Are you inked? Here are 6 health risks you should know

Are you inked? Here are 6 health risks you should know

Tattoos are growing in popularity. Today, it’s estimated that 20 percent of Americans have a tattoo and, of those, 40 percent are millennials.

What health risks should be considered before getting a tattoo?

  • Tattoos can result in serious infections from bacteria like methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or viruses like Hepatitis
  • Dyes and inks used for tattoos are not approved by the Federal Drug Administration and thus, there are no studies on long-term carcinogenic (cancer) risks
  • If you have an allergic reaction to the dyes and inks, it can remain for years
  • The appearance of tattoos can change over time and can be disfiguring
  • Removal of tattoos can be expensive, painful and sometimes impossible
  • 37 percent of human resource professionals say tattoos can be career limiting

“Adolescents and young adults see tattoos today as a way of expressing themselves,” says Dr. Cathy Joyce, Director of Adolescent Medicine at Advocate Children’s Hospital. “But it is important to remind them that this ‘self-expression’ may look very different to them 20 years from now, and this choice may not be reversible.”

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6 Comments

  1. There should be warning labels and signs at Tattoo parlors . Any thing that is done to your body should always be with caution because getting sick from something that isn’t needed .

    • Any reputable tattoo parlor will ensure that clients are aware of the risks, and will also take steps to prevent infection or other negative reactions, such as using only clean, single-use needles, ensuring the artist is gloved, and providing the client with comprehensive aftercare instructions.

      I honestly do not understand why tattoos are still regarded with such skepticism when parents will often have their little girls’ ears pierced or their infant sons circumcised – two other cosmetic procedures that are also unnecessary and also come with serious health risks. At least with tattoos the recipient is consciously choosing to face those risks.

  2. I had heard that certain diagnostic tools, like the MRI can cause burning at the site of tattoos. I don’t know if this is correct.

  3. Those HR reps should be fired for admitting to discrimination.

  4. This article’s tone is exactly the same as 11/30/17 about piercings. Ok we get it, don’t make yourself too different or be at a disadvantage in the work place and less attractive in the future. At the end of the day, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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About the Author

Evonne Woloshyn
Evonne Woloshyn

Evonne Woloshyn, health enews contributor, is director of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. Evonne began her career as an anchor and reporter in broadcast news. Over the past 20 years, she has worked in health care marketing in both Ohio and Illinois. Evonne loves to travel, spend time with family and is an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan!

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