An authentic tattoo sleeve is essentially any tattoo
that completely covers the skin of a whole extremity. Typically tattoo sleeves are done on the arms and
they can come in a variety of lengths. A full sleeve tattoo starts from the shoulder blade all the way down
to the wrist. A half sleeve is from the shoulder to the elbow, and a quarter sleeve is from the
elbow to the wrist.
It is not uncommon to find tattoo sleeves that began from
a single tattoo in the extremity and eventually grew into a full sleeve through accumulation of other
tattoos. Tattoo sleeves can either be a single design, typically something elongated such as a snake, a
dragon or a long tribal design, or they can be an amalgamation of individual tattoos covering
Real tattoos generally are invasive. This means that in order
for someone to have a tattoo, they need to go through the needle process where a needle is superficially
"inserted" to the skin to apply ink and design the tattoo. There has been some concern recently regarding
transmittable diseases (particularly Hepatitis-B and AIDS [HIV]) and tattoo shops. Just as in a dentist’s
office, as long as the area is strictly sanitized, your chances for infection will be greatly reduced.
Immunization against Hepatitis-B also reduces the risk particularly for those who intend to have more body
art done to them. Hep-B is a much more serious concern than HIV as the virus is much more virulent and easier
Tattoo removal is as equally tedious a process as the original
tattoo was to put on. Though it is uncommon for people who get tattoos to want them removed, lives change and
there are still many who grow to regret a tattoo because of what it symbolizes, because of inferior or old
art, or simply because they grew tired of it. Varying reasons are credited to removal of tattoos, from a
simple aesthetic appeal to health problems. Some also acknowledge maturity as a reason to remove their
tattoos, since they are commonly attributed to rash youth, short-term involvements (when you're young you
think everything is forever... then you grow older, things change, and YIKES - you still have the 'permanent
reminder' you now don't want!), and risky or bohemian lifestyles. Smaller tattoos are of course easier to
remove, but whole sleeves are a serious matter, involve a lot of time and pain, and show the scars of removal
that might look worse than the tattoo did.
Tattoo sleeves can look beautiful, but they are visible and
extreme body art and you'll want to be absolutely sure you'll still like them when you're 70, before
committing to them when you're 25.