Archive for the ‘FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions…….)’ Category

There’s a growing trend of people getting tattooed overseas. Here are some reasons why this may be a bad idea:

  • Popular holiday destinations are often classified as “third world countries”, the industry isn’t as regulated overseas and the health standards are much lower than countries like Australia. Queensland also has higher standards than other states in Australia. 
  • There’s a higher risk of infection due to other overseas holiday destinations being more humid, so you will sweat a lot more, which will affect the healing of your tattoo.
  • Air-borne diseases.
  • Quality in the water, eg showering.
  • Also, with any tattoo. You can’t go in the sun or swimming. Who wants to go on a holiday and be confined to their hotel room?
  • Most tattoos will need touch-ups.  It’s difficult to get your tattoo touched up from where you originally got it, because more than likely, when you are ready for your touch up, you will be back home. Of course, you can go to a studio here to get your overseas tat touched up, but they will charge you a minimum fee of $80. We offer touch ups for free if we did the ink 🙂
  • Some areas of the body we don’t recommend getting tattooed, in fact, we don’t tattoo the wrinkly side (very bottom) of the foot OR underneath the foot. Overseas tattoo artists won’t care and will tattoo you anyway. Which is pointless and a waste of your money. But they don’t care.

In saying all of this, you will find a couple of good tattoo artists overseas. You just have to find a reputable studio that is clean and hygienic and look after your fresh ink properly.


This is really a matter of personal preference but here are some ideas that may possibly help you in making the decision……..

  • Pain Factor
    We get asked a lot, where does it hurt the most?
    There’s no right or wrong answer to this, but based on opinions we’ve heard over the years, here are some ideas:Most Painful Areas:
    Abdomen, Spine, Chest, Ribcage, Foot & AnkleLess Painful Areas:
    Buttocks, Arm, Back, Thigh, Shoulder
  • Your Career /Lifestyle
    While tattoos are much more accepted and main-stream then ever before in most professions, some employers and clients still aren’t as accepting as others.
    While employers can’t fire you because of your choice or placement of ink, before putting your tattoo in a visible area, some may want to consider how it may affect those around them.

Our blogs relating to this :
Social Stigma, Public Misconception & Popularity of Tattoos:

Timeline of the Social Stigma of Tattoo

Basic answer, now! While the weather is cool!

In the cooler months (eg winter) your skin has less exposure to the elements. The less exposure, the better it is for your tattoo !

Sweat can aggravate a new tattoo and so can the sun & salt water. In summer you’re more likely to wear lesser clothing, want to be outside in the sun, go to the beach and there’s more music festivals to be attended ! During winter your skin isn’t as exposed to these elements as much because more than likely you’re going to be more covered up and stay inside;  your tattoo can heal much quicker and with a lesser chance of infection.

During the healing process, your tattoo will go through the “ugly” stages; scabbing & peeling. If you get your tattoo in the cooler months, it will be covered up and by the time summer comes, your tattoo will be completely healed and ready to be shown off!!!! 🙂

Waiting time is another reason. Most people want to get a tattoo in summer because the idea is there and they want to show it off, so winter time is more than likely going to be less busy !

Here’s a list of common questions we are asked.

Q: Is getting a tattoo safe?
Of course they are. As long as you go to a reputable studio that is Health Department Approved. Queensland holds some of the worlds most strict laws relating to tattooing.

Q: Do tattoos hurt?
A: Everyone has different pain thresholds. But yes, it does hurt. Some people liken it to a “hot scratching feeling” or a burn.
 The beauty of the tattoo and the pride associated with it outweighs the little pin-pricks here and there. Remember.. No pain no gain!
For more on this please see our blog: Tattoos hurt! But here are some ways to make it less painful (


Q: How much do tattoos cost?
A: You get what you pay for. Yeah, there are plenty of people out there that will ink you at a cheap price, but you’ll be crying to us sooner or later to have it covered up. It’s also known that some tattoo studios also charge more depending on their rent (Eg Brisbane CBD or Gold Coast areas); this doesn’t necessarily mean they will be better though.  NEVER haggle over the price of a tattoo, it is extremely disrespectful to the tattoo artist. The base price of any tattoo is $80, even if it’s a 1 cm line. All of our artists charge out at $150 per hour. But the price depends on the actual art work, the size, the time it will take to complete & also the detail.

Q: Should I tip my artist?
A: Tipping is a really nice gesture. We won’t say no 🙂

Q: What should I get, and where?
A: This is all up to you. You can choose what you want and to have it where you want it.You can choose a design off the internet, off our wall, out of one of our books, or of course we can create a custom piece for you… After all, we are called Custom Skins Tattoo!!

Q: Is it ok to get a tattoo if I’m sick?
A: Getting inked while your immune system isn’t 100% isn’t really a good idea. You need your strength and your white blood cells to heal your tattoo.

Q: Is it ok to get a tattoo if I’m drunk or hung over?
A: NO! Alcohol thins your blood, so you bleed worse.  Because you bleed, the ink won’t stay in your skin and will be more than likely fade a lot quicker. You are also more likely to overheat and/or faint and alcohol intensified the effects of pain.

Q: My friend just bought a tattoo kid and wants to practice on me.. Should I ? It’s free?
A: NO! Your friend could be putting both of your lives in danger. They need a proper apprenticeship, the tattoo also needs to be done in a STERILE environment, which they more than likely haven’t learnt yet. They can start practicing on you when their mentor/master feels they are ready. For more info on this, see the following article from the Pro Tat Guide ( — Getting a tattoo at a mate’s place tonight? Please read this first.)

Q: Can I get a tattoo while pregnant ?
A:  Once you leave the shop, you are left with a large open wound, and many people make bad decisions and don’t care for their tattoo the way they should, and it can become infected. Even if you do care for it well, you are still at risk for infection by going out in public. 

Why put your baby at risk by being tattooed? What’s more important, the baby or the ink? We have consent forms every new client must read, fill in and sign. One of the questions is are you nursing or pregnant. If you answer yes, we will not tattoo you!!

Q: Can I get tattooed over a scar?
A: Yes, you can.

Andy “Fang” – Tattooist


James “Jimmy” – Tattooist


Brett “Brett~O” – Tattooist


Lauren “Lolly” – Apprentice tattooist & Receptionist

(Please note, the following is from the Protat Aftercare guide. We, at Custom Skins Tattoo (AKA Gabba Tattoo) use, sell and recommend Protat Aftercare! MADE, AUSTRALIAN OWNED- Just like us!)

Your skin art has been hygienically applied with sterile equipment. To preserve a fresh unfaded result, it is essential to avoid infection during the healing period. Always wash your hands before applying cream or touching the new tattoo.Your new tattoo will take from 5 to 10 days to heal, the healing time is related to the amount of physical damage to the skin and moisture in the area. The skin must be moisturised and protected from the damaging UV rays of the sun.

After your skin art has been hygienically applied your artist will cover with a dressing to protect the artwork until you get home. It is at this point that the initiation of scab formation occurs. Under the dressing, the weeping tattoo allows blood platelets to begin collecting on the surface of the skin. To prevent further formation of a scab it is necessary to remove the blood platelets. Remove the dressing and wash the fresh tattoo ( within 1 hour preferred) in warm running water(shower)using Protat Tattoo Cleansing Foam. DO NOT use bar soap as it can contaminate and dry the fresh tattoo. Using Anti Bacterial soap is not recommended as the tattoo applied by a Professional Artist is done so using clean and aseptic techniques to avoid the introduction of ‘nasty’ bacteria. The skin has a natural, friendly population of bacteria that actually help to protect the surface of the wound. Therefore, the use of an anti-bacterial product could kill any nasty bacteria if they were present, but it would also greatly reduce the natural bacteria population and leave the skin with out its primary defence mechanism. After washing rinse thoroughly. DO NOT USE a wash cloth or sponge. Pat dry. DO NOT RUB OR SCRATCH. Use Protat Tattoo Cleansing Foam once or twice a day until the tattooed skin heals. After drying wait 40-60 minutes to allow excess water in the tattoo to evaporate and inflammation to subside.

Apply Protat Aftercare Cream (Protat Premium Cream for normal skin or Protat Soothing Cream for sensitive skin) Always wash your hands before applying cream or touching the tattoo. Evenly apply cream over the tattooed skin. Use only as much cream as the skin will absorb. Rub cream in gently as this will help stimulate the skin and bring blood flow to the area which helps in the body’s natural healing process. DO NOT leave a thick film on the surface. Most people experience a mild tingling sensation after the first few applications, this is quite normal. After 10 minutes or so, clothing will not stick to the tattoo. Apply cream 2 to 3 times a day or as necessary to keep the tattoo slightly moist. DO NOT allow the skin to dry out. Wear clean clothes. Avoid close fitting clothes as they may absorb cream and dry the freshly tattooed skin. If you suffer from any allergies, seek advice from your GP and advise your body artist. Discontinue use of any product should irritation occur.

During the healing period:
Sunbathing. Chlorine. Soaking in a bath. Unwashed clothes. Touching with unwashed hands. Scratching. Salt Water. Oral Contact. Swimming.

Most Tattooists will shave the area before tattooing to apply the stencil. Hair is on our body to protect our skin and on its removal the body’s protective system sends fluid to the area. Where shaving has been done against the grain of hair, it can cause shaving rash and ingrown hairs which can cause little white heads.To avoid this it is recommended, 3 to 7 days before being tattooed, to shave every day, shaving with the grain, the area you want tattooed plus 2 inches or 50mm around it. This will help the skin to be over any rash that may have appeared and to be ready to concentrate on the healing of the tattoo.

When your body art is fully healed apply Protat Moisturising Cream regularly to rejuvenate and hydrate the skin and retain the quality of the artwork.Protat Moisturising Cream can be used over the entire body.

Use Protat SPF 30+ broad spectrum Sunscreen whenever you expose your body to the sun. Regular use can aid in the prevention of premature skin ageing, pigment fading and skin cancer.

These products have been formulated especially for, and in the long term interest of, the tattoo Enthusiast. On going supplies of Protat Moisturiser and Protat SPF 30+ Sunscreen are available at your professional Tattoo Studio. Protat Products are for external use only.

If someone tells you that their tattoo didn’t hurt.. They’re full of it!

But there are ways to minimize the pain involved. Here are some tips that will help you deal with the pain.
1. Never show up for your appointment on drugs or drunk. This will make your blood thin, causing you to bleed more.
2. Choose a tattoo artist that you are comfortable around. If you have confidence in your artist it will make the process much easier for everyone involved.
3. Show up at the studio excited about your new ink!!!  Tattoos take time- quality work is an art – and should never be rushed.
4. If the pain becomes too much for you to bear, you should let your tattoo artist know immediately. He/she will allow you to take a break, or stop and come back later. You can always break up your sessions, as tattoos don’t need to be finished immediately.
5. Keep yourself occupied while getting your tattoo!! Talk to the artist (but don’t distract him too much!), listen to music, play a game, read a magazine or read our blog (hehe). This way, you are focusing on something other than the tattoo.