You may be fascinated by the idea of getting your skin painted to flaunt it! Moreover when permanent tattoos are a strong style statement and everyone is going for the kill, why should you be left behind? Be careful! Although, show –off may be the most pressing reason you would go to get yourself a permanent tattoo done, the harms are many and diverse, we bring to you the other side of the story.
Permanent tattoos are basically those designs that are impressed upon our skin with a pointed needle like machine that injects colored inks onto the skin, and are there to stay. Below mentioned are the harms associated with permanent tattoos:
- Reactions to tattoo colors:
First and foremost concern that must be taken into account before getting a tattoo done, is the way your body would respond to the ink used. Many a times the colour inks, pigments used for tattooing consist of traces of metals which can lead to various health problems including cancer, infections, birth defects passed onto children from parents having tattoos. Injection of color additives into the skin comes with its quota of health risks and is not all safe. Many of the pigments that are used in tattoo inks are not meant for skin contact at all, in fact some are industrial grade ones that are meant for printer’s ink or automobile paint.
During the process of impressing a design on your skin, chances are that your skin will start bleeding accompanied by pain. Also in the long term, the color inks used to design your skin can cause skin disorder, allergies, swelling and redness due to burning sensation. There may be allergic reactions to the pigments used on the skin, though rare, and the pigments are hard to remove. The reactions can even occur after you have had the tattoo on your skin for years at a stretch. Granulomas which are small nodules can be formed around the tattoo pigment as the body perceives it to be foreign.
The significance of risk of infection can be gauged by the fact that the American Association of Blood Banks requires a one-year wait between getting a tattoo and donating blood. As the machine enters your skin to imprint it with a design, it cuts through it thereby creating a potential for infections to take place. Any form of cuts in the skin can be a source for a bacterial infection to develop which turn may be a cause for low immune system, etc.
As tattooing requires the use of needles there are chances that a particular needle may not be sterilized, and if this needle has already been used on an infected person and has a small peck of blood on it, pricks into your skin, there are chances of you becoming a victim of the dreadful HIV virus.
It has been found that while undergoing MRI scanning, people with tattoos or permanent makeup experience swelling or burning in the affected areas and the tattoo pigments interfere with the quality of the image as the pigments contain metallic components.
Problems associated with the removal process:
Alright! Now that you have got the tattoo done, and you just want to get rid of it, what are the easiest options? It’s disappointing to know that despite advancements in technology, we still do not have painless and easy ways to get rid of tattoos, (perhaps that’s why there are called permanent in the first place righty?) Complete removal without scarring may be impossible.
Laser treatments: Laser can lighten tattoos, not completely erase them. But one needs to visit the clinic over a span of weeks or months, and also the treatment does not come cheap. This can also lead to a lightening of the natural skin color in the affected area. Another glitch with laser is that, there are chances of it causing pigments in the tattoo ink to be released into the body thereby causing allergies.
Dermabrasion: This process may leave a scar as it involves abrading layers of skin with a wire brush.
Scarification: This involves removing the tattoo with an acid solution thereby again creating a scar.
Surgical removal: This method involves the use of tissue expanders. These are like balloons inserted under the skin, so that when the tattoo is cut away, there is less scarring. Some tattoos require repeat surgery for total removal.
And if despite it all, you want to get it done, make sure you follow these basic steps:
First of all make sure the place is clean and hygienic. And so is the artist.
Do a research beforehand and make sure you go to the best. Do not compromise on quality. After all, it is a permanent mark on your skin.
Make sure you have company when getting a tattoo done. This would ease out the tension, make you less nervous and in certain cases they can also point out if something is going wrong which otherwise may escape your knowledge. Chances are that they might even encourage you to get more of such crazy things done to your body.
It would be better if you could get your hands onto your artist’s portfolios to make sure that their style is something that will fit your personality type. (Remember you will have this art on your body for the rest of your life).
Make sure the tattoo artist is wearing gloves.
The artist must not use a needle more than once.
Also to make sure that your new tattoo stays as vibrant and crisp as it can.
Read the instructions carefully to heal the tattoo after you get it done.
Ensure that the needles are sterilized.
Inform your radiologist of the permanent tattoos if undergoing MRI scanning.