Dr. Anil Kumar Bhatta, PhD
Chief Consultant Dermatologist & Aesthetician
Let me in Korean Aesthetic Skin Hospital
A tattoo is a form of body art that’s created when ink is inserted, using a needle, into the dermis layer of the skin. This changes the skin’s pigment and can be used to create almost any imaginableimage. Tattoos have become more and more popular in recent years. According to the Pew Research Center, almost four of every 10 people born after 1980 have at least one tattoo.Although tattoos have grown in popularity, these procedures have health risks.
Before making the decision to modify your body, it’s important to understand the adverse side effects associated with these procedures.
Health risks of tattoos
When you receive a tattoo, a tattoo artist uses a handheld machine with an attached needle to puncture the skin. Every time this device makes a hole, it injects ink into the dermis — the second layer of skin below the epidermis.
Tattoos are a common form of self-expression, but they also damage the skin and can cause complications. Complications could include:
• allergic reaction to tattoo dyes, which may develop years later; signs of an allergic reaction include a rash at the tattoo site
• skin infection, such as a staph infection or tuberculosis
• development of nodules of inflamed tissue called granulomas around the tattoo site
• formation of keloids, which are overgrowths of scar tissue
• blood-borne diseases, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, and tetanus; these can be contracted by using contaminated tattoo needles that haven’t been sanitized
• burning or swelling at the tattoo site
• MRIs when you’re having a tattoo. studies show that metal-based ink tattoos can react with magnetic resonance imaging studies.
The long-term effects of tattoo ink and colorings remain unknown. Until recently, no government regulatory agency has closely examined the safety of tattoo ink.
More than 50 colorings used in tattoos have been approved for use in cosmetics, but the risk of injecting them beneath the skin is unclear. Such pigments are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug AdministrationTrusted Source (FDA). So far, the FDA has only looked at whether these pigments were safe for external use, not for injection under the skin. No coloring has been officially approved for injection under the skin.
You can lower the chance of health complications with a tattoo by taking a few simple precautions.
Safety precautions for tattoos
• Get a tattoo from a licensed, reputable facility. Tattoo regulations and requirements vary by state, so check with your local department of health for the latest safety laws.
• Needles and razors should not be reused. Make sure you observe your artist remove needles from a new, sealed package.
• Check to make sure your artist uses a fresh pair of gloves and washes their hands before starting the procedure.
• Work surfaces, chairs, and non-disposable equipment must be properly cleaned and sterilized between customers. Choose another facility if there’s evidence of poor sanitation.
• The area of skin being tattooed should be swabbed with a disinfectant, such as rubbing alcohol, prior to tattooing.
• Fresh tattoos should be covered with sterile gauze or a bandage. Follow the artist’s instructions for caring for newly tattooed skin.
There’s also a lower risk of infection and complications from body modifications with proper aftercare steps.
Caring for a tattoo
• Keep new tattoos bandaged for 24 hours. Apply antibiotic ointment to your skin after removing the bandage.
• Gently clean the tattoo with plain soap and water, and then pat dry.
• Use a mild moisturizer on newly tattooed skin throughout the day.
• Avoid direct sun exposure for the first few weeks.
• It’ll take up to two weeks for your skin to heal. You can reduce the risk of infection by not touching the tattoo until it heals.
• Gently clean new piercings with a saltwater solution. Soak clean gauze in the solution, and then apply the gauze to the new piercing.
• Only clean piercings twice a day. Overcleaning can irritate skin and slow the healing process.
• Wash hands with warm water and antibacterial soap before touching or cleaning piercings.
Tattoos can be removed with lasers, but not always completely or with satisfying cosmetic results. The process is expensive and requires repeated visits to a doctor. Scarring is also likely. The FDATrusted Sourcerecommends laser surgery performed by a dermatologist as a safe tattoo removal technique. Consult your dermatologist if you’re thinking about having a tattoo removed.