Tattoo. Health. Risks

Tattoos are trendy at the present time. Many feel that adorning their bodies with permanent ink helps them to profess their individuality. Others just like the visual appeal of having a work of art on their skin. As with any new procedure that you’re unfamiliar with, you should study up on the process of getting a tattoo. Part of your research should be to educate yourself on the risks associated with getting tattoos so you can take the necessary precautions.

Getting a Tattoo

Keep in mind that your skin will be broken and blood is involved. Anyone getting tattooed is at risk for diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. Your priority is to make sure that you’ll be receiving a safe tattoo experience.

In addition to viral infections, one has to worry about bacterial infections and allergies to inks needles, and even the gloves used by the tattoo artist. In some cases, one can contract a mild, treatable infection; in others, the outcome is more severe. Toxic shock syndrome, tetanus and tuberculosis are other symptoms of a tattoo gone bad but if you are careful in your choices, the risk miniscule.

One way to help drastically reduce your chances of having a possibly dangerous experience is to steer away from individuals who apply tattoos out of their houses. They may practice good hygiene and adequate sterilization practices, but it’s not guaranteed. Licensed tattoo shops are usually checked on a regular basis by the local health department. Going to a scratcher comes with the danger of picking up a hazard to your health. In order to prevent infection or disease, never allow anyone but a professional tattoo artist to work on you. Because tattooing requires breaking the skin, it carries health risks, including infection and allergic reactions. The mandatory practices of licensed tattoo shops help keep the health risks at a minimum.

Tattoo artists reduce risks by following mandated precautions, using one time use disposable needles, and using sterile equipment. Many states require blood borne pathogen training as well as regular health inspections to the shop and surroundings.

You should evaluate the tattoo studio. Does it seem clean? Is the lighting bright so you can easily discern if it’s clean? Do you see an autoclave around? If not, don’t feel hesitant about questioning the artist about their sterilization practices.

Question your tattoo artist to find out what safety guidelines are followed, if any. Make sure you’re tattooed in an area that’s away from food, hazardous waste, trash and other unsanitary conditions. If you or the tattoo artist has a cut, scratch or open wound, make sure it’s well bandaged to prevent the spread of disease and infection. Make sure the surgical gloves used are new and look to be in good shape with no tears or pinholes. Make sure ink is opened in front of you and needles are either brand new or sterile. Most artists will open sterilized needles in front of the client to prove that they are using uncontaminated needles.

You should never get a tattoo after drinking alcohol. Not only is it a bad idea to make such a permanent decision while impaired, but alcohol will act as a blood thinner and can cause extreme bleeding.

Infections that could be transmitted via the use of non sterilized tattoo equipment include surface infections, herpes simplex virus, tetanus, staph (Infected Tattoo), fungal infections, some forms of hepatitis, and HIV.

Other ways to acquire an infection is by not taking care of the tattoo once you leave the shop. Follow the directions given by your tattoo artist and keep the area clean and it’s unlikely that you’ll have any problems.

Allergic reactions to tattoo pigments are uncommon. People who are sensitive or allergic to certain metals may react with swelling, itching, and possible oozing of sebum.

For those who are allergic to latex, mention this to your tattoo artist. Many artists are using non-latex or will use non-latex gloves if asked.

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