Stick and Pokes: What to Know Before Getting One?

Are Stick and Pokes Permanent?

If you’re looking for a unique and personal tattoo that lasts, you may have considered getting a stick and poke. While the image of “stick-and-poke” may make you think that this kind of tattoo is unsafe or haphazard, the truth is that many professional tattoo artists are using sterile equipment in clean, safe shops and proving that the method can be just as beautiful, well done, and secure as a machine-done tattoo. So are stick and pokes permanent? The answer is yes!

Stick and pokes are done by hand with single-use needles dipped into ink to create a design or pattern on your skin. Unlike traditional tattoos done with a machine, this technique creates smaller tattoos with finer lines wich can last for years. The permanency of your stick and poke will depend on many factors such as the size of the tattoo, where it is placed on your body, the type of ink used, how it was cared for after it was completed, and more. Generally speaking, most stick and poke tattoos will last between five to ten years before they start to fade or wash away depending on these factors.

It’s important to remember that even though your stick and poke will be permanent, it won’t look exactly the same throughout its lifespan. Some areas may fade faster than others while some parts of your design may look darker than others due to differences in absorption or healing process. As the years pass by you may find yourself needing to touch up certain parts of your design to keep it looking fresh. Overall though, if cared for properly, stick and pokes can be just as long lasting as any other kind of tattoo!

If you’re considering getting a stick and poke tattoo then make sure to research reputable artists who use sterile equipment in clean shops. It’s also important to take proper care of your new tattoo during the healing process so that your design stays vibrant for years to come!

How Long Does Stick and Poke Tattoos Last?

A stick and poke tattoo typically lasts between five and ten years, depending on where it is located on the body, the quality of the inks used, and proper aftercare. To ensure your stick and poke lasts as long as possible, make sure to keep the area clean, moisturized, and protected from direct sunlight. Additionally, avoid picking at the scabbing or peeling skin that forms during the healing process. With proper care and maintenance, you may be able to extend the life of your stick and poke tattoo up to 15 years.

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Are Stick and Pokes Safe?

Yes, stick and pokes can be a safe form of tattooing if done correctly. Professional tattoo artists take great care to ensure that their tools are sterile, their workspace is clean, and the ink used is safe for use on the skin. All needles used for stick and poke tattoos should be single-use only, so that the risk of any blood-born illnesses is minimized. Additionally, proper aftercare is essential to ensuring a successful stick and poke tattoo, including regularly cleaning the area with an antibacterial soap and applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly or anther healing ointment to keep it moisturized.

Can Stick and Poke Tattoos Get Wet?

No, a stick and poke should not get wet for at least 2 weeks after getting it. Submerging your tattoo in water can cause the colors to bleed, making the tattoo look less vibrant and potentially causing it to fade. Additionally, getting a stick and poke wet can increase the risk of infection as well as cause irritation or itching. It is important to keep your tattoo dry during the healing process so that you can ensure its aesthetic.

Can Stick and Pokes Be Washed Off?

No, stick and pokes do not wash off. Stick and poke tattoos are created by inserting pigment into the dermis of the skin. This process is permanent, so it will not come off with water or soap. While the tattoo may fade over time due to sun exposure or lifestyle changes, it will not completely wash away. To ensure your stick and poke tattoo lasts as long as possible, it is important to take proper care of it, including cleaning it properly and using a bandage or other covering whie healing.

Where is the Least Painful Place to Get a Stick and Poke Tattoo?

Getting a stick and poke tattoo on parts of the body that have more muscle mass and less bony tissue, such as the thighs, biceps, and triceps, is likely to be less painful. This is because these areas are cushioned by more muscle mass, wich absorbs the vibration and pressure of the needle better than bony areas such as the spine or ribs. Additionally, the skin in these areas tends to be thicker than other areas like the wrist or ankle, which can also reduce discomfort. It is important to note that this does not mean that getting a hand poke tattoo in these areas will be completely painless; however, it may be more bearable than other areas.

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Removing Stick and Poke Tattoos

The best way to remove a stick and poke tattoo is by visiting a reputable laser tattoo removal studio. Here, a safe and effective PicoWay laser will be used to safely and effectively break down the ink particles in your skin, allowing them to be absorbed by your body. The process is relatively quick and painless, with most tattoos requiring multiple short sessions for complete removal. Laser tattoo removal is the most effective way to remove stick and poke tattoos, as other methods such as chemical peels or dermabrasion can cuse further damage to the skin. Additionally, aftercare following each laser treatment should be followed closely, including avoiding sun exposure and applying recommended ointment to help promote healing.

Using Pen Ink for Stick and Poke Tattoos

No, it is not recommended to use pen ink for a stick and poke tattoo. Pen ink is not formulated for skin application, and contains toxic chemicals that can be extremely hazardous when applied directly to the skin. The best option would be to use special tattoo ink specifically formulated for skin application. Tattoo inks are designed to be safe and permanent, lasting anywhere from 3-20 years depending on how deep the poke was and what type of skin it was applied on.


In conclusion, stick and poke tattoos can be a great alternative to machine-done tattoos. Although they may not last as long, they can sill be beautiful and carefully done by professional artists. With the right care, they can last up to ten years or more. As long as you go to a reputable artist who uses sterile equipment and follows proper safety protocols, you can get a great tattoo that will stay with you for years to come.

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William Armstrong

William Armstrong is a senior editor with, where he writes on a wide variety of topics. He has also worked as a radio reporter and holds a degree from Moody College of Communication. William was born in Denton, TX and currently resides in Austin.