From bacterial infections to hepatitis, why you should think twice before getting inked up
Tattoos in America didn’t go mainstream until the 1970s, but in the half century since their popularity has soared across genders, economic classes and age groups.
Yet despite advances in technology, ink and application techniques, tattoos continue to pose real health risks. The question to ask is, does the danger outweigh the desire for personal expression through body art? In many cases, the answer is yes.
Although all tattoo parlors must follow rules set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), there are still plenty of unlicensed tattoo parlors across the United States. Know what you’re getting into before you walk through the parlor door.
The long-term effects of tattoo ink on the skin and body are not fully understood. No government regulatory agency has studied the safety of tattoo ink. Many varieties of ink have been approved for use in cosmetics, although the long-term effects of injecting them beneath the skin are unclear. So there’s the risk of unknown troubles potentially in the years to come.
Of more immediate concern, that dazzling illustration on your skin can potentially cause one or more adverse reactions much sooner rather than later:
Infection is the most likely consequence of getting a tattoo. An infection may develop immediately or it may take weeks, even months before symptoms develop around the tattoo.
Right after receiving a fresh tattoo, it’s normal to notice some redness and swelling. You’ll feel sore. During the healing process the skin may flake and begin to itch.
When an infection develops, you’ll notice a different reaction. First, the skin produces a dark redness and pain that gets worse if untreated. Serious infections cause fever, chills and the formation of pus around the infected area. Rashes and painful bumps are also signs of a problem.
Left untreated, there’s a serious risk of spreading bacterial infection (sepsis) that can become life threatening.
Whether a severe allergy or serious infection, if you notice a change in the skin above and around your tattoo and you experience one or more of the following…
…Seek immediate medical attention. Your dermatologist will be able to diagnose the problem and advise on a course of treatment.
Celebrate the natural beauty of your body. Just know the risks if you choose to illustrate it as well.
If you want to be proactive about your skin or if you have concerns about a tattoo or any skin condition – and you need dependable answers fast – you don’t have to wonder, worry or wait. Walk-in Dermatology is here to keep you healthy. Our team of board-certified dermatologists and experienced medical staff will address your concerns and provide the necessary care for all your skin conditions. You can also schedule an appointment with us online.
If you can’t make it to one of our offices, we can set up a Video Visit and even prescribe medications remotely. Contact us today (516) 621-1982.