The 2016 Harris Poll confirms that 1 out of 4 people who got inked has regrets about their tattoos. Considering that there are approximately 60 million people aged 18 to 35 years old and the statistics show that half of this age group have tattoos, a remarkable 7.5 million people regret having themselves inked in the first place. And, regret has to do with the risks they have developed.
Tattooing is a process wherein needle is inserted into your skin, leaving it dyed. Permanent granules are being implanted under the skin and complications may arise if the instruments used are not sterilized or the process is incorrectly done. Complications also happen when the tattoo artist fails to remind the person of the pre- and post-tattoo measures, like testing for allergies and avoiding dirty water exposure. If you wish to get inked for aesthetic purposes, for conformity to social pressure, or for whatever purpose, here are the risks you should be aware of:
Possibility of Getting the Big C
You can have a healthy lifestyle if you wish to, but with a poorly done tattoo, you are still at a high risk of getting cancer. This is because there are tattoo inks that contain carcinogenic substances. Approximately 1 in every 5 inks tested are positive with cancer-causing substances. Furthermore, the danger is aggravated by the findings of the study sponsored by the Australian government, confirming the numerous inks used by tattoo artists that are noncompliant to the international health standards for ink content.
Apart from this, tattoos can also cover up moles or other skin problems which can be cancerous. Suspicious moles can turn out to be melanoma and when this tiny skin growth camouflages with your tattoo color, then the diagnosis and treatment can become a problem. Remember that any delay in detecting the problem is highly consequential.
Allergies that Only Get Worse
It is not uncommon to hear people experiencing allergic reactions to tattoos. The manifestations may not be immediate, though. They can appear later on (maybe even a year later) and already it’s too late or the condition has become worse. Soreness, itchiness, or bumps are some of the symptoms experienced by people who have sensitive skin. Some experience fever which should not be taken lightly, especially when you know you have recently been inked. It is best to consult a physician right away.
According to a journal article, the classic pigments and degradation products (e.g., cobalt, mercury salt, cadmium, and dichromate) are what normally cause the allergic reactions which cannot be easily treated with antiseptic creams. In one case, the skin growth even had to be surgically removed to stop the worsening of the allergic reaction. Again, an immediate visit to the doctor can help save your life.
Skin infection is the most common complication in tattooing. In the piercing process alone, you are already at a high risk of contaminating bacterial infections, including those caused by staphylococcus and streptococcus groups. Types of infection vary to include impetigo, toxic shock syndrome, syphilis, and even leprosy.
Infections may not be directly caused by the tattoo process but by the environmental contaminants that get into the skin after. Remember that the tattooed skin is still open even days or weeks later, and thus you are to avoid swimming in public pools in order to avoid complications. Other precautionary measures may also be needed like covering the tattooed parts.
It is possible for a person to acquire infectious diseases when they get a tattoo. Apart from the open pores, bacteria can gain entry into the system through blood transfer. This is common in unlicensed tattoo shops as their hygiene practices often fall below the standards. They also do not exercise precautionary measures in verifying the medical history of their customers. Among the serious diseases that can be transferred from one tattooed person to another are: tuberculosis, tetanus, hepatitis, and even HIV. You are safer when you choose professional and licensed tattoo clinics.
Hypersensitive skin can manifest scarring or irritation in response to body piercing that may take time before healing. Even worse, some may have granulomas or inflamed nodes or tissues around the tattooed skin. They commonly occur when the immune system is compromised and the body is unable to fend off the foreign substances, such as dye.
Indeed, tattooing is not to be taken lightly. The risks involved can be fatal or debilitating. Even the other body parts, such as the liver or lymph nodes, are indirectly affected. But if getting inked cannot entirely be avoided, you should do it in a professional tattoo clinic at the very least.