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Tattoos What are the Risks?

Updated on October 22, 2017
Tattoo Arts Festival in Pattaya, Thailand
Tattoo Arts Festival in Pattaya, Thailand | Source

The Biggest Risk

Health factors, around tattoos, need to be taken seriously but by far the biggest problem,that most people have, is regret. This is easy to understand. If, for example, you have recently been jilted by the love of your life and have their name proudly emblazoned on a conspicuous body part. Neck scorpions may not be helping you rise in the banking world. The Jaguar you had placed on your arm when you where 150 pounds may now look like a Tapir now you are closer to 260. So choose carefully and think long-term.

Choose Carefully

A good Tattoo will look good for a very long time but if the subject matter is no longer relevant to your life or the memory it evokes is no longer a happy association for you, then the chances are you will no longer like that tattoo. Likewise, if you have a body part tattooed that changes shape dramatically as you get older...well you are going to have to deal with that.

The most common problem with tattoos is regret


Are Tattoo Artists Regulated?

In actual practice tattooing is regulated by local jurisdictions, although the FDA considers the inks used in intradermal tattoos, including permanent makeup, to be cosmetics and the pigments used in the inks to be color additives requiring premarket approval under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Tattoo Artists at Work


In November 2000, after what it cited in its report as, 'concerns raised by the scientific community.' The FDA announced its intention to investigate the safe use of tattoo inks. The FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition justified the need for the FDA's scrutiny, "Whatever their reason[for getting a tattoo], consumers should be aware of the risks involved in order to make an informed decision."

The primary complications resulting from tattooing the report identified were:

  • Infection. Unsterile tattooing equipment and needles can transmit infectious diseases, such as hepatitis and skin infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus ("staph") bacteria*. Tattoos received at facilities not regulated by your state or at facilities that use unsterile equipment (or re-use ink) may prevent you from being accepted as a blood or plasma donor for twelve months.
  • Removal problems. Despite advances in laser technology, removing a tattoo is a painstaking process, usually involving several treatments and considerable expense. Complete removal without scarring may be impossible
  • Allergic reactions. Although FDA has received reports of numerous adverse reactions associated with certain shades of ink in permanent makeup, marketed by a particular manufacturer, reports of allergic reactions to tattoo pigments have been rare. However, when they happen they may be particularly troublesome because the pigments can be hard to remove. Occasionally, people may develop an allergic reaction to tattoos they have had for years.

Tattoo Artists' Tools

Infection the major health concern for most people considering a Tattoo
Infection the major health concern for most people considering a Tattoo
  • Granulomas.These are nodules that may form around material that the body perceives as foreign, such as particles of tattoo pigment.
  • Toxins.Heavy metals and other toxins have been found to be present in certain pigments of tattoo ink. Ask your tattoo artist about this.
  • Keloid formation. If you are prone to developing keloids -- scars that grow beyond normal boundaries -- you are at risk of keloid formation from a tattoo. Keloids may form any time you injure or traumatize your skin. Micropigmentation: State of the Art, a book written by Charles Zwerling, M.D., Annette Walker, R.N., and Norman Goldstein, M.D., states that keloids occur more frequently as a consequence of tattoo removal.
  • MRI complications. There have been reports of people with tattoos or permanent makeup who experienced swelling or burning in the affected areas when they underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This seems to occur only rarely and apparently without lasting effects.

Tattoo conventions provide an excellent opportunity to check out the tattoo lifestyle.
Tattoo conventions provide an excellent opportunity to check out the tattoo lifestyle.

Fillipino Tattoos

Tattoos are first outlined in black ink.
Tattoos are first outlined in black ink.

How to Have a Happy Tattoo Experience

Obviously make sure that the place you get your tattoo in is clean and sterile.Make sure clean needles and fresh ink are used and that proper procedures to prevent infection and the transmission of disease are carried out throughout the process.

Removing old tattoos can be a problem and this is all you want then consult with a medical professional and examine the option of laser removal. If you like tattoos but have ugly,old or outmoded ink then getting with your tattooist and working out how you can cover or incorporate into new work, might be the answer.


Although tattoos may be satisfactory at first, they sometimes fade. Also, if the tattooist injects the pigments too deeply into the skin, the pigments may migrate beyond the original sites, resulting in a blurred appearance. The only remedy for this is to find a highly-skilled tattoo artist. Pick one with plenty of experience with a good reputation who has a lot of repeat business.

There have been some report of allergic reactions to ink. Obviously if this were to happen, to you, it would be a problem. A certain amount of irritation is expected with tattoos. In fact, the itch like Billy-oh during the scabbing-over period. However any serious infection or allergic reaction should obviously be treated by a medical professional.

Tattoos Can be Very Beautiful

This beautiful phoenix might fade with time
This beautiful phoenix might fade with time

Take a poll

Do you have a tattoo?

See results


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      That was very good since I am learning about it in health

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      tatto is very dangreous and idon't like tattos

    • deblipp profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice hub. I read someone say that, if they want a tattoo, they write it down in a journal. If they still want it a year later, they know they won't regret it. Great idea!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Very nice indeed

      Check us for some good deals for who ever loves tattoo and tattooing

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      nice man

    • iskra1916 profile image


      8 years ago from Belfast, Ireland.

      Excellent hub !

    • organized living profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrian Walker 

      8 years ago from Magnolia, AR

      if your talking about a horimono full body tat, it will run you thousands. But a tattoo of a samurai girl will be maybe 200 but it depends on the design. It's size,placement and intricacy. Most of all it's up to the artist.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      wei if make samurai girl tattoooo hw much it will cost ?

    • Lgali profile image


      9 years ago

      very nicely done

    • stevecw md profile image

      stevecw md 

      9 years ago from Washington, D.C.

      Nice article!For more health and medical information, check our articles and also our site at, including talking to our doctors online [] Thanks!Stevecw md -

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      nice man

    • organized living profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrian Walker 

      10 years ago from Magnolia, AR

      Thank you, Guidebaba

    • guidebaba profile image


      10 years ago from India

      Very well explained.

    • organized living profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrian Walker 

      10 years ago from Magnolia, AR

      Thanks for the positive comment cvaughn570

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This is very good information for those considering getting a tattoo.

      Nice work,



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