Are Tattoos Risky?

September 28th, 2011 | Nutrition and Health

Make sure a tattoo parlor is clean and the risk should be minimal. At least, that’s what people used to think. New research is raising concerns over the potential effects of chemicals found in common tattoo inks.

[Read more about the research and risks here: Tattoo health risks – research raises concerns]

This new research has caused such concern that California has passed Proposition 65, a law that now requires tattoo shops to warn customers of exposure to potential carcinogens.

Tattooing involves injecting foreign substances into your body up to 3,000 times per minute. As with any injection, be sure you do your research and fully weigh the pros and cons before going through with it.

If you decide to get a tattoo, here is some advice to help you get started:

  • Read reviews of the shop and artists you plan on going to in order to be sure it is a clean, well-established place of business.
  • Ask to see the portfolio of the artists so you can evaluate their talent. Tattoos are forever. Don’t worry about offending an artist by asking to be tattooed by someone else that you believe is more qualified.
  • Give yourself time. Wait a month, or even a year, after you decide what you want to get. If you still want it, it truly is something that you feel comfortable with.
  • Although tattoos are becoming more accepted in the work place, many employers still prefer them not to be visible. So keep that in mind when you’re choosing where to put your tattoo. A good rule of thumb is to be able to cover any ink with a t-shirt and shorts.
  • There is pain associated with tattoos. Thin-skinned or sensitive areas like the tops of feet, inner elbows or sides of the torso will most likely hurt, and can be compared to a burning sensation.
  • Ask your artist for a full rundown of aftercare for your tattoo. An infection could prove very painful and dangerous.
  • It will be itchy. Don’t pick at it!

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