone who isn’t professional,” Jackson said. “We want to make [students] feel better about getting them done.”

The Meadows Center for Health Resources and UNT’s Student Health Advisory Committee partnered together for On the Brink of Ink. The Meadows Center for Health Resources wanted to inform students of the do’s and don’ts of tattoos and piercings. Image by: Ashley Gallegos.

Hannah Asis, the Meadows Center for Health Resources lead student programming assistant, has been working with the On the Brink of Ink seminar since last year.

“This is Denton and students like to express themselves,” Asis said. “We’re just trying to assess what the risk factors are for this. Stick and poke is very common in our culture today but it’s not the safest if they are not done by a licensed professional. A lot of people don’t check if the tattoo shop they’re going to is licensed.”

Denton is home to more than ten different tattoo and piercing shops, but many students make the mistake of assuming all of the businesses are practicing safe procedures on their customers.

“The whole intention of this event is to say, ‘If you’re a customer at a studio, then you are entitled to this information,’” Asis said. “We don’t want STI transmissions from improper needle use. You’re entitled to know these things so don’t feel awkward asking.”

While getting pierced by a piercing gun is common, people are often misled to believe piercing guns are the safest option.

“A lot of people think piercing guns are okay, including myself when I got my cartilage pierced, but it can disrupt the tissue and it can be dangerous,” Asis said. “We want students to be aware of common mistakes that cause unideal health issues.”

Kimberly Seals, a 21-year-old English technical communications senior, attended On the Brink of Ink, hoping to learn more about the potential risk factors of tattoos and piercings.

“I learned about some of the tattoo safety,” Seals said. “I have several tattoos and piercings, but I guess I wasn’t paying as close enough attention as I could have been.”

The UNT Meadows Center for Health Resources aims to provide students on campus with a comfortable space to ask questions about any health concerns or risks concerning tattoos and piercings they may have.

“My No. 1 tip is to do your research and take advantage of the resources we have at UNT to talk about these issues,” Asis said. “Make sure you talk to the tattoo artist before, look at [their] previous work, ask if any of their previous clients have had any complications and check the reputation of tattoo shops. Students need to feel like they have agency in this process.”

Featured Image: Junior Maribel Orzoco gives guests fake septum rings and temporary tattoos as they leave the On the Brink of Ink seminar. Image by: Ashley Gallegos.

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Katelyn Manfre

Katelyn Manfre

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