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Tattoo FAQ

What do you do for sterilization?
We use disposable and metal tubes with Autoclave sterilization. Every shop in San Francisco is inspected by the health dept and must pass before opening. Our needles are one time use provided by the company Tatsoul who prepackages and pre-sterilizes them before shipping.

What is the hardest body part to Tattoo?
The stomach is the hardest place to work on. No matter how in shape the person is, it is the loosest skin. It moves really easy and is difficult to try and work on.

What is the most painful part of the body?
All tattoos are painful but in no particular order, sides and ribs, stomach, tops of feet, center chest, inner arm, and spine.


Can I drink before/during/after the tattoo?
We don’t recommend it. Drinking heavily 24 hours before getting a tattoo can cause your blood to thin causing you to bleed more making the pigment harder to stay in during the tattoo process. This makes the tattoo heal lighter and can be an inevitable touch up.

If you decide to party after getting your work just drink in moderation. Stay away from becoming blackout drunk.


I’m not 18 can I get tattoo with my parents consent?
No, not in the state of California, you need to be 18 or older with a Valid I.D. no matter what even with parent consent.


Can I take pain pills before I get worked on (Vicodin)?
Some pain pills are blood thinners and pills are for after pain not to help numb you. People have taken prescription pain pills right before and they reported it hurting worse than when they didn’t take anything. It’s best to have a good meal and lots of water before tattooing to help with pain.


Do you have anything to numb me before or can I buy it somewhere?
There are products out there that are numbing agents but since they are topical they take forever to set in and have to be placed on the skin for 30 minutes or more before getting the tattoo. Some products don’t really work unless the skin is broken so that defeats the whole purpose of using it anyway.


Can I go swimming or hot tubing after?
We don’t recommend it until your tattoo has done peeling. It can leach the ink out possibly leaving a scar. Chlorine will suck the ink out of your skin and leave a nasty white scar, ocean and lake water have a ton of bacteria that isn’t good for a large open wound. Stick to just showering and regular washing and you’ll be fine.


I have dark skin can I get a Tattoo?
Yes but with exceptions. Depending on how dark you are the tattoo might not show up. Skin isn’t a solid object that pigment floats on top of. The ink is getting trapped in between your skins pigment and under a translucent piece of tissue.

White will not show up on really dark skin and most light colors will not either. If you are really dark then sticking to black tattoos or black and gray wash tattoos might be the best option for you.


I’m pregnant can I get tattooed?
We and most other professional artists would strongly recommend waiting until after you have given birth and are done breast feeding. Tattoo pigment, even though found to be safe, is not FDA approved. Even though it is a mild experience, tattooing may cause injury or even in a rare case, might cause miscarriage.

When breast feeding the ink is absorbed into your skin and bloodstream which means it can be ingested by the baby.


I have an old/poorly done/gang tattoo, can I cover it?
Most tattoos can be successfully covered. The cheaper the materials used the easier it is to cover. The more professional the prior artist was the harder it is to cover.

Not all cover ups need to be covered in black, the darker it is the harder it is to cover. You need to use colors that will blend over easily and will hide the tattoo underneath.

You should always cover an old tattoo with one larger then the original. If you are going to use some of the old tattoo in the new piece, it all has to be re-inked to make it look the same. Running a pattern over the old tattoo is a good way of covering it. If you want to have bright large fill areas to cover, the old piece has to be well faded.

Every tattoo has to be approached differently. Sometimes it will look covered after you do it but then it will show up after the skin has peeled and will need another shot of color. Once you cover it there still might be a ghost image. Even if people can’t see it anymore (you) the client more than likely will, because you have lived with it so long that’s all you can see.

The one way to totally cover a tattoo IS with solid black. We try to avoid this at all costs that way the customer can have a descent tattoo instead of a piece of black they are going to hate just as much. This is a last case scenario.


I have an old tattoo I like but it’s old/wasn’t done right. Can you fix it up?
That’s not a problem, we take the original foundation and fix or redo what you had or wanted.


Can you tattoo over scars/ stretch marks?
You can cover both. It has to be done very carefully, A scar is tough skin but it tears and cuts very easily and isn’t as pliable anymore. Scars might not have any feeling on top but may be extra sensitive when the needle penetrates. Thin old scars are easier to cover. Thick or rough scars (road rash, burns) either pale pink or gray are very hard to cover and you might notice the scar underneath the tattoo. You might have to decide if getting a tattoo would be better then the scar itself.

Stretch marks are from excessive weight gain. Usually from pregnancy. The milder the stretch mark the easier it is to cover. The deeper the stretch mark the harder it is to cover. The ink may look a little weird or wavy over the stretched area.


I have acne can I get tattooed?
We don’t recommend getting worked on anyplace that has acne. If you have a blemish in an area that is going to be worked on it has to be avoided. A pimple makes a pocket of fluid. If the needle hits it, that pocket will be charged full of ink and cause a big dot that, when healed, is permanent.

If a person has severe sebaceous acne, a tattoo needs to be avoided altogether. You need to go to a dermatologist to have it cleared up before getting a tattoo.


I have a tattoo on my hip/stomach will it stretch out if I have a baby?
Tattoos around the navel can stretch out and any fast weight gain in a short time will cause the tattoo to distort. Under the belly or on the hips tend to stay normal. If there is excessive weight gain then any tattoo might distort or seem lighter.


What is red reaction?
Red reaction is the allergic reaction to red pigment in inks. It tends to happen most to people who are allergic to shellfish or Iodine. It doesn’t matter what brand if a person reacts to one red then it is most likely to happen in other brands of inks. In lesser extent people have a reaction to yellow but that is rare.

What it looks like is the red ink gets puffy and swollen and tends to be sore. It happens only to the red ink leaving the rest of the tattoo alone and in tact. Their isn’t even a fever associated with it just a swelling and usually a sever loss of ink and the red usually having to be replaced with another color.


I have Diabetes can I get a tattoo?
Yes you can, but you need to be extra careful when getting tattoos on lower extremities like calves and feet. People with Diabetes sometimes suffer from poor circulation. This can cause poor or long healing times. It may cause infections and in some cases injuries on the legs of diabetics had to be amputated.

Consult your physician before getting a tattoo if you are a severe diabetic

Our Staff 

Mario Delgado

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Mario is very detailed oriented and spends extra time on his tattoos to give them depth and substance.

He uses subtle shading and coloring to achieve unique non-traditional tattoos.

Mario has a diverse portfolio of different tattoo styles, including illustrative, realism, portraits, cover-ups, and re-works.

He will try his best to reach a happy medium between his artistic suggestion and your original idea.

Contact Mario here to set up a free Zoom consultation.

Rigers Hamza

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Originally from Tirana,Albania, where he received his education from University of Fine Arts,Tirana,Albania, Rigers H Strange, has spent most of his 6 years tattooing, traveling to various places in Eurpoe and the US.


Most recently, Rigers did some guest spotting at shops on the East coast, but has decided to bring his talents to Moth & Dagger.

Rigers enjoys taking inspiration from the Medieval and Victorian era in his work. Other styles of his include portraits, realism, and gothic, and tattoos in mostly black and gray with very limited color.

Contact Rigers here to set up a free Zoom consultation!

Sheena Wood

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Sheena  spent 4 years at Academy of Art University earning her BFA in Illustration. As she started getting tattooed and became more familiar with the environment what began as an interest in tattooing grew into a love for the art form and impact it had. 


Being tattooed helped her feel more comfortable with herself and with what she loved doing. She hopes to be able to bring that sense of comfort and self love to anyone who comes into Moth & Dagger.

Click here to make your appointment with her!

April Delgado

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After working for years  at multiple start-ups, April decided to bring her business acumen to Moth & Dagger. April heads up the business operations so our artists can focus on creating the perfect piece for their client.

As owners of the shop,April and Mario work together to ensure that each client is 100% satisfied.

Please contact her here if you have any questions or would like to schedule your free consultation.


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