If you’re considering getting a tattoo it is important to find a place that is clean and professional where you can be assured the tattoo will be done in a sterile manner. Since when you get a tattoo you are actually breaking open the skin, the potential dangers are similar to those of any surgical procedure. Although tattoo removal is possible using laser treatments do not assume you can just get a tattoo removed if you don’t want it anymore. Assume that it is permanent! Multiple treatments are generally required and often it can never be completely removed. If you are going to get one, however, be aware of some of the following risks:
- Infection and blood borne illness from non-sterile tools or contaminated inks. Since a tattoo needle breaks open the skin, you are exposed to potential infection and blood borne illness. This makes it crucial that the person giving you your tattoo is a professional who follows proper sterilization procedures.
- Allergic reactions to ink ingredients. There is not much regulation for tattoo inks currently. You may have an allergy that you don’t know about until you have a reaction.
- Scarring or formation of raised bumps called granulomas. A tattoo may result in scar formation or raised red bumps may appear as a reaction to the pigment.
- Swelling during an MRI from having magnetic inks. Although having a tattoo doesn’t preclude you from having an MRI, certain magnetic inks may promote complications and should be discussed with your doctor.
- Tattoos can prevent early skin cancer detection. A tattoo can cover up an irregular mole and prevent you from detecting skin cancer. Since the tattoo may hide the growth of a mole, its color, and other signs of skin cancer, it is especially important to have regular skin exams performed by a dermatologist.