5 risks you should know of before getting a tattoo

That ink may look absolutely gorgeous on your naked flesh, but you still need to be careful.

Dipannita Saha Dipannita Saha Sep 13, 2017
Tattoos are awesome, terms and conditions applied. Photo Courtesy: Flickr/KelvynSkee


Tattoos have been around for ages and in the 21st century, it has become one of the ways of self expressions. After all, the human body is like a blank canvas and the ink looks amazing on naked flesh. And there are so many designs to choose from--a butterfly, a quote, tribal designs and so on. You think of a design and it can be etched on to your skin forever.

However, there are various risks involved in getting yourself inked. No, we are not talking about the embarrassment that comes with a typo in your tattoo or a tattoo with your ex's name. We are talking about serious health risks that you put yourself at when you decide to let that needle prick your skin.

Here are five risks you should be wary of if you are thinking of getting a tattoo.

Getting A Tattoo Can Be Detrimental To Your Immune System

No, we are not making it up. A permanent tattoo can be actually harmful for your body's immunity--we are not saying it, science is. According to a study by European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Germany, permanent tattoos can cause  chronic enlargement of the lymph nodes, which are an important part of your immune system.

The researchers said that toxic impurities that make up the ink used for tattoos can travel inside the body in the form of nanoparticles and affect the lymph nodes. So what happens when your lymph nodes swell up? Well, when your lymph nodes enlarge, it makes it harder for your body to fight infections, which can lead to various diseases. Also, one of the major chemicals in tattoo inks, titanium dioxide, has been associated with delayed healing, itching and skin irritation.

You Can Have Chronic Health Problems Because Of Your Tattoo

Did you know one in 10 people suffer health problems after getting a tattoo? In fact, a study conducted by New York University's department of dermatology found that tattoos cause many people to suffer long term skin issues, leaving them in pain and enduring emotional distress. Researchers said that in worst cases, people faced scar tissue build ups or nasty skin lesions which required the whole tattoo to be surgically removed.

Photo Courtesy: Pinterest/MyModernMet Photo Courtesy: Pinterest/MyModernMet

The Ink Used In Your Tattoo Can Be Toxic And Have Carcinogens

"Not all tattoo inks are of high quality, making them toxic or even carcinogenic. In a  2012 Danish Environmental Protection Agency, it was found that  one in five tattoo inks contained carcinogenic chemicals, and a vast majority of the inks tested did not comply with international health safety standards for ink composition. Even more concerning is the fact that carcinogens were identified in 83 percent of black inks - by far the most popular colour for tattoos.

Tattoos Can Led To Errors In Medical Treatment

Yes, as hard it is to believe the truth is that tattoos can lead to errors in medical treatment. Wonder how? Well, metal-based ink tattoos can react with magnetic resonance imaging studies. Various studies have found that patients can suffer MRI-induced burns in their because of iron compounds in tattoo pigments.

In fact, a 2015 report in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology detailed the case of a young woman with cervical cancer which doctors believed had spread to her lymph nodes. After surgery to remove the nodes, they discovered that what appeared to be malignant cells in a scan was actually tattoo ink.

It Can Lead To Various Skin Infections

If you have researched a bit about tattoos, you may be aware of the fact that the needles can lead many fatal diseases, such as AIDS and even Hepatitis C. However, the most common infections associated with tattooing involve staphylococcus aureus or pseudomonas bacteria arising from poor skin preparation or equipment sterilization.

"Staph" skin infections can become serious and even life-threatening, as antibiotic-resistant strains become more prevalent. According to a 2015 study from Tulane University School of Medicine,  three per cent of tattoos get infected, and almost four per cent of people who get tattoos recount pain lasting more than a month. About 22% of participants with new tattoos reported persistent itching that lasted more than a month.

So ladies, the next time you think of visiting a tattoo artist to get that tattoo, make sure you have weighed in all the pros and cons.

Also Read: Cleaning that toilet seat is not enough! 5 common mistakes that can make YOU prone to UTIs

Related Stories

Copyright © 2017 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today.