Tattooing has gained enormous popularity over the past 30 years. Only Americans spend over $1.5 billion every year on tattoos and over 45 million Americans have at least one tattoo.
But, researches warn about the health risk that tattoos may impose. First of all, there’s always the risk of infection if one doesn’t do a proper research before getting the tattoo.
There are a lot of tattoo artists who don’t use sterilized needles. This can lead even to HIV, staph infection and hepatitis. These illnesses can also be caused from contaminated tattoo ink, even if the tattoo artist has followed all of the sterilization procedures.
According to a study conducted by Dr. Robert Haley of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Dr. Paul Fischer of the Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, people with tattoos were nine times more likely to contract hepatitis C compared to those without tattoos. The study was based on 626 people, with 113 of them having at least one tattoo. Out of the 113 participants with tattoos, 52 of them had gotten their tattoos at commercial parlors. The study found that one-third of these 52 people who had gotten tattoos at parlors were infected with hepatitis C, compared to only 3.5% of participants without tattoos.
Aside from unsterilized or contaminated inks and needles, infections can be caused by the ingredients contained in the ink.
The colors that form the ink contain various metals. For instance, the red color comes from mercury, the green color comes from chromium, the yellow color comes from cadmium and the blue color comes from cobalt. Many tattoo inks contain even arsenic, lead, nickel, cobalt and chromium.
Symptoms of arsenic poisoning are first shown on the skin like changes in skin pigmentation, skin lesions and hard patches on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet.
Other issues that tattoo ink can cause are allergies. Many people showed allergic reactions right after their first tattoo. Allergic reactions can cause swelling, itching and hives at the site of the tattoo. The reactions can range from mild to severe and life-threatening.
Even though there are many people with whole bodies covered in tattoos and still being perfectly healthy, it is important to be aware of all the health risks that can happen.