Tattoos are often thought of as fun and rebellious, however it is rare that people consider the danger a person could be risking when they get a tattoo. A tattoo is defined as a permanent mark or design made on the skin by a process of pricking and ingraining an indelible pigment or by raising scars. That definition alone does not sound like a safe process so as a result I want to know if getting a tattoo is truly safe or if there are long-term, unpublicized problems that come with a tattoo.
The first major risk when getting a tattoo that all people must consider is the cleanliness of the tattoo parlor. Tattoo infections and complications can be the cause of the tattoo artist/studio or the ink. If a tattoo parlor does not sterilize properly bacteria and other infectious organisms can be transferred through the needles. Diseases, like AIDS, can possibly be contracted when just trying to get a tattoo to get a fun decoration on a person’s skin. The ink used for a tattoo is considered a cosmetic product and should be regulated by the FDA. Unfortunately, according to the Harvard Health Publications, since there is a lack of research and evidence of problems with tattoo ink and other focuses for health officials often the FDA does not enforce their authority on regulating color additives used in the ink. This means that health officials are not actively trying to prevent problems associated with tattoo ink that is up to health standards. The FDA will only pay attention if an actual problem is recorded.
The FDA lists the other risks that must be highlighted are allergies, scarring, granulomas, and MRI complications. Allergies may be overlooked when people get a tattoo and their reaction to the ink can cause varying responses and health problems. Scarring is a major issue because when a person is getting a tattoo they often do not think that while healing the tattoo could develop scarred tissue that permanently changes the intended appearance of the tattoo. Granulomas are caused because ink is a foreign material that our bodies are made to fight off. As a result a person may develop small bumps around the tattoo. Finally it is possible that a tattoo may have a weird reaction when the person is in an MRI machine. A magnet powers MRI machines so while it is rare a tattoo could react to the magnetic field and swelling or burning occurs. I doubt any young adult getting a tattoo because it is exciting and rebellious realizes all these potential risks.
Tattoos are relatively safe and common in today’s society. Ultimately I believe that it is possible to avoid the risks that accompany a tattoo. Although I am sure that there are a very small number of people that are truly educated on all the risks that a person is taking by permanently marking their skin.