Are tattoos bad for your skin?

By August 17, 2020

Tattoos have been around for over 200 years. It is originally used for religious or cultural purposes, and now it is more regarded as a creative way to express ourselves. However, before you decide to “ink” your skin, take a few minutes to learn about the potential dangers tattoos may cause.

Skin cancer

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Black ink contains a great deal of benzopyrene, a kind of carcinogen that is defined by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). So some professionals suggest that tattooing may increase the risk of getting cancer, as black ink is the widely used color for tattooing. Early symptoms of some skin cancer like melanoma will be hard to detect because “blackout” tattoos are thick and large enough to cover the skin. For this reason, never tattoo on pre-existing skin discoloration or abnormalities.

Allergy and hepatitis

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Allergic reactions and infections like hepatitis and HIV may occur during tattooing. This is why it’s so much important to investigate the tattoo parlor before you ink your skin. Check if it has local licensing and if the tattoo process is safe. For example, the employees must wear fresh gloves and use clean needles for each customer. If you find anything strange, don’t hesitate to look for a new parlor instead.

Weak sweat reabsorption

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Tattooed skin will be weak at reabsorbing sodium and electrolytes from sweat, which will make your body struggle to cool itself down and even lead to thermoregulatory problems. It’s not a big deal if you have a small tattoo but think twice if you plan to have a large tattoo on your arm, back, or other sweat parts.

MRI complications

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If you have to get MRI on a regular basis, you may need to consult your physician before going for a tattoo. The ink, especially the red ink used in tattooing is highly magnetic and can interfere MRI scan, leading to symptoms like redness, swelling, and even worse, the first or second-degree burns. Plus, MRI results can also be distorted because the tattoo ink may mix into the image.

Tattooing is a great way to express your feelings and opinions, but it’s also important to take all these potential health risks into consideration. Before you go tattooing, investigate the tattoo parlor, and consult your physician if you are safe to have a tattoo.


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