Have you ever considered getting a tattoo? Maybe you like the look or you like the idea of having something meaningful on you at all times.
I know a lot of senior students at my school who have gotten a tattoo and they seem to have no regrets; in fact, they love them!
But are there any risks of getting a tattoo? Will it permanently damage your skin? Increase the risk of infections? Maybe, considering a needle is abrading your skin over and over, but it also depends on a variety of other internal and external factors.
Today’s Post Will Include:
- The Process Of Getting A Tattoo
- Side Effects and Increased Risks
- Precautions You Should Take When Getting A Tattoo
The Process Of Getting A Tattoo
What exactly should you expect when getting a tattoo? This article on Byrdie.com has pretty much all the steps to getting a tattoo and a bunch of extra tips that you should keep in mind on the big day!
According to an article written on Popular Science’s website, Dr. Ann Laumann, a professor from Northwestern University, says needles puncture your skin and the ink is injected into your dermis, the second layer of skin just under the epidermis. Since damage is being done to your skin, white blood cells respond to the site of the tattoo.
White blood cells engulf foreign bacteria, viruses, or other harmful particles through a process of phagocytosis. The particles of tattoo pigment are too large to be engulfed, so they just remain where they are. This is the reason tattoos are able to be permanent.
Well, mostly permanent. Overtime, tattoos can start to appear “saggy” as one’s skin changes with age. Or they can start to fade if the ink was injected too deep into the skin. Fading can also appear to happen as one gets more exposure to the sun. Hence, most tattoo artists will recommend that you apply sunscreen.
Diffusion of pigment particles can also cause a “smoky” lining look of tattoos as well. Over the years, pigment particles may spread in your dermis. Diffusion is the tendency of molecules to spread out evenly throughout a membrane or surface.
Side Effects and Increased Risks
Of course, you want to make sure you have as little risk as possible when you’re about to get a tattoo.
While researching a tattoo studio, make sure you search up previous reviews. Remain observant and cautious of the tattoo artist on the day of your tattoo as well. Simple observations of whether or not they use proper etiquette such as disinfecting your skin, wearing gloves, and cleaning their equipment can help reduce the risk of your skin getting an infection or worse.
- Allergic Reactions- tattoo dyes (especially red, yellow, and blue) may cause a rash or other allergic reaction at the site of tattoo immediately or even years later.
- Skin Infections such as Staph infection or Cutaneous Tuberculosis
- Burning or Swelling at the tattoo site (some swelling naturally occurs when white blood cells rush to site of infection or damage but excessive swelling should be a red flag)
- Overgrowth of tissue, or keloids
- Bloodborne Diseases such as Hepatitis B and C, HIV, Tetanus, and more (these are spread by needles that haven’t been sanitized)
- Tattoo Ink can also interfere with MRI tests
Long term effects are currently unclear. So far, the FDA has approved of these coloring inks in external products, but have not officially approved the safety of them when used internally for tattoos.
Precautions You Should Take When Getting A Tattoo
Some precautions have been mentioned already during this post, but these precautions are important enough to be mentioned twice :))
- Do your research!!! This article from Byrdie.com goes into good detail about what research you should be doing and extra tips to keep in mind.
- Make sure the artist and studio are licensed
- Observe the hygeine
- Ask to consult the artist before the appointment for any extra questions or clarifications
Another website that has good tips for pain and tattoo information in general: Healthline
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Love, Moe ❤