Tattoos Shop Opens Doors

Got ink?

Tattoos are remnant of an Old World tradition that has quickly become a worldwide trend. Considered by some to be a form of expressive epithelial art, others maintain the prevalence of stereotypes and negative connotations of tattoos. The decision to get “inked” is a choice with heavy consequences and lifelong permanence. But for San Diego State students who do decide to get tattooed, the opportunity for fresh ink is now mere steps away.

Opening at the heavily trafficked intersection of College Avenue and Montezuma Road, EC Tattoo II is gearing up to cater to any and all SDSU students’ body art needs — as long as you are at least 18 years old. The new tattoo and body piercing venue will offer affordable and professional work in a Health Department certified and sanitized atmosphere. The shop will also showcase the work of two veteran tattoo artists with a combined 18 years of tattooing experience.

Shop owner Ryan Ducharme opened his first studio, EC Tattoo, in El Cajon more than a year and a half ago. The shop is known for its affordable body piercing and jewelry. “We are the largest retailer of body jewelry in San Diego,” Ducharme said. He also vows to beat all competitors’ prices. “Almost all of our jewelry is $6.” EC Tattoo II is Ducharme’s second studio. He plans to eventually open five locations, expanding to Pacific Beach, North Park and Chula Vista. His decision to open the SDSU shop was, according to Ducharme, a natural progression, citing “all the students” and the ability for “word to get out quickly” as two major deciding factors.

The shop’s grand opening was last Friday. Throughout October and November, EC Tattoo II will be offering almost all body piercing at $20, as well as 25 percent off tattoos.

SDSU students have reacted to the news of a new conveniently located tattoo shop with resounding approval. “I have tattoos, I want more tattoos, I plan to get more tattoos,” media studies junior Trista Shidler said. Shidler did not mirror the possible negative opinions regarding the proximity of EC Tattoo II to SDSU. “I don’t think the proximity will influence people getting a tattoo,” she said. Public relations major Michael Zamudio commented that he is waiting to get his first tattoo, but said that “A lot of (his) friends are already talking about (the shop).”

Though at the time, getting a tattoo may seem like a fun way to memorialize a moment or an event, the permanence of it cannot be overlooked. Tattoos are a mark that lasts forever.

According to a CNN online news article, “The American Academy of Dermatology reports tattoo regret is common in the United States. Among a group of 18- to 50-year-olds surveyed in 2004, 24 percent reported having a tattoo and 17 percent of those considered getting their tattoo removed.” The only way to get rid of a tattoo is either to cover it up with a new tattoo, or to get it removed. According to the Tattoo Removal Institute, surgical options for tattoo removal include excision, dermabrasion, cryosurgery, chemical acid peels and the most common, laser therapy. Tattoo removal is exponentially more painful, expensive and time consuming than the actual application.

Another issue regarding tattoos and body piercing is disease transmission. Sanitation and sterilization are key factors in ensuring a safe experience. Possible communicable diseases associated with body modification are herpes, tetanus, staph, fungal infections, some forms of hepatitis and HIV. According to a study conducted by the Chief of Epidemiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Robert Haley, people with tattoos are nine times more likely to be infected with hepatitis C.
Several organizations have begun to work toward the solidification of tattoo and body piercing venue health standards and practices. The Alliance of Professional Tattooists offers seminars to educate artists on the importance of proper sanitation. “With increasing numbers of people voicing concern about the safety of tattooing, it is more important than ever to have accurate information on hand to help others understand the truth about HIV and hepatitis transmission,” the APT Web site states.

Despite the drawbacks, the city of San Diego is a current hotspot for the blossoming body art business. According to Yellow Book, an online business directory, there are more than 90 tattoo studios already in the county. Yet few can offer SDSU students the at-your-doorstep convenience of EC Tattoo II. For information on tattoos or body piercing call EC Tattoo II at (619) 229-8282.

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