Tattoos are hardly something new. People have been inking their skin as a form of self-expression for decades. As time has progressed, and designs have become more elaborate; the idea has grown significantly in popularity.
With research showing that almost 50% of millennials have a tattoo and thousands of people going under the needle each day, you may be wondering how it will affect your health. Or if it will at all… Check it out:
Are tattoos damaging your health?
After speaking to some people, and some extensive research on the topic, I have learnt quite a lot about tattoos, and the potential impacts they may have on our health. If you’re thinking about going under the needle any time soon, then you will be delighted to know that research currently isn’t aware of any real risks associated with tattoos.
However, with that being said, just like anything there can be implications. Here are somethings that you should consider:
Some tattoos cannot be removed
A Harris poll found that nearly 1/4 of people had regrets about their ink work. When regret sets in, the solution for many people will be laser removal. Even if you can brave the pain, your tattoos may still be with you forever… Despite laser removal having come a long way in recent years, there are still limits to their capabilities.
Some colours can prove very difficult to remove with current technology. Not impossible… Just very difficult. Dark colours/shades such as Black and Dark Green have proven to be the easiest to remove. Where as fluorescent colours such as Yellow, Purple, and Pink etc, have proven the hardest.
Can cause infection
Inflammation is common, and is just part of the process. However, it is in your best interest to make sure that a little swelling is the only side effect of the procedure. If the needle, and ink isn’t prepared properly then infection is likely. This can range from mild ink poisoning, to something a bit more serious like tetanus, hepatitis, or even HIV.
This will not only affect your health, but also the appearance of the work, and can cause scaring. Not something that you want.
Even if your tattoo artist is careful, and sterilises the needles. The ink can be contaminated, which is often out of the hands of the artist. A recent study found that almost 10% of all unopened ink pots contained bacteria. Although rare, it’s important to be selective where you get your tattoo, to reduce the changes as much as possible.
Can cause scaring
It is very rare that tattoos scar, unless they become infected which I just mentioned. The other time, they will scar is when you get them removed. Peoples skin reacts differently to laser removal. Some people may suffer little to no scaring, where as some people’s skin will scar. Of course there are ways to minimise the effects of scaring. These preventative measured are usually taken by the tattoo artist after your ink work, known as ‘after treatment’. Once again, it’s not very likely, although it does happen.
Tattoos may be interfering with how you sweat
As crazy as it may sound, research has found that extensive tattoo coverage of the body can interfere with the sweat glands. In some cases reducing the bodies natural precipitation by 50%. The study, published by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, found that tattoos may interfere with the way our skin sweats.
Although it may not seem like that much if a big deal, but sweat it pretty important. It allows us to regulate our body temperature by releasing heat through our sweat glands. This means that we’re able to stay cool enough go exercise for long periods of time. Although the research is only in its early stages, theoretically, those with extensive tattoo coverage may struggle to cool themselves down when exercising (especially in the heat), and will have to stop sooner than those without.
It is important to note that this only affects those with extensive tattoo coverage around the sweat glands (Arms, back etc). Those with only a handful of tattoos will not be effected.
In conclusion, there are no long-term risks of getting a tattoo. Which to be honest I was quite surprised. But it’s good news. However, just like with anything, there are always implications. To ensure that you reduce the chances of any possible risks, make sure that the tattoo artist is certified, and professional. Secondly, if you’re going for a tattoo with bright colours, make sure that you really really like it…
Other than that, going under the needle can be a great expression of who you are, and I’m all for it!