Health Risks of Getting a Tattoo – Harmful Skin Infections, Diseases

In this fast moving world, trendy clothes, fast food and great electronic gadgets sell like peanuts. Everyone likes to be part of the new swing. Well tattoos are the most happening thing now a days right? Would you love to get a tattoo? Maybe your parents name or your lover’s, maybe your favorite car or your obsession. What ever it maybe, its definitely cool! Everyone likes to flaunt a new tattoos and even celebrities get them! For some it maybe the ‘individuality’ factor that makes them take this step. Tattooing someones name on your body maybe a way of showing them that they are your life. Well if you want to spend your life with them you need to have it first! There a few things that you need to know about tattoos. Tattoos are trendy and cool but what exactly are they?

Image: hdwallpaper2013.com

Image: hdwallpaper2013.com

A permanent ink mark or art made on your skin with external pigments put into the topmost layer of the skin is called a tattoo. The tattoo artist uses machine that functions like sewing machine. It pierces one or more needles into the skin, with small ink droplets. Initially is causes a little bit of bleeding and pain. Permanent make up is also another way of tattooing in the body. Some people like to have permanent eye liner, eyebrow pencil or lip liners. They work the same way as tattoos.

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Health Risks of Getting a Tattoo:

As tattoos are growing popular so are the health risks and concerns. Unsterilized needles are just one part of the cause, tattoo inks are the other. There have been many cases of bad reactions due to the tattoo ink. In some cases the reaction was found immediately, others noticed it many years later. Itchy skin, inflamed skin, scaly skin were some of the reactions noticed.

spiderman tattoo infection

Some people get colored tattoos and others prefer black. It does set in well and looks absolutely marvelous. However, tattoos breach the skin and not everyone’s skin is insensitive. The foreign material is not accepted by the skin and this makes your skin more prone to skin infections and disorders. Some of the risks include:

Skin Infections:

Before you decide to get a tattoo know the risks of it. Immediately after you get a tattoo, you will tend to feel pain and uneasiness in your skin. You may notice your skin swelling up, oozing pus (yellow colored thick liquid). You may feel pain or redness around the tattooed area. This is a skin infection that is caused due to the foreign material that entered your skin. It is better to immediately consult a dermatologist. Some skin infections associated with tattoos are psoriasis, dermatitis and other chronic diseases.

tattoo infections

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is skin condition that is said to be a life long immune mediated disease. There is no complete cure for psoriasis yet but there are a few techniques to control the symptoms. It occurs when the immune system mistakes normal skin cell for a pathogen. Thus. it sends out the wrong signal which causes the overproduction of skin cells. This isn’t a contagious disease. It is usually notice by scaly patches on the skin and excessive itchiness in the affected areas.

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Dermatitis

Skin inflammation is known as dermatitis. But it takes place in a range of alignments. The early stages are noticed by red itchy skin and the advanced stages can be noticed by blisters that ooze fluid and scaly skin. There maybe many factors that cause skin irritation, so consulting a dermatologist is the best thing to do.

Dermatitis tattoo infections

Since many things can irritate the skin, a doctor will try to narrow down the diagnosis to a specific category of dermatitis, even though treatment is similar for most types of skin irritation and inflammation.

Skin Problems:

Tattoos can also cause different types of skin problems. The most common skin problems faced by tattoos on the body are Granulomas and Keloids.

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Granulomas:

Granuloma is a inflammation of a small area in the tissue. It is a result of an infection that begins in the body. It can occur in any area of your body. They usually do not show any major signs of sickness. When immune cells known as macrophages come together and form the Granulomas. This collection of immune cells happens in order to wall any kind of foreign substances. If they fail to do so, it becomes a skin problem.

Granulomas

Keloids:

Keloid is the formed due to scars in the skin.  This condition is noticed on the collagen, when there is an overgrowth in the granulation tissue, near the healed skin injury which is later replaced by the collagen. Keloids are slightly hard, rubbery or shiny  lesions. They can either be pink, red or dark brown in color. Though a keloid scar is not contagious it may get severely itchy and painful. In major cases, it can cause discomfort in the movement of skin.

Keloids tattoo risks

Allergic Reactions:

The different colored tattoo dyes look extremely bright, but they are equally harmful to the skin. Especially the color red, blue, green and yellow can cause the most damage to the skin. Itchy red rashes are caused on the tattoo area. The allergic reaction can be caused years after getting the tattoo.

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MRI Complications:

In some rare cases, tattoos or permanent make up will cause burning or swelling of the affected area during the MRI scans (Magnetic resonance imaging). They may interfere in the quality of the image. If your back is tattooed, in a MRI scan of your back the image may not come out in the best quality.

bad tattoos

Blood-borne Diseases:

You all might have heard the risk of using a used injection. It is the same with the tattoo machine. If the machine is not thoroughly cleaned before use it may be a huge risk for you. You need to make sure that the equipment being used has not been contaminated with infected blood. There are many blood-borne diseases that can affect your body such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and tetanus.

Hepatitis B

An infectious inflammatory illness is caused in the liver due to hepatitis B. The virus is transmitted from one person to another by body fluids, infectious blood and other kind of fluids in the body. The virus can be found in tears, urine and saliva. The infection can be transmitted through dialysis, tattooing, toothbrushes, using same injection, acupuncture, sharing razors and many others.

hepatitis b tattoo risks

Often there are no symptoms to detect the disease. There isn’t a permanent cure but usually the infection vanishes on its own. Hepatitis B vaccine is very essential for school children.

Hepatitis C

It affects the liver and it can be a mild or a very serious condition. The mild illness will last only for a few weeks but the serious one can lead to scarring of the liver. This can develop into liver failure, liver cancer, life threatening gastric varices and esophageal in the later stages. Caused by the hepatitis C virus, this infection is usually symptomatic. This is also transmitted by blood to blood contact. Around 200 million people in the world world are affected by this infection and around 350 million people die of this condition. It is however treated by antiviral medicines. Researches are being conducted to discover a vaccine for hepatitis B.

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Tetanus

Tetanus is a severe medical condition caused by Clostridiun bacteria. This bacteria exist in the saliva, dust, soil and manure. It is usually caused by the contamination of wounds either a cut or a deep wound. This may happen due to a burn or by stepping on a rusted nail. It is noticed by the contractions of skeletal muscle fibers.

tattoo tetanus in mouth

Image: deviantart.net

As the infection increases one can notice muscle spams especially in the jaws and other areas of the body. It may Cause a locking jaw which can make it impossible to swallow or chew or even open your mouth. It is a medical emergency and is mostly prevented by immunization. It is taken seriously and made a routine childhood immunization. Elders should also get a tetanus shot once in 10 years. You need to immediately contact the doctor if you get a serious cut or burn in order to prevent this condition. First aid and proper care of the wound can prevent this condition.

Dissatisfaction

The most common problems of all is dissatisfaction. When you get them they seem to be really cool, but as time passes by you will start missing your skin underneath. Human mind keeps changing, one day you prefer the car the next day you’d prefer to walk. Sometimes when you shop you really feel the need for something and after you buy it, you realize that you never needed it in the first place. Its exactly the same with tattoos. Make sure that you are completely sure of having that tattoo on your body for the rest of your life.

Dissatisfaction with tattoos

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Tattoos do tend to fade in the course of time. Don’t regret then! Nothing except nature will stay colorful in life, so be ready for it. The tattooist may inject the dye too deep into the skin which will cause all the pain in the world. It may also shift away from the original picture which was meant to be made.

Removal is Almost Impossible

Irreversible process literally! Though there have been many technological advancements, removing a tattoos is quiet a painful job. Not just for you but also the person trying to erase the permanent ink. You have to go through a few sessions of plastic surgery. Completely vanishing the mark without leaving scars is quiet impossible.

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Also keep in mind that if you plan to get a tattoo removed, some of the pigments used are phototoxic which may break down into toxic chemicals. This will happen when you try to remove the tattoo with laser or UV light which are the most common techniques used to remove tattoos. These toxic chemicals will find their way to the kidney and the liver resulting in serious health conditions. This will make the whole body a burden for you.

tattoo Removal is Almost Impossible

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It may become mandatory to go through the removal process in case of any severe allergic reaction or any kind of skin irritation. This is a worse situation as you end up paying for your tattoo and also for the treatment you’ll need to undergo.

There are many things you look into before you decide to get the tattoo on yourself. There are a few risks that come with the color on your body. From skin conditions to blood-borne diseases, everything is packed in with tattoos. Sure they are fun and exciting, but taking a risk with your skin is not worth it!

Anything unnatural on the skin is dangerous. Prevention is better than cure, so prevent yourself from these problems instead of regretting for your deeds later. Take care of your skin. Maintain a healthy glowing skin, instead of using artificial dyes to decorate it.

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