Tattoo Influence and Teens

Kids these days are growing up faster than ever. Cell phones are amongst the most popular accessories of kids as young as ten. But currently, cell phones aren’t the accessory that’s stressing out more and more parents, while tattoos are. Tattoos are being found on more and more teens. Why the obsession with tattoos at such a young age? From Mattel’s, Totally Stylin’ Tattoo Barbie, which may influence children as young as 5, to the newest temporary tattoos, to the most popular celebrity teens flaunting their new ink to our young generation, tattoos are seen everywhere and amongst all age groups of children. One state even started a new law as recent as July 1, 2010 because of the number of teens going to tattoo parlors to be inked.

In 2009, Mattel launched a new Totally Stylin’ Tattoo Barbie. The doll came with temporary tattoos for both the doll and child. It also included a tattoo gun in which the tattoos were to be applied. Many parents were outraged, but others saw the new doll as a sign of the times. Mattel kept the Barbie on the shelf due to the number of sales. Mattel believes the Tattoo Barbie gives young girls a chance to express them selves. Many parents like the idea of their children expressing themselves, but believe it can be in a different form than tattoos, especially the heart tattoo bearing Ken’s name. Tattoos of significant others is the most regretted tattoo later in life. The argument continues on whether these dolls influence children on getting tattoos.

Another large influence on teens and tattoos is the amount of teen celebrities donning their ink. Just last year, at the Teen Choice Awards, which as the name implies, has an audience of mostly 11-17 year olds, a Jonas Brother, a heartthrob amongst young girls, was tattooed on stage by none other than celebrity tattoo artist, Kat Von D. It wasn’t revealed to the viewers at the show or at home that the tattoo was not real. Many parents were again outraged.

While the Jonas Brother tattoo was not real, many teen celebrities do have real tattoos. But not only do they have tattoos, they love to show them off. Of course, the media loves to show and point out celebrity tattoos as well. Justin Bieber, only 16 years old, already has his first tattoo. His family was fully supportive of him getting a tattoo at such a young age. They actually went on to explain the bird tattoo that Justin got was a family tradition. The other family members with the bird tattoo had them inked on their wrists while Justin opted for the lower side of his stomach. Miley Cyrus, 17 years old, already has at least two tattoos. Miley’s family was also completely supportive of her decision to be tattooed before she turned eighteen. Miley was actually with her father who was getting a tattoo when she decided to have “love” tattooed on her ear.

The tattooing of teens is such a large issue that some states have decided to ban tattooing minors under any circumstances. Many states let teens get tattooed with parental consent. However, in Minnesota, starting July 1, 2010, teens will no longer be able to get a tattoo even with parent permission. Minnesota believes that this new law will prevent those teens that feel the need to express them selves through a tattoo without thinking of the later consequences in life that tattoo might bear. Minnesota does not dislike tattoos but the state does believe that a person should be an adult when making the decision to get a tattoo.

Whether influence from a doll, teen celebrity, or another factor, tattoos are on the rise amongst today’s teens. Many teens believe that a tattoo expresses who they are, but they often get tattoos without thinking of the lifelong consequences. Many teens see getting a tattoo as a step in growing up. States like Minnesota agree that tattooing is a decision for an adult to make therefore passing a law stating so. Teens are so easily influenced by their peers and celebrities and the number of teens with tattoos is continuing to increase.

Greyhound Ear Tattoo Meaning

Ever wonder what the tattoos mean and why they tattoo your greyhounds ears? All greyhounds who are racers must have this done and be registered with the NGA (National Greyhound Association). They are usually tattooed between the ages of 2-1/2 to 3 months old. The actual tattoo for each puppy must be on a “Litter Registration” form and turned in to the NGA by the end of 3 months. The NGA then assigns a new litter registration number with each new litter.

The left ear tattoo is the litter registration number.

The right ear tattoo is a combination of letters and numbers that identify that particular dog. On the right ear, looking from the rear of the dog to its nose, the first number is the month in which the dog was born (2=February, 11=November, etc.). The second number is the last digit of the year the dog was born (1=2001, 3=2003, etc.). A letter then follows that identifies with how many dogs are in the litter. So for example, if there are 5 puppies in the letter, one puppy would have the letter A, another would have the letter B, another C, another D, and the last one E. Different breeders have different methods of picking who gets tattooed first, second, last. Some choose it on personalities of the dog, others I have heard as to which was born first, second, last.

The tattoos on your greyhound, however, are useful after you have adopted your greyhound in being able to check where he raced, ancestry, and litter mates. You can find this information at It is a lot of fun and very interesting to see where your greyhound came from.

Tattoo Aftercare: 7 Essential Procedures

Firstly, always listen to the advice given to you by your tattoo artist for your tattoo aftercare. Make sure you ask what the aftercare procedures are throughout the whole healing process for your tattoo.


Normally the tattoo artist will apply some ointment and wrap-up the tattooed area before you leave the parlour, to help prevent infection of the tattoo. Infection can be caused by dirty hands, dirty clothes and any airborne bacteria that are allowed to reach the raw area. There are two trains of thought between tattoo artists when wrapping up the tattoo.

  1. The artist uses gauze which allows the tattoo to breathe which is essential to the healing process. However, as fresh tattoos weep blood and lymph fluids this may seep through the gauze and onto your clothes. Also sometimes the gauze gets stuck to the tattoo so when you take off the gauze you may need to apply a cold damp (watered) sponge to soften the area before removal, so none of the tattoo colour is taken-off.
  2. The artist uses cling film/wrap which keeps the blood and fluid from seeping onto your clothes and doesn’t stick to the tattoo. The downside is that tattoos need to breath so you should only leave the cling/film wrap on for no longer than 2 hours. If body sweat occurs under the cling film/wrap this will cause bacteria to develop and lead to infection of the tattoo.


Upon removal of the wrap, take a shower and wash the tattooed area with warm water and a non-fragrant antibacterial or antimicrobial soap like Provon. Only use your fingers to gently wash away ointment, blood and fluids and do not use a wash cloth. Wash cloths are too harsh for the wound and could cause bleeding of the ink. Pat dry the area (do not rub) with a paper towel or clean towel.


For 3 to 5 days, twice daily, apply an antibacterial healing ointment such as Bepanthen or a vitamin A and D rich cream. Don’t use Vaseline, lanolin, alcohol, calamine lotion or Neosporin, which can cause red bumps that can remove the ink in your tattoo. Basically only use ointments that are fragrant free and have no chemicals that can harm your tattoo. When applying the ointment, only a thin layer is required, it should leave the tattoo moist but not mushy, so wait 10 minutes to allow the ointment to soak into the skin and wipe off any excess ointment. You want the tattoo to be moist but also to breathe to help prevent too much scabbing of the skin.


Wear loose fitting clothes that won’t rub against the tattoo. Tight fitting clothes may remove the protective skin layer over the tattoo which will increase healing time and could remove colour from the tattoo and possibly cause infections. New clothes should be washed first before use as many new clothes have toxic chemicals contained in them and a can also have a surplus of dye.


After the 5th day you should be moisturising the tattoo for approximately 2 weeks. A suggestion would be to use Keri or Vaseline Intensive Care cream. Don’t re-bandage the tattoo, as the bandage could stick to the tattoo upon removal and also remove ink from the tattoo. If it is necessary to re-bandage because of your work environment seek advice from your tattoo artist.

Sun and Water

The first 3 to 4 weeks is a crucial time to maintain the look and longevity of your tattoo. Keep your tattoo away from direct sunlight as it causes fading. It only takes approximately 3 minutes to get your tattoo sunburnt as the skin is so sensitive. After the tattoo is totally healed and you venture out into the direct sunlight always apply 30SPF sun block to ensure the tattoo does not fade. Don’t “water log” your tattoo – no swimming in salt water, pools, spas, hot tubs or allowing your tattoo to be pounded by water in the shower.

Scabbing and Peeling

From about day 3 to 10, your tattoo may scab or peel. Apply a warm moist compress to the scab for 5 minutes, 2-3 times a day, to soften the scab and allow it to fall off on its own accord. Don’t pick the scab. Only use moisturiser to peeling skin and not scabs, let scabs dry. If the scab is itchy leave it, do not pick it! Slap the area to control the itchiness with your hand instead.